Promoting Global Competency and Empathy Through Student Agency

By Victoria Chappell, St Leonard’s College Geography Teacher

After completing my graduate studies of the IB International Education, I developed a strong desire to continue understanding the importance of the role of assessing and developing student’s global competency amongst students and young people.

Through staff-led Learning Forums at St Leonard’s College, I have been able to discuss with other like-minded colleagues, which has fuelled my interest and passion into understanding how we can better foster global understanding and global empathy within young people.

Through teaching Senior Geography both in the VCE and IB curricula I have been observing student behaviour and opinion around levels of global competency and empathy. By allowing increased student agency within assessment tasks, I have witnessed students choosing to research issues that they are passionate about. This might be researching the die out of a specific species of dolphin in Hong Kong, or resource depletion in neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

Both VCE and IB Geography at St Leonard’s provide the scope for reflection on the consequences of human development on our planet, locally and internationally. When students are given agency over their learning, they are making a conscious decision to improve their understanding.

Parents want the best education for their children, one that goes beyond textbooks and exams. At St Leonard’s College, we are not just nurturing academic excellence; we are shaping compassionate global citizens. Our commitment to fostering global competency and empathy through student agency in assessments reflects our dedication to preparing our students for the challenges of the modern world. By empowering them to explore their passions, delve into real-world issues, and develop a profound understanding of diverse cultures, we instil in them the values of empathy and compassion that will serve them well in their future endeavours.

In an era dominated by social media and constant exposure to global events, teaching empathy is more crucial than ever. Our approach not only equips students with knowledge but also nurtures their ability to connect with others on a deep emotional level. By choosing St Leonard’s College, parents are not just enrolling their child in a school; they’re providing them with an enriching environment where they learn the importance of compassion and understanding. Together, as a community, we are sowing the seeds of a brighter, more empathetic future for our students and the world they will one day shape.