Think Global School
|THINK Global School|
Top to bottom, left to right: THINK Global School (TGS) visits Machu Picchu, Peru; TGS in Quito, Ecuador; Discussing conservation issues with a Guarani tribe member in Misiones, Argentina; Islam discussion with an Imam in Bosnia; TGS in Washington DC; recreating The Odyssey in the Melissani Cave, Greece; Archery lessons in Thimphu, Bhutan; Tea with a maiko in Kyoto, Japan.
|School type||Independent, boarding, secondary School, co-educational|
|Head of school||Jamie Steckart|
|Average class size||10|
|Student to teacher ratio||4:1|
|Medium of language||English|
|Accreditation||Western Association of Schools and Colleges|
|Tuition||US $85,500, sliding scale|
THINK Global School is an independent high school that travels the world, giving students the opportunity to study in twelve different countries over the course of three years. The school is non-profit, co-educational, and non-denominational. The school was created by travel photographer Joann McPike, who contributed the founding donation.
During the 2010-11 school year, the students studied in Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia; and Beijing, China. During the 2011-12 school year, they studied in Cuenca, Ecuador; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Berlin, Germany. The 2012-13 school year included a fall term in Buenos Aires, Argentina; a spring term in Boston, United States; and a two-week intersession in Bhutan. The 2013-14 school year included a fall term in Hyderabad, India, a spring term in Hiroshima, Japan, and a two-week intersession in Tanzania. The 2014-15 school year consisted of three terms: the first taking place in Auckland, New Zealand, followed by terms in Puntarenas, Costa Rica and Athens, Greece. The 2015-2016 school year includes a return to Stockholm, a term in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and will culminate in Florence, Italy. The 2016-17 school year will take place in Peru, Morocco, and Canada.
In 2017, THINK Global School instituted a travel cycle of 12 countries that students cycle through four countries per year. They include, Botswana, India, Japan, Spain, China, Oman, Costa Rica, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Australia, Chile, and Italy. Students that year went through the first four countries of the travel cycle: Botswana, India, Japan, and Spain.
In the summer of 2018, THINK Global School added a second cohort of students, who follow the school’s travel cycle one year behind the original cohort. Each cohort consists of roughly thirty students per year, with students hailing from over twenty countries in each. The cohorts are known as Changemaker Cohort 1 (CM1) and Changemaker Cohort 2 (CM2). For the 2018-19 school year, Changemaker Cohort 1 are traveling through China, Oman, Costa Rica, and Greece, while Changemaker Cohort 2 students are traveling through Botswana, India, Japan, and Spain.
In 2016, THINK Global School received a five-year renewal of its accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Conferences.
The school's mission is "to challenge learners, through firsthand experiences of global travel, to become compassionate individuals who are curious and knowledgeable about the world and motivated to effect meaningful change. To guide us on our journey and help us achieve our goals, we follow a set of core values and promises gathered from nations around the world.."
The school is a U.S.-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit entity and has earned the Guidestar Exchange Seal, an award given to non-profits demonstrating a commitment to transparency.
Language of instruction
The school's core academic program is taught in English, but the curriculum also includes classroom study of Spanish. Moreover, students are expected to acquire a basic vocabulary in the language of each trimester’s host city.
Learning at THINK Global School is centered around the school’s internally developed Changemaker Curriculum, which educates students through a blend of place- and project-based learning. There are no formal classes at THINK Global School, instead students participate in one multidisciplinary teacher-led module each term that draws heavily from social, environmental, historical, and cultural themes and create several personal projects of their own. For the teacher-led modules, students are either partnered up or work in groups to replicate what employees experience in the workforce. Students work with educators at the start of the term to produce a summative assessment that lays out the direction of their project, and then work towards producing that outcome during their eight weeks in country.
All teacher-led modules and projects are tied to THINK Learning School’s custom learning targets, which guide all learning at THINK Global School. The learning targets are a collection of expected outcomes and offer a varied approach to THINK Global School’s multidisciplinary place- and project-based curriculum.
Each teacher-led module and student-driven project is comprised of multiple learning targets, which are tied to psychologist Benjamin Bloom’s theory of mastery learning. As students progress through modules and projects and their skills improve, they will increase in mastery rank. These ranks are novice, specialist, and master. Students are able to focus on the learning targets and subjects that interest them the most, achieving applicable real world skills in the process that will translate beyond high school. To ensure that they are receiving a well-rounded education, each student at THINK Global School must achieve the rank of novice in 70% of learning targets, the rank of specialist in 30% of learning targets, and complete one mastery project.
At the end of each THINK Global School term, each student shares what they’ve learned during a project-based learning showcase. Students present their module findings in front of their peers, educators, and members of the local community, often including members who have taken part in educating students during their time in country.
Reporting at THINK Global School is done quarterly at the end of each term. The school utilizes a narrative report to present a comprehensive picture of a student’s time in country. Students evaluate their own learning outcomes as part of the narrative report as well as receiving feedback from their educators and advisors on their academic and social progress. It is during this narrative report where students learn also learn whether they have progressed in their mastery of skills to novice, specialist, or master.
In addition to traditional classroom courses, the curriculum includes field research, guest lectures, and workshops in each host city, planned in coordination with the school's subject area faculty. These activities are collectively known as "weXplore."
Sample weXplore activities:
- Studied Sweden's Sami culture in Lapland, Sweden
- Recreated Homer's The Odyssey by sailing across Greece
- Sumo wrestling in Tokyo, Japan
- Wagah border ceremony in Amritsar, India
- Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan
- Conservation issues at Iguazu Falls in Misiones, Argentina
- Biology lessons in the Galapagos Islands
- Muay Thai boxing exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand
Sample guest speakers:
- THINK Global School
- SVT News on THINK Global School
- YBC - Young Business Creatives (Stockholm Host School)
- Sydney: MLC (Sydney Host School)
- Beijing BISS International School (Beijing Host School)
- THINK Global School Presents Hans Rosling
- "The World's First Global Mobile High School" By Katherine Gustafson
- "Sweden to host first Think Global School trimester" By Marcus Oscarsson
- "Cameron Becomes A Citizen of the World" By The South Coast Register
- "Life-changing journey for student" By The Press
- "Hiroshima International School and THINK Global School students mix it up in Multiculturalism 101" By Louise George Kittaka
- "The world as a classroom" By Amelia Thomas
- "THINK Global School receives five year WASC accreditation"