Radhika Misra, Head of English at Our Own English High School – Sharjah (Boys), leads the school’s Generation Global programme. Generation Global is the Tony Blair Institute’s global citizenship education programme for young people aged 13 to 17. Radhika was recently invited to share her best practices in a Generation Global teacher webinar, and here she tells us why encouraging challenging discourse is so important.
I have been leading Generation Global since 2017 and am grateful to Mr Srivalsan Murugan, the Principal and CEO of OOB, for choosing me to lead the programme, whose primary goal is to engage students in discussions that encourage peace and understanding.
Constructive dialogues are at the heart of human connections, and I am thrilled to have connected with Generation Global, which provides me with access to modules that can help rekindle the flame of peaceful discourse and harmony, something that the world so sorely needs right now.
The majority of confrontations in the world occur as a result of our failure to understand other people’s perspectives, as a result of our refusal to give them an opportunity to express themselves, or as a result of our failure to listen to them. When opinions are censored or imposed, conflict is inevitable; yet, when we allow individuals to share their minds freely, they grow to be more tolerant and appreciative of difference.
Generation Global has enabled my students to develop an open mind and an understanding of the value of discussion as a means to achieve unity in diversity. To elevate the genuine spirit of the programme, we have established a Generation Global Club at our school, whose objective is not only to instil the values of a real global citizen, but also to foster the growth of oratory, writing, research and dialogue-making abilities. Members of the club are given numerous opportunities to conduct study on a variety of subjects, with gatherings addressing issues such as wealth, charity, poverty, the power of perception, peace and reconciliation.
The GG Club develops students’ ability to perceive the enormous variety of cultures and traditions with an open-minded and unbiased perspective on issues of global peace and security, thereby assisting in the development of students’ personas as responsible global citizens.
The club provides a forum for students to engage in healthy, productive and collaborative dialogue and discussion on some of the most contentious global issues, which aids in the amalgamation of students’ different cultural visions and traditions from across the world.
Over the last five years, my students have participated in several video conferences in English, Hindi and Arabic with students from around the world. After each, they feel enriched by the authentic stories shared. OOB students have been recognised for their ability to facilitate dialogue and have served on the GG Student Advisory Groups. They’ve won Generation Global photography competitions and made an impression on the ‘Generation Global Ultimate Dialogue Adventure’, where they share their ideas via chat. In 2018, OOB received the Generation Global Outstanding Award, and a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to me for my contribution to the development of global citizens.
The benefits of the club go beyond an ECA, and I frequently incorporate Generation Global materials into my teaching – for example, by addressing social concerns. I usually begin a lesson about Women’s Rights by discussing with my students how gender discrimination occurs around the world, and I assign them research projects about how gender discrimination affects the Sustainable Development Goals. Generation Global has taught my students to be more tolerant and understanding – a culture that I believe is worth spreading.
If you’d like to start a Generation Global club at your school or want further information about the programme for students, please feel free to contact Radhika on email@example.com.
Radhika Misra is the Head of the English Department at Our Own English High School – Sharjah (Boys). In addition to teaching English, she is in charge of Generation Global at her school. A recipient of the GEMS Best Teacher Award 2019, Ms Radhika was also felicitated with a Certificate of Appreciation by the Consulate General of India, Dubai, for her exemplary contribution in imparting quality education to students. In 2018, OOB was honoured with the Generation Global Outstanding Award, and Ms Radhika received a Certificate of Appreciation for her exemplary contribution to nurturing global citizens.