I found the readings on global competence fascinating and I agree that the Humanities broaden and deepen students understanding of the world, its diversity and its complexity and that they are also important to develop critical thinking and awareness of the diversity of the world. I am particularly happy to hear so much about the importance of learning world languages since they contribute so much to an interdisciplinary and global perspective. Besides linguistic instruction, language classes encompass literature, art, history, film, culture and current events. Personally, I am all for making it as authentic for students as possible by developing partnerships within the community like the idea of involving students with heritage speakers through local bilingual schools or community centers. However, in order to carry on innovative and creative projects like this, teachers would need a lot of flexibility from a school like BB&N. When a school gravitates around a tight schedule, exams, grades, and college admissions, just getting permission to go on a fieldtrip to the MFA presents itself as a challenging endeavor. At the same time, I am thrilled to learn about organizations such as iEarn and I plan to research the possibility of having some of my students work on a project with a school in Spain or Latin America through the iEarn network. I also think that serious language instruction has to start as early as possible with various options for students on what language to take as well as with frequent periods of immersion classes if we really want our students to reach as much language and cultural proficiency as possible by the time they finish high school. Finally, I would like to advocate for more interdisciplinary courses that invest in the different talents of good teachers whose creative dispositions are mostly limited by standardized education as well as alternatives to traditional testing. Most exams do not assess the whole range of students' abilities but rather a short-term memory of factual information. I think at BB&N we are good at many 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration but there is still so much more we could be doing just to keep up with the times. Definitely for creativity, innovation and global competence to happen, there has to be an integral purpose of the whole school organization.
Spanish Department Coordinator
Buckingham Browne and Nichols School
Phone: (617) 800-2246