My name is Kyle Clark and I am a teacher from Orillia, Ontario, Canada. For the past 4 years I have been living in Shenyang, China and teaching at the Sino-Canadian Program of Shenyang No.2 High School. This is a Canadian curriculum High School program designed for Chinese students who are interested in studying abroad for University.
I became aware of the Young Masters Programme (YMP) when it was introduced to me by a friend who is currently working for the program. After a few minutes of reading through the website I became very excited to try to the program with my Grade 12 students. One of the key concepts of the Canadian Grade 12 Global Geography course is the importance of sustainable development practices for the future health of the Earth. I decided that including the YMP as a part of my Grade 12 course would be an exciting and unique way of teaching students about sustainable development.
To me, the YMP program is a great way to introduce students to the topic of sustainable development. Given what we now know about the environment and the Earth’s resources, the issue of sustainable development will continue to become a more and more important topic across the world. So far most of my students are around mission 8 in the YMP and the responses I have received from them have been very positive. The YMP provides a range of missions and activities to engage students in learning, as well as providing a global classroom for collaboration and discussion between groups. The program not only does a great job of bringing awareness to many of the environmental issues that are happening around the world, but it also encourages students to think more locally either about their country or even their city. Another benefit of the Young Masters Programme is that it requires students and teachers to reflect on their everyday practices. This is an important feature because oftentimes people do not consider the impact of their own actions.
Based on my experience I would highly recommend the YMP program to any teachers who are covering courses related to world issues. Many high school students do not have much international experience, so the opportunity to read missions, critique missions, and work alongside students from other countries is a great way to increase student awareness and knowledge about the types of issues that other countries are facing. Many of my students have commented that they enjoy the opportunity to read responses from students in other parts of the world and are interested in how the issues or perspectives are different from their own. Furthermore, the missions and activities provided through the YMP are a good mix of reading and research with practical application. The opportunity to go into the community and complete a mission or try something related to the mission is something that my students have really enjoyed. Many of my students have commented on how much they enjoy going to location in their city, taking some pictures, and thinking about that area in a way that may not have considered before.
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