Moral Education for Global Citizenship
We believe education goes beyond the mere transmission of concepts and skills that can be applied to a defined context or activity. Human beings have both a material and a spiritual dimension that interact in a process of constant evolution of the human soul as it progresses through the physical reality that surrounds us at this stage of our existence. In this sense, our School is committed to helping young people develop outstanding academic, ethical, and spiritual qualities and a clear understanding of their roles in building a better world.
Moral education is the driving force that guides the implementation of our educational goals. It offers a framework in which social and emotional learning and the content from the various disciplines go hand in hand, providing our students with a more systemic view of themselves, the reality that surrounds them, and the multiple ways in which they can generate a positive impact over it.
“We cannot segregate the human heart from the environment outside us and say that once one of these is reformed everything will be improved. Man is organic with the world. His inner life moulds the environment and is itself also deeply affected by it. The one acts upon the other and every abiding change in the life of man is the result of these mutual reactions.” - Shoghi Effendi
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Beginning in Nursery and continuing through Grade 12, the Moral Education for Global Citizenship Department seeks to generate an environment in which students learn to know, love, and serve humanity. In this sense, each section of the School has a specific program that aims to assist students in developing moral capacities and leadership skills to enable them to make unique contributions toward a more integrated and sustainable society.
Habits of the Heart (HH) is the first program in our Moral Education for Global Citizenship curriculum. It guides students from Nursery to Grade 1 in their path to develop spiritual values and virtues and to practice caring for and serving others. Once a week, students work directly with the skills needed to develop healthy habits, spiritual qualities, and describe their reality so they can put into practice small acts of kindness and altruism. In addition, every month, students are introduced to the “Virtue of the Month,” which all teachers use to connect what students are learning in every subject. Virtues Workshops, offered regularly at the Early Childhood Campus, are invaluable opportunities for parents to become involved in this essential part of their children’s education and understand the meaning and relevance of the virtue their children are studying to be able to support them at home.
Our Virtues for Life (VFL) program builds on the capacities developed in the earlier stages, helping Elementary students apply moral values in their personal and community lives and empowering them to implement academic knowledge and the arts in different service activities. The program is designed to help children embrace their role as active contributors to healthy relationships, sustainable living, and peaceful communities. The VFL curriculum offers a set of lessons based on materials developed by the Ruhi Institute that foster the development of spiritual qualities in children while reinforcing social and emotional skills such as respect, responsibility, teamwork, and perseverance.
Students in Grades 6 through 8 are going through a very special period of their lives as they are beginning to shape the attitudes and beliefs they will carry into their next phases of development. The Junior Youth Program (JYP) aims to create the moral structures that underlie students’ decisions and guide their actions as they mature into young adults and become active members of society. In addition to in-class study and discussions, junior youth learn to enhance their power of expression, developing the ability to make positive decisions. Developing consultation and team decision-making skills enables them to plan service activities to improve the community. These small-scale projects are at the heart of the program and serve as a concrete expression of what is possible when ideals are transformed into action.
Beginning in Grade 9 and continuing until students graduate, our High School students continue their path of learning as we guide them in becoming individuals who are connected with the needs of the age in which they live. At this phase, students take part in our Nations in Action (NiA) Program, the last phase of our Education for Global Citizenship. NiA builds on the process started in previous stages, assisting youth in developing capacities that will allow them to promote self- and social transformation and accurately analyze the reality around them. The program encourages students to actively design and implement service projects with a higher level of complexity to impact society in a systematic, organic, and sustainable way.
At all grade levels, our students learn that they can make a difference in the communities to which they belong. In Early Childhood Education, small acts of kindness allow children from a very early age to understand their connection with one another, building on their capacity to transform their attitudes to become individuals who care about one another. In Elementary School, children begin to experience these acts of service in the form of activities that may have a logical sequence and that involve different aspects of their individual and collective learning.
In Middle School, the increasing complexity of these activities begins to take the form of small-scale projects in which students have a certain level of autonomy in defining their area of interest and their specific role in the larger process. When they reach High School, students begin to understand the importance of being systematic and organized with their work so the impact of their actions can be measured and sustained through time, and the knowledge generated through their experience can benefit those who will come afterward.
This organic process allows our students to understand and apply the learning cycle approach—acting, reflecting, understanding, and consulting about each phase of the projects they wish to implement.
For more information on our Moral Education for Global Citizenship projects and programs, please contact us at .
Learning for Fun
Initiated in 2012, this project offers students an opportunity to give English lessons and other educational activities to underprivileged children. Currently, 24 students are engaged in serving children from the ages of 2 to 5 at the Instituto São Judas Tadeu.