Yes, the World is Getting Smaller!
The prediction is that the growth of the population of the world will grow to 10 billion by 2050 (it is now approximately 7.3 billion). Coupling the fact that our children will be living in a world that will seem smaller. Population growth affects a host of global issues including pollution, disease management, and depletion of energy, food, and water resources. Added to this list are political conflicts and social problems. Neighboring people across the globe will seem closer because of shared problems and international concerns. For students to participate effectively in this changing world, they must better understand it. The 21st century individual sells to the world, buys from the world, and works for international companies. In addition, they will compete with people from other countries, manage employees from other cultures, collaborate with people all over the world, and solve global problems.
At Oak Hill Academy in Monmouth County, New Jersey, we have recognized the need for this understanding and have provided our students with an understanding of global program connectedness for over 30 years. We believe instruction must start early and address a wide-range of topics that people from all lands share. The best elementary school curriculum’s include in-depth knowledge and understanding of worldly issues, an appreciation of and ability to learn and work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, proficiency in foreign language, and skills to function productively in our interdependent world society. These issues are met in all phases of the Oak Hill curriculum including math and science.
Over the last six years, our students and staff have concentrated on cultural diversity across our educational areas. The school’s Middle States Evaluation process focused on this during the 2018 colloquium. This process provided students with instructional practices that consistently engaged global content, multicultural perspectives, and problem solving across subject area. Oak Hill has a highly diverse student population that allows for family participation in activities sharing of cultural differences. Students see their own cultures as strengths, while seeking to understand the cultures of others, being aware of similarities and differences among cultures, and understand that behaviors and values are often tied to cultures.
The Oak Hill curriculum is broad and includes cultural topics in foreign language programs as well as the celebration of our global heritage. As a result, the anchor of the curriculum is its Global Studies program during the 5th and 6th grades. In the program, students grow to appreciate the geography, customs, religions and cultures of the people across our entire world. Learning people of countries across our world share the same hopes and dreams through a deep understanding of cultures,.
Using differences to build positive relations leads to the solution of many of society’s problems. Our well educated students will continue to demonstrate curiosity, empathy and show compassion for the perspectives of others. Students realizing the complexities of our world and having a passion to be a part of developing solutions to the problems will help them face our constantly shrinking world.