NIST has been supporting students in their desire to complete the Global Citizen Diploma (GCD) since 2015. Recently, however, there has been a push to have a greater number students participate because, we believe, the benefits of going through the process are meant for all. What are those benefits? Well, the main advantage is that students develop the very useful skill of metacognition (awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes ie: thinking about your thinking). Being aware of what you think is an incredibly powerful skill, and it is not always easy to do. To help their peers ‘dive deeper’ into their understanding, the Student Steering Committee of the GCD developed the Metacognition Framework (shown below):
As the text in the middle indicates, it is all about developing new understanding. Most do this by describing an experience, making a connection, comparing it to other experiences, and then exploring other possibilities. Although the process just described is the norm, a student could start from corner of the framework and then link to the other three.
This might sound abstract, and perhaps it is, but it also challenges students to develop another key benefit of completing a GCD post; creating a narrative. It is the story behind the thinking that really brings about a true understanding of one’s thinking…and makes the reading of the posts that much more engaging. Luke, in Y11, wrote about his growth in an Intercultural Communication post that focused on his experience working in his grandparents’ ramen noodle shop in Japan. In his post he shows the significance of how language shapes how he interacted with customers. Anna, also in Y11, spoke frankly about her international education in a Global Understanding post. A self-proclaimed ‘Surfer of the Continents’, she has noted subtle but significant differences in cultures like the understanding of food sharing at the dining table in Asia versus the individual portions found in North America. Hana, in Y10, explored how her switch from gymnastics to dance has really helped her to find happiness in her Wellness post.
If you read one, or all three, of the posts you will get a true sense of what the GCD is all about. These students, and others, have delved deeper into what they have done and have truly grown from awareness of their thinking. That awareness gives them a better sense of self which, in turn, should serve them well in future pursuits, academic or otherwise.