GLOBAL OUTREACH FROM AMERICA’S OLDEST SCHOOL
The Tang Institute at Phillips Academy is dedicated to cultivating and sharing innovative ideas that center around a common inquiry: How do we prepare students for an increasingly complex and interconnected world? Niswarth is a Learning in the World programme within the Tang Institute that annually partners Andover students and faculty with organisations in South Asia. Since 2004, Niswarth has connected Andover students and faculty to Indian organisations like local NGOs such as Akanksha and Teach for India that collaborate with government schools, to private companies like Parthenon that focus on global education, to schools like the Riverside School who incorporate design thinking into projects that serve the needs of local communities.
RAJESH MUNDRA DIRECTOR, NISWARTH PROGRAMME
Niswarth is a flagship, global outreach programme of Phillips Academy Andover, the oldest incorporated high school in the United States. Andover’s 1778 Constitution charges the Academy to prepare “Youth from every quarter” to understand that “goodness without knowledge is weak…yet knowledge without goodness is dangerous.” Niswarth (the Hindi translation for the Phillips Academy motto non sibi or “not for self”) is a service-learning, community based student programme that brings together people and ideas from across the globe.
Many of our schools emphasise the development of global citizenship skills in our curricula. While we can do much in our classrooms to help students to develop an understanding of the value of diversity and perspective-taking, we are often limited in some fundamental ways. What’s happening in the real world? What are the issues that people who are different from our school community face? How do we apply what we know about the importance of diversity and perspective-taking in contexts and with collaborators who are new to us? During the two-week Niswarth programme, students work directly in partnership with students from local Indian organisations to address issues that impact both sets of students.
We now seek to expand the programme to other like-minded schools. Our invitation is for educators and students to join our growing Niswarth network and collaborate on the pedagogy and framework that builds a kind of understanding that connects scholarship and friendship with field experience and internal reflection. Together, we can share resources, develop high quality programmeming and track outcomes that represents the best of global experiential learning.
Issue 5: Global Mindedness