Providing an over-arching framework for global education is critical to the future of young people. Therefore, the Global Studies program was developed using resources such as strategic elements of forecast models focusing on innovation and retooling academic programs, reports and surveys on career and workplace trends, and NAIS' independent school global education survey. Several major themes emerged, including the following:
- Independent schools have been most clearly successful at integrating global education programs when their decisions have been driven by the mission and core values of the school.
- Schools identify a number of characteristics of a “globally educated student” that include: specific content knowledge, a commitment to service of others, fluency in one or more world languages, orientation to a new paradigm of leadership and work style, international experience, and skills to analyze and solve problems collaboratively with people of diverse backgrounds.
- Leading in a global age requires educators to work with students today with an eye on what they will need tomorrow. School leaders are committed to providing all students with a learning environment where they are challenged in age-appropriate ways to use their knowledge in innovative, practical, and flexible contexts in preparation for the future.
- Educators are experiencing a paradigm shift of purpose. The traditional goal of college preparation, historically seen as the quintessential outcome of an excellent high school education, is no longer enough. Increasingly, educators believe that global education provides the baseline for students who will live and work in a world that will make demands very different from those which their parents faced as young professionals.
The Global Studies program is supported by the principles of good practice for global citizenship articulated by NAIS, which include the following practices and outcomes for students:
- Habits of mind that invite and reward curiosity concerning the richness and diversity of all human societies.
- A curriculum that helps students recognize how differing cultures, traditions, histories, and religions may underlie views and values that can sharply contrast with their own.
- A seeking beyond the institution (the school) itself to form partnerships and networks that provide a mechanism for students to come to know each other through active engagement on projects and communication.
- Opportunities for students to practice newly-acquired skills by engaging directly with students from other countries through exchanges, international service learning, and other projects.