The Changemaker Curriculum
HundrED shortlisted this innovation
A World Class Education for a Changing World
THINK Global School is excited about sharing this adaptable and modular curriculum with the global education community. With the shift to online learning, this curriculum has worked seamlessly by incorporating their core values while following international guidelines by having students return to finish the school year.
The Changemaker Curriculum focuses on mastering skills and concepts instead of regurgitating facts. THINK Global School divides level of mastery into three stages: Apprentice (can remember and understand), Specialist (can analyze, evaluate, and apply), and Master (can create new ideas and teach others). Students gain a level of Specialist or higher in academic disciplines including mathematics, science, English, social science, world language, art, physical education and health, and careers, while attaining mastership of the subjects that intrigue them the most.
Through a robust advisory program and continuous, constructive academic feedback, students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become self-guided learners and remain engaged in learning throughout their lives.
Developing as an individual is important, but it’s just as important to develop a sense of belonging to something greater than yourself. No matter how students choose to create change, THINK Global School is devoted to helping them find the causes they're passionate about and figure out how to make a real and lasting difference.
An Academic Calendar for Non-Stop Learning
Eight weeks on. Five weeks off. All year long. THINK Global School's unique academic calendar fully immerses students in four countries a year, taking advantage of the best times to explore climates ranging from tropical jungles to icy fjords. It also offers more time off for students to process their experiences, pursue internships or student-designed projects, or simply relax with friends and family back home.
Each session begins with one week of online preparation that can be done from home (or anywhere!). During this week, students select their project-based learning module, finalize their areas for a student-designed project, begin research assignments, and ramp up cultural and language skills.
The online preparation week ensures that students waste no time diving into life in their new host country, where they spend seven weeks pursuing group and independent projects directly related to their environment. They can expect to fill their days with exploration, experiments, lectures, field trips, scientific and mathematical modeling, reading and writing, physical activity, documenting their experiences—and, of course, plenty of time to rest, relax, and socialize.
THINK Global School's Travel Cycle:
Authentic Experiences Through Project-Based Learning
By engaging in an array of projects that enhance their teamwork, problem-solving, and curiosity skills, students at THINK Global School transform into passionate and multifaceted citizens, able to adapt and thrive in an increasingly globalized world.
In each location, students select from one of three teacher-led modules to participate in for the eight-week term. Teacher-led modules combine multiple academic subjects at once and are designed to help you answer key questions about the world around you.
Modules at THINK Global School are designed and overseen by their educators and structured in a way that provides agency and flexibility to learn in ways that work best for students.
Answer Challenging Driving Questions
Each module revolves around a driving question relevant to students' surroundings. In addition to focusing the module’s scope, the driving question helps communicate its purpose and set key standards for project work. During THINK Global School's Bosnia & Herzegovina term, for example, while students were exploring the process of reconciliation, they were asked to answer the following driving question:
How can we convey the complexities of ethnic and religious reconciliation through our experience of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
Driving questions are unique and open-ended, ensuring students develop a wide range of fundamental and 21st-century skills as they explore the world and build upon their knowledge base.
A Team-Based Approach
For each teacher-led module, students work in teams to gather facts, look for correlations, and evaluate possible solutions to the driving question. Along the way, they Q&A with local experts, take meaningful field trips, and regularly engage with the local community. It won’t take long before students realize just how much their global experiences deepen their projects’ meaning and amplify their impact.
Terms culminate with a project-based showcase, where students demonstrate their learning by presenting their module’s final product before a live audience.
Personal Project Spotlight: Ecology of the Mind
For her mastery project, Class of 2020 student Soeun Kim created a work of art that explores our world by focusing on its most essential component: the mind. In doing so, Soeun answered the following driving question: How can I acquire deep understanding of Buddhist philosophies and their perspectives on the self and the world by working with monks and creating an original short film?
Soeun spent time learning about the basis of cognition, behavior, and data collection alongside filmmaking techniques before embarking on an 11-day filming excursion at a remote temple in Haenam, South Korea, where she gained centuries-old insights from Buddhist monk Kum Kang Sunim, which Soeun believes have the potential to revolutionize cognitive science.
Our COVID-19 Response
Modules are the educator led academic 'units of study' that are typically cross curricular and linked to the location we are studying in. The Module Summative is a product that incorporates the essence of what has been studied as well as represent an answer to the module driving question.
Since their Spring term in Greece was no longer an option, students participated in a module called Creativity in the Time of COVID instead. The module was based on a study of the science of creativity combined with student's exploring a medium within either visual arts or music. The driving question for this module was:
How might I grow my creativity during the COVID-19 crisis through exploring the science of creativity and innovation and experimenting with art?
1. Mastery Defense Showcase
THINK Global School believes that the development of an individual is based on three essential elements: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. They require that students complete mastery projects as a graduation requirement.
Students must demonstrate mastery by either creating new ideas based on a skill or concept or by teaching others to a novice or specialty level.
The mastery defense is one of the student rites of passage in which the student must demonstrate to an academic panel how they have achieved mastery in their chosen area of study/skill development.
2. Personal & Language Projects
Personal projects at TGS are designed to enhance analytical thinking, problem-solving, and curiosity skills. Students formulate their own driving questions and select the learning targets and 21st-century skills to focus on. Students pursue their passions or tackle subjects of interest.
Personal projects can take many forms, including: conducting scientific research and presenting their findings, crafting an original piece of art, creating a paper or presentation to document new understanding, or developing a photo-essay or documentary video to illustrate a relevant connection.
Language projects similarly function to combine concepts and skills in language acquisition with areas of personal interest to students.
3. Digital Portfolios
The TGS digital portfolio showcases students’ growth at TGS. Students carefully select learning experiences that highlight their strengths, passions, and proudest work for post-TGS life.
At the conclusion of each school year, both cohorts come together for an end-of-year symposium, where the best projects from each country are highlighted and shared.