In the first week of the new semester, HDBJ Secondary G6-G9 students had Global Awareness Week, an interdisciplinary, inquiry unit. Every year, the theme of our Global Awareness Week is closely related to the current world: in the first year, students studied the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), learning the importance of different goals, including No Poverty, Clean Water and Sanitation, and their impact on the whole world. Last year, through the theme of "Public Service", students participated in a series of activities from "waste recycling", "advocating the use of environmentally friendly materials" to "public publicity" in various disciplines, calling on the whole society to pay attention to environmental pollution issue.
This year, all HDBJ students voted on which SDG they would like to study in depth, and they chose "Zero Hunger", UN SDG #2. Once the goal was decided, our international teachers developed a one-week, project-based unit of inquiry for all of our students to engage with.
Under the guidance of teachers, our students conducted small group, in-depth research on different countries’ approaches to achieving the UN goal. Topics for investigation included the current state of hunger in the country, possible reasons for the current situation, efforts made by the government to address the issue, and the actions we can take in the future. Finally, students were tasked with the challenge of identifying ways that we at HDBJ Secondary can work to better address this global issue. This inquiry culminated in students making a poster of their research results, as well as publicly presenting a PowerPoint to summarize their findings, analysis, and suggestions for our community.
Next, let us review the learning process and research results together!
At the beginning of the project, the students needed to better understand the goal and research information on a country of their choosing. However, in the face of the extensive resources available on the internet, how did our students locate the information they wanted in a quick and accurate way? Our first step was to help our students how to best use technology to research accurate information.
Searching for keywords on a search engine is only the first step. Next, under the guidance of our teachers, students judged whether the information obtained is correct or reliable by further distinguishing the timeliness of the information, the authoritativeness of the author, and the relevance of the publishing group. Students then promptly recorded the source of the information they chose to include in their work in case they needed to verify or cite it later.
The GAW lessons were scaffolded for our students, and all of our international teachers, and some of our Chinese national teachers, all worked with our students at each phase of the project. Within groups, roles were divided among students: some students were responsible for research; some worked on recording information sources while other students summarized problems they encountered and asked for help from peers or teachers when appropriate. Soon, the students collected valid and reliable information they needed for the next step: presenting information in different formats/media.
Making a Poster
Facing a blank poster board, the challenge for our students at this stage was to refine, summarize, and integrate the huge amount of information they had gathered into a clear, neat, and engaging poster.
Under the guidance of our teaching team, students systematically learned ways to make a beautiful poster: from layout to graphics, text style to overall readability.
It’s Presentation Time
It's finally time for the presentations! Each group took turns to present within their classes to present their research findings and analysis with the teachers and classmates. Within each class, two groups were selected to present to the entire grade. Finally, one group per grade level was selected, by student vote, as the best 2022-2023 GAW presentation.
What We Learned
Through interdisciplinary research and study, the students learned that hunger is not just a concern in developing countries - hunger still exists in many developed countries, and many countries are even facing serious food crisis. The causes are closely related to the climate, politics, economy of the country.
The students also undertook in-depth analysis of the decisions and efforts made by individual national governments and the World Food Program to solve the hunger problem based on the actual situation of each country studied. Furthermore, students also put forward a proposal from their own perspectives, indicating how HDBJ Secondary, and each HDBJ student, can live a green and sustainable life to help address this larger, global issue. For example: students could set up a campus growing area, donate excess food to food banks, and more.
This project embodies the awareness and reflection of students' global awareness in their daily life, and it is also the way for students to grow up to be responsible citizens of the world. Looking at the confident and excellent students on the stage, we believe that they will make the world a better place!
This week’s study continued to spark our students' global awareness and mindsets, and also developed their skills of independent exploration and teamwork. With this type of disciplined inquiry, investigation and engagement, our young students will become the masters of tomorrow's world stage!