The Global Lens

Preparing our youth for effective participation in local and global affairs demands that we help them understand issues that are shaping life on the planet (e.g., globalization, climate change, food security) and position themselves as contributing actors in local and global spheres. These relevant contemporary global issues are made visible to the public through ubiquitous, daily, albeit fragmented, global news reporting (climate research findings, reports on environmental impacts of trade, etc.).

In this project, we examine the role that quality interdisciplinary study of global issues and deep engagement with global media can play in developing young people’s deep learning and global competence. We seek to develop, test and disseminate an experimental digital learning space where students, educators and the public can learn to integrate multiple disciplinary perspectives in order to examine issues of global significance (migration or climate change), engage world news about these topics critically, and, occasionally, produce their own related reporting.

The Global Lens Project is a collaboration between Project Zero, the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the International Baccalaureate, SESYNC, and the Washington International School. Two teams are currently working in parallel to develop a new curricular framework, a set of teaching tools, and a network of open source learning modules, to be piloted in schools in 2015/16.

The Global Lens Research Seminar—a group comprised of researchers, graduate students and invited experts is conducting a literature review to synthesize current thinking about quality global journalism today, challenges and opportunities that new digital media poses for journalism; and the habits of mind that characterize good practice in the domain. We are also developing a “blueprint for thinking” and a teaching module to engage youth in complex understanding of the local socio-environmental impacts of global trade. The experimental teaching modules will include a collection of news sources, briefings of the issue through a variety of disciplinary lenses, suggested pedagogical moves, and other resources.

The Global Lens Teacher Seminar—a group comprised of Pulitzer educators, Project Zero researchers, and experienced public and private school teachers is developing and testing a series of “global thinking routines” designed to deepen student engagement with journalistic production and nurture global competence.

The Global Lens Project is funded by the International Baccalaureate & the Longview Foundation.