International Emerging Leaders Program

at Collegiate School


September 2012

2012 Program Begins with Delegates Arriving in Washington D.C.

Beginning on Friday, September 28, student delegates and educators from China, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa and Spain began arriving at Dulles Airport.  Students  were excited about their visit to The Air and Space Museum and laughed and shared stories over pizza about the journey to the United States. 

But it was the anticipation of greeting delegates in Washington D.C. at Dulles Airport that created excitement and wonder for Collegiate students, Sara Towler, Olivia McClean, Maddy Crews, and Devante’ Shands.  Students were eager to hang-out and talk at The Embassy Suites but Sunday’s early breakfast call had them off to bed early.


Skills of the Future

This summer the Collegiate faculty read Tony Wagner’s Creating Innovator’s book. There is a strong connection between what Wagner calls the seven “must have skills of the future” and the curricular focus of our International Emerging Leaders program. The global student conference is in one sense focused on the global economy and the environment, but in a much more fundamental way the program’s goal is to develop these skills in our students to prepare them to be engaged global citizens.  Wagner’s seven skills are:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
  • Agility and adaptability
  • Initiative and entrepreneurialism
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Accessing and analyzing information
  • Curiosity and imagination

This skill development begins in the fall section of Senior Seminar in which the 16 students who will participate fully in the Emerging Leaders program work together to prepare academically for their essential role in leading this dynamic initiative at Collegiate.  The course examines international relations, and the U.S. role in the world through the lenses of economics, government, and ethics by asking students to take ownership over their learning. 

Recent graduate and Emerging Leaders participant from 2011 Matthew Disler describes the process in this way, “rather than lectures on the cultures of this city or the government of that nation, our teacher challenged us to discover this knowledge for ourselves and then share the information with our classmates.  Each student was assigned a country that would be represented at the conference, and we each gave presentations and facilitated discussions on both general information and newsworthy events; thus, later on, we felt comfortable having meaningful conversations about current affairs with students from other delegations.”

Giving the students’ purpose for their learning and providing support in terms of background context and guidance in tackling complex economic and governmental global issues then becomes the main role of the teacher; a collaborator and guide for student driven classes.

Leading and Learning

For three weeks, the 16 Collegiate seniors participating in the Emerging Leaders conference have spent each Wednesday of their senior seminar class working with drama teacher Jenny Hundley learning and preparing to lead games for breaking the ice with our international guests. They spent some of this time discussing the objectives of working together with their international peers. They also gained practical experience working with the Mrs. Hundley’s eighth grade drama students, practicing their leadership training and welcoming the Middle School students into the International Emerging Leaders experience.

Photography + Critical Thinking

As students from all over the world join our Collegiate community next week for the International Emerging Leaders Conference 2012, the 16 Collegiate senior participants engaged in a photography project which allowed them to consider how those from another country form perceptions of America.

Under the direction of nationally recognized photographer Dean Whitbeck, students were asked to create a visual record by taking photographs of where they live, go to school, shop and play for students from another country. If given the opportunity to have this visual record sealed, sent, and displayed in a school’s library in another country what particular streets, buildings, artifacts or monuments would they include from their “world” to document? Who are the people they would include in their visual record?

The process of photographing their world was about the opportunity to create and control the perceptions and stereotypes that others from another part of the world form about America through visual representation.

Students, working in pairs, photographed their world using simple point and shoot FILM cameras then mounted their images on poster board to present to the class.

What follows are some of the individual photographs and posters from the project.  Amazing work!

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