Global Citizenship

Global Citizenship: Earth - World - People

At the AICS, Global citizenship and developing international mindedness are an integral part of our students’ education and development. Values, concepts and topics connected with Global Citizenship are addressed through:

- Our values as AICS: Integrity, Diversity, Community and Inquiry.
- As an IB continuum school, our curriculum integrates global citizenship throughout, including Service, Approaches to learning Skills and developing conceptual understanding.
- As part of the Esprit Scholengroep, we follow the Esprit Education Manifesto which focuses on community, culture, multilingualism and developing skills necessary for the present and the future.
- As a CIS accredited school, we are committed to our students developing as global citizens where in addition we focus on students developing a sustainable lifestyle and developing leadership skills.


What Does Global Citizenship Mean for Our School Community?

We understand Global citizenship to focus on three main areas: the planet (Earth), society (People) and social, political and economic factors (World) with sustainability at their core. We understand a key aspect of sustainability to focus on the future, extending beyond our lifetime and the importance of taking responsibility for this now. We think it is important to ensure that our students, but also our more immediate and wider community engage with, advocate and role-model responsible and ethical behaviour.

Earth, World, People

Taking care of our planet, not only for ourselves but also for future generations is a growing concern, especially for young people. We need to improve our knowledge and understanding of global heating. We need to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability. We need to understand the importance of ethical and sustainable use of resources. We need to understand the impact on local and global communities and how these impact each other. Last but not least, we need to actively engage with these issues and take action. A key role within this includes encouraging our students to actively engage and act and to provide opportunities for them to do so. 

In an increasingly complex world with depleting resources, increasing technological developments, more migration, polarisation in politics, we need to prioritise the development of a deeper understanding of human rights, politics and diversity in the broadest sense; we need to be able to engage actively in a compassionate manner striving for harmony and peace. We need leaders to make this happen.

In order to develop compassion for ourselves and others, we need to understand who we are. By compassion in this context we mean the development of empathy as well as clarity and the courage to act without self-interest. We need to learn to understand others. As we develop intercultural understanding and embrace our multilingualism we are better able to build inclusive communities.

Three Approaches: Cognitive, Social and Behavioural

In line with the Unesco’s Global Citizenship Education, in order to develop as a responsible global citizens, we need to increase our knowledge and understanding; we need to understand that all matters pertaining to global citizenship are a social phenomenon, in which each individual is part of the whole. Thus, as individuals as well as communities we need to take charge, to act ethically and with integrity daring to address and act on issues that matter.

IB Learner Profile

While all the attributes of the Learner Profile work together to help our community to become internationally minded, the three attributes we focus on in the context of Global Citizenship are: Caring, Open-Minded and Principled (IBO, 2013)

- Caring which compels us to “make a positive difference in the lives of others...”
- Principled making sure that we have “respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere.”
- Open-minded where we value our “personal history as well as the values and traditions of others.”

Conceptual Understanding

Focusing on the students’ conceptual understanding, we identify three key concepts related to developing global citizenship: 

- Systems as “sets of interacting or interdependent components,”
- Identity which can be shaped by “external and internal influences”
- Communities as “groups existing in proximity defined by space, time or relationship.

Teachers focus on these concepts within and across their curriculum where they find a natural fit.

Approaches to Learning Skills
The main aim of developing ATL skills is to enable “students to become stronger, more self-regulated learners.” (IBO, 2014). In the context of developing global citizenship, we identify the following skills and provide a list of examples which is not exclusive:

Research skills: collecting and verifying data, analyse and process data, analyse and interpret media communications, make informed choices, seek a range of perspectives

Collaboration skills: working effectively with others, empathy, making equitable decisions advocacy

Thinking skills: interpreting data, analyse and synthesise, forecast possibilities, create novel solutions, practice flexible thinking and transferring these skills to unfamiliar situations

Service and Action*
With the main aim of “a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment” (IBO, 2014). Service is embedded in all our programmes where students are encouraged to identify authentic needs, to advocate, initiate activities and take positive action.

*including Action in Primary School, Service and Action in MYP, Service Learning in CP and Creativity, Activity and Action in DP.

Research Projects

Students in group 7, MYP 5 and the Diploma Programme spend a number of months researching a topic of interest to them personally. Through these research projects, students learn about themselves, the world around them and while developing a deeper understanding of their topic of interest.

Global Citizenship Throughout Our Community

- Global citizenship extends throughout our community, beyond classrooms and extra curricular activities.
- Our canteen is run by Cordaan, an organisation providing productive employment opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and mental health problems (Cordaan)
- As an organisation, we recycle our rubbish, classrooms are fitted with sensors to reduce electricity usage.
- Our admissions policy reflects the value of diversity and we accommodate students with diverse backgrounds and gender identities.
- Our Human Resources procedures ensure equity in the workplace.
- The materials used in classrooms and more general materials such as cleaning materials are, for the most part, environmentally friendly.
- As part of the Esprit School Group, we provide access to education for people seeking asylum.

Further Areas for Development

- Global citizenship portfolio and/or
- Global-citizenship wall
- Professional development on inter-cultural education
- Eco schools project (in progress)
- Audit of curriculum
- Staff Development Guide to incorporate this


This document was created following the AICS Policy review document.

Works Cited

AICS. "Missions, Vision and Context Statement." AICS Amsterdam International Community School,

Cordaan. Accessed 6 Jan. 2020.

Esprit Scholen. "Esprit Education Manifesto 2018-2022." PDF file, June 2018.

"Global Citizenship.", Accessed 6 Jan. 2020.

"IB Learner Profile." International Baccalaureate Organization, 2013, Accessed 6 Jan. 2020. Map.

International Baccalaureate Organization. "MYP: From Principles into Practice." PDF file, 2014.

"Sustainability." Wikipedia, Accessed 6 Jan. 2020. Surprisingly informative website

UNESCO. "Global Citizenship Education." PDF file, 2015.

Works Consulted

"Sustainability." Wikipedia, Accessed 6 Jan. 2020.