Global Citizenship Program

GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM

Purpose
The purpose of the Global Citizenship Program at Rysensteen Gymnasium is to give the school’s students the opportunity to understand their learning in a global context so that they begin to perceive themselves as world citizens. Moreover, the aim is to encourage the students to think of themselves as people with social duties and responsibilities in a local, regional and global context. They acquire the academic foundations of these concepts through academic work and extracurricular courses.
Globalisation’s problems and challenges will become apparent and concrete through cooperation that we have established with the partnership-schools around the world. We work with schools in the USA, China, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Singapore, Iceland, India, Egypt and Canada.

The Global Citizenship Program
The program is based on the culture of democratic engagement that already exists at Rysensteen, where democratic processes are an important part of the school’s vision. For many years the school has worked to involve the students in the decision-making processes at Rysensteen, which has resulted in a wide-ranging delegation of responsibility to them.

The students’ engagement informs the organisation of the teaching, their participation in the teaching, and in the development of an evaluation culture. In addition, there is both a formal and informal committee culture, where students work on everything from education policy to the production of the annual musical, and from arranging parties to a strong engagement in Rysensteen’s local community.
In cooperation with our partner schools we have designed a three-year program for each class on Global Citizenship. The project started in September 2011.

The starting point is that all of the school’s first-year classes will have a partner-class. The basic idea is that cooperation with students at the partner-school will make it possible for our students to see other students in other parts of the world and, thereby, see themselves as others perceive them. This should enable them to take greater responsibility for the formative dimension in their education.

During the first 2 years the students cooperate virtually via, amongst other things, social media. This work will facilitate the students’ acquisition of knowledge about other young people’s way of life, opportunities and rights. We will use the Citizenship concept in all of the involved subject areas, including General Studies. We will also use it in extracurricular arrangements and events, where we will focus on the rights and responsibilities one has as a citizen of the world. This will be achieved through work on the key issues of our times. The geographical area will be used in the teaching as cross-disciplinary studies.
The project will culminate in an exchange visit where students will, as far as possible, stay with families in their homes.

Design and content
The program is designed as a process that moves from the periphery with knowledge about citizenship and cultural understanding through to a virtual cooperation with a partner-school. This is combined with small cultural area studies towards the core of the project, which is the cultural meeting, the personal visit with the partners and, thereby, a meeting with the culture which they represent.
In terms of content, the concept is based on the following three dimensions:

- A formal/legal dimension, which focuses on the individual’s rights as a citizen in a democratic process.
- An active dimension, which focuses on the individual citizen’s responsibilities to society.
- An identity dimension, which focuses on the cohesion that is created by the political values in a society.

We have taken as our inspiration Wolfgang Klafkis three forms of formation:
- Material formation, which is built upon the meeting between the student and significant thinkers.

- Formal formation – knowledge about knowledge-processes and methodological approaches.

- Categorical formation, with its basis in the key issues of our epoch, and focus on the necessity of learning about, for instance, war and peace, nationalism, ecological problems, social inequality, and information and communication technology. The key issues of our age are important for every high school student because they develop the democratic formation ideals, which are highlighted in the recent reforms of upper secondary education in Denmark. It aims to strengthen students’ self-determination, participation in decision-making, and a sense of solidarity. At Rysensteen Gymnasium the democratic dimension is profiled through the Global Citizenship Program.

Partners
The Global Citizenship Program at Rysensteen Gymnasium can only succeed with the support of the strong forces in our network. First and foremost, Copenhagen University is a very important partner with, amongst others, The Saxo Institute and The Institute for Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies (ToRS). The Danish Institute for International Studies and the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Institute have also been inspirations, and we hope we can draw on the expertise of the many specialists that there are in these organisations. We would also like to draw on other parts of our network, including students’ parents.
We will apply for funds to cover the costs of events and international activities.