As the world becomes exponentially more interconnected, what it means to live a consequential life can and should be global in scale and reach. With a commitment to social responsibility, equity, and justice, MFS has the opportunity to provide experiential, real-world learning that deepens students’ understanding of Quaker values while challenging them to apply their content knowledge and skills to issues of global importance. Students should engage with complex problems and ethical dilemmas, learning how to work collaboratively and lead with confident humility. In addition, through humble inquiry, students can see the world from different cultural perspectives. Developing global citizens is not only aligned with the school’s Quaker mission but it is also an opportunity to extend that mission to local and global communities, partner with dynamic institutions, and more effectively prepare students for the demands of college and beyond.
- How might we design educational experiences to encourage humble inquiry and empower students to contribute to a global society?
- How might we create and enhance experiential learning opportunities, such as Intensive Learning, to foster connection, collaboration, and cultural understanding between MFS students and their peers around the world?
- How might we partner with local and global organizations to create immersive learning experiences with real-world applications?
Students will be exposed to a diverse range of global perspectives through educational opportunities and immersive experiences that go beyond travel alone. By engaging students’ natural curiosity and appreciation for other cultures, students will have a nuanced understanding of cultural context and how it informs our sense of identity and place, as well as how it shapes views on global issues.
Design educational experiences that are timely and relevant and encourage global understanding as well as deeper self-awareness for students.
- Design and implement a Lower School Spanish program
- Partner with World Leadership School to enhance existing experiential learning opportunities to foster student global literacy and engagement
- Partner with local and international institutions to support hands-on and peer-to-peer global learning
Global Engagement Snapshot
Students Prepare for Summer 2023 Global Leadership Summit in Germany
Thirteen Upper School students will have the opportunity to tackle global issues from different perspectives while communicating across cultures as part of a three-day “Global Leadership Summit – Creating a Sustainable Future,” taking place in Berlin, Germany in July 2023. The European trip will also include tours and engagement in two other cities – Lucerne, Switzerland and Freiburg, Germany.
After the students return from the Summit, they will be charged with a real-world environmental sustainability project that will take place during the 2023-24 school year. The cohort will meet monthly beginning in November, exploring topics such as climate science, histories and cultures of the region, and strategies for collaborating and learning across cultures. They will also brainstorm about changes they would like to see at MFS and how they can help shape the future of the school in the area of sustainability. Students were selected as part of an extensive application process which took place in Spring 2022.
“There is a great quote from John Dewey which I think sums this opportunity up well: ‘Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.’ Education, therefore, is a process of learning by doing and not simply preparation for the future,” said Head of School Julia de la Torre. “This is a great opportunity for students to see other countries living their commitment to sustainability, and I look forward to seeing how our students bring their learning to MFS and their local communities.” The fifth-year Head of School has long had a passion for these types of experiences and served as Executive Director of Primary Source, a non-profit focused on global education and citizenship for K-12 teachers, from 2010-15.
Julia, along with Science Teacher Matt Lubicky and History Teacher Jackie Scully, will lead the MFS delegation on the pre-Summit tour of Lucerne and Freiburg, where they will explore environmental sustainability in action. Switzerland and Germany have been at the forefront of some of the world’s most innovative approaches to sustainability. Students will learn from the expertise of leaders in both cities as they examine the effects of the environment on our well-being and discover how sustainability efforts can make an impact on a global scale.
Once at the Berlin conference, students will be placed in innovation teams with peers from around the world where they will hear from renowned speakers and work with local and global experts to focus on solutions related to the Summit’s sustainability theme. Teams will engage in a sustainability challenge during the Summit with the winning team’s prototype/solution added to the Nobel Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
The MFS cohort will work together throughout the 2023-24 school year on their action projects, which will have a direct impact on the MFS community. Regular meetings will take place throughout the 2023-24 school year as part of the requirements of Summit participation.
“We need to see beyond the United States and learn about how other countries deal with the environment differently than ours. The Global Leadership Summit offers such a great opportunity for its participants to exchange ideas and evaluate the current policies adopted by other countries. Protecting the Earth is our common goal. We need to work together. I look forward to meeting others from around the world in Berlin next year!” – Maxwell Wang ’25.
Julia de la Torre is eager to provide students with practical skills that provide immediate value. “It is great for students to see themselves as agents of change,” she said. “Experiences like these aren’t just preparing you for what is to come, but they engage students now in real-world issues that can inspire them to action.”
Stay tuned for updates this time next year after the MFS delegation returns from Europe and their action projects commence.
This unique experiential learning opportunity was made possible thanks to a generous donation from an alumni parent.