The far-reaching study found that students' global competence is best developed through volunteering, learning about different cultural perspectives, celebrating cultural diversity, discussing world events and learning how to solve conflicts.
Klara Kuemmerle '19 and Benjamin Gross-Loh '19 were one of 12 international student teams who helped carry out the study, working in collaboration with BB&N Director of Global Education Karina Baum and professional researchers from Research Schools International as well as Harvard Graduate School of Education. Kuemmerle and Gross-Loh oversaw the "Developing International Understanding with an Appreciation for Diversity" portion of the overall study during their junior and senior years at BB&N. In addition to contributing to the final written report, Kuemmerle and Gross-Loh joined the 11 other student teams to present an early draft of findings at a Research Symposium hosted at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in June 2018.
Kuemmerle's and Gross-Loh's research investigated the degree to which members of the BB&N community appreciate diversity and the ways in which this appreciation manifests. The students identified four codes that represented the most prevalent patterns: 1) events celebrating diversity; 2) student-led organizations; 3) sharing perspectives in the classroom; and 4) building infrastructure that supports diversity. Their research summary can be read here. The full range of 12 student team perspectives can be found here.
The full research commissioned by Round Square was extensive, involving the input of more than 11,000 teenagers and 1,900 across 34 countries to find out how global competence can best be taught within schools. The full report, titled "Developing Students' Global Competence: An International Research Study," can be downloaded here.
Round Square—which supports a network of 200 schools in 60 countries—hopes that schools anywhere will be able to use the study's findings as a toolkit of good practice to draw on in their own contexts.
"Being chosen to participate in this research shows that BB&N is seen as a leader in the field of global education," says Dr. Baum, while noting that the study should help advance the drive toward global competence among schools worldwide.
Rachael Westgarth, Round Square Chief Executive, highlighted the importance of schools such as BB&N taking part in research studies that further the wider education agenda: "As a community of schools that spans the globe Round Square has the opportunity to identify good practice approaches that can be adapted and implemented in any classroom. We really want to be able to share our collective experience with any school seeking to develop students' international understanding and build respect for other cultures and perspectives. I think this commitment has been clearly demonstrated by the thousands of teachers and students who contributed their time, experiences, and expertise to this project."