University of Cambridge

First 24-hour online global lesson launches unique Cambridge IGCSE

19/10/2009

Pupils from schools in more than 30 countries will take part in the first 24-hour global online lesson on Tuesday (0ct20) to launch a unique programme that aims to offer students a chance to develop a greater understanding of world issues.

At least 80 schools from around the world will take part in the 24-hour global lesson to launch the new Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives course, including classes from the UK, the USA, New Zealand, Peru, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Canada, Spain, Norway, France, Jordan, China, Cambodia, Egypt, Pakistan, Brazil, Argentina, Italy and the UAE.

When school starts, students will log on to a special website and join debates with other students from around the world on discussion boards, post news articles and photos on issues affecting their country, and design a T-shirt for Global Perspectives Day. The lesson will then continue in the next country to come online in a 24-hour relay.

The first school, Columba College in Dunedin, New Zealand, will take part in the small hours of the morning UK time on Tuesday 20 October. The day will end at Churchill College, Col. San Pablo Tepetlapa, Mexico, at about 11pm GMT.

A special e-newspaper containing the articles published by students will commemorate the day and the class that creates the winning T-shirt design will have their shirt made.

Jackie Burton, CIE Co-ordinator at Caistor Yarborough School, Lincolnshire, UK said: ‘At Caistor Yarborough School, IGCSE Global Perspectives students have risen to the challenge of exchanging ideas, research themes and topical issues that affect our global community. Through their networking activities they have contacted and established new friendships with students in schools in other countries and from other cultures.’

As Beth South, a Year 10 student stated, ‘We are all eagerly anticipating the Global Perspectives Day. It will bephenomenal! We have already made many contacts with fellow IGCSE students globally.’

Matthew Guttentag, Global Perspectives Instructor, Aqaba International School, Aqaba, Jordan, said: ‘I am looking forward to Global Perspectives Day as an excellent opportunity for our students to engage with schools from around the world. I think that hearing the points of view of students from other regions will really help our students gain a better understanding of the cultural and geographical differences that influence how issues are interpreted. I also hope that our students can help those in other regions learn about the Middle East.

“Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives has been an excellent addition to our school. The international focus of the course matches our diverse student body, and the cross-curricular syllabus gives students a chance to apply skills from their other courses to real-world issues. It has also allowed students to see how the global issues shaping the world today touch their lives in a very tangible way, especially living in a region like the Middle East.’

Lauren Piebenga, Global Perspectives Teacher, Columba College, New Zealand, said: ‘I have really enjoyed teaching this course. Watching the girls develop into independent learners and recognising the various ways of addressing and appreciating difference, has been rewarding. The girls have vastly improved their written skills, many of which have well exceeded my expectation of students in Year 10. Our understanding and appreciation of different types of information and it’s validity has also been a worthwhile learning experience.’

Students and teachers can choose five global topics to explore from 16 key themes including Belief Systems, Disease and Health, Trade and Aid, Tradition, Culture and Language, Climate Change, Conflict and Peace, and Water.

Identifying a local river clean-up project, meeting government ministers and writing to the United Nations about climate change are just some of the activities teachers pursued when piloting Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives course.

Kevin Stannard, CIE’s Director of International Curriculum Development, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to connect with students around the world in a way that has never been done by an awarding body.

“Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives students will develop a greater understanding of the world around them and be encouraged to share and compare experiences, observations, ideas and feelings on a wide range of topics.

“They develop skills of enquiry, collaboration, reflection, evaluation and problem solving, and apply them to real-world issues.”

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Notes for Editors

About Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives

The new Cambridge IGCSE is a ground-breaking course developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Students research issues from personal, local and global perspectives and evaluate possible courses of action. It helps them develop skills of enquiry, collaboration, evaluation and problem solving, and apply them to real-world themes.

Global Perspectives is cross-curricular, stretching across traditional subject boundaries. It taps into the way today’s students enjoy learning – including group work, seminars, projects, and working with other students around the world.

Through the course students will learn how to do both independent study and collaborative project work, and demonstrate research into at least five global issues. The emphasis is on demonstrating thinking on a topic, encouraging students to begin the type of study that is required at university or within a project in the workplace.

There is freedom for teachers and students to develop the content themselves with suggestions from Cambridge. Study aids can include newspapers, TV programmes, film, guest speakers and NGO websites, making the course exciting, varied and using the instant and timely resources that are available on the internet in this age of 24/7 news. Students are assessed for IGCSE Global Perspectives on a portfolio of individual work, a group project and a written paper.

Cambridge IGCSE Global Perspectives is now available for teaching, following a two-year pilot programme.

AboutUniversityofCambridgeInternationalExaminations (CIE)

University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is the world’s largest provider of international qualifications for 14-19 year olds. CIE offers the Cambridge International Curriculum for

5 – 19 year olds, professional qualifications for teachers and vocational qualifications for adult learners. CIE qualifications are taken in 150 countries and recognised by universities, educational providers and employers across the world.

CIE is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group, a not-for-profit organization and a department of the University of Cambridge. CIE has a strong pedigree in development and research and offers unrivalled support to its network of registered centres.

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