INTERNATIONAL MINDEDNESS

The international program and focus at SIA is truly what separates our academic program from all others in our area. SIA is committed to helping to increase our students' international mindedness through access to rich, engaging, challenging, current, diverse and innovative globally focused curriculum.

Primary Academy (K - 5th Grade):

Students in Kindergarten - 5th grade participate in their global education through the region of study focus. Each grade level has a particular region of study that they focus on throughout the year to develop cultural understanding and empathy. Students study the geography, traditions, cultures, languages, stories and history of regions around the world. 

Kindergarten - North and Central America

1st Grade - South America

2nd Grade - Asia

3rd Grade - Oceania

4th Grade - Africa

5th Grade - Middle East

Middle Academy (6th - 8th Grade):

Students in our Middle Academy do not have a region of focus, they instead focus on the development of Global Perspectives through their Individuals and Societies course as well as their Social Entrepreneurship elective. These courses focus on issues related to global society, geography, environment, education, economy, and politics. Students are asked to not only investigate and research these topics, but also to begin to develop a worldview on how these issues play out on the world stage. In order to study these topics with depth and authenticity, SIA uses a variety of materials from multiple sources.

 

Topics students have discussed at the Middle Academy in previous years: Black Lives Matter, privilege, major world religions (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc.), world economic structures, social entrepreneurship, slavery (historic and modern), government structures and how they impact the lives of the people in those countries, endangered languages, sports mascots, world holidays and celebrations, systemic/historic racism, ancestry/genetics, use of propaganda, global warming, social justice, environmental sustainability and stewardship, etc.

 

Examples of sources used for topics studied:  Junior Scholastic Magazine, Teaching Tolerance, Participate Education (formerly VIF Intl. Education), INTERACT Simulations, TED videos, Kiva.org, Black Lens (local newspaper), Movies (Race, 42, 13th, Coco, Book of Life, Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Girl Rising, Living on One Dollar) International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, guest speakers (GU intl. students, refugees, religious leaders, local authors, community representatives, Spokane Indians (baseball) representatives, SIA parents speaking about their careers and travel experiences) and primary source materials.

Organizations with whom we have partnered with in the past: Kiva.org, Generation Alive and World Relief.

Students are expected to develop the demonstrate the following characteristics while studying at SIA:

Investigate the World

Global competence starts by being aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works. Globally competent students ask and explore critical questions and "researchable" problems - problems for which there may not be one right answer, but can by systemically engaged intellectually and emotionally. Their questions are globally significant, questions that address important phenomena and events that are relevant world wide, in their own communities and across the globe.

 

Weigh Perspectives

Globally competent students recognize that they have a particular perspective, and that others may or may not share it. They are able to articulate and explain the perspectives of other people, groups, or schools of thought and identify influences on these perspectives, including how differential access to knowledge, technology, and resources can affect people's views. 

 

Communicate Ideas

Globally competent students understand that audiences differ on the basis of culture, geography, faith, ideology, wealth, and other factors and that they may perceive different meanings from the same information. They can effectively communicate, verbally and non-verbally, with diverse audiences.

 

Take Action

What skills and knowledge will it take to go from learning about the world to making a difference in the world? First, it takes seeing oneself as capable of making a difference. Globally competent students see themselves as players, not bystanders. They're keenly able to recognize opportunities from targeted human rights advocacy to creating the next out-of-the-box, must-have business product we didn't know we needed.