IGSS Essential Questions, Skills, and Habits of MInd

IGSS Skills and Habits of Mind

Through their work in New Trier's Integrated Global Studies School, students will: 

  • experience learning that combines traditional academic disciplines and is grounded in relevant and current global issues.
  • develop leadership by assisting in the development of the curriculum and small-school administration.
  • create and implement programs of study for themselves and their peers.
  • develop autonomy and intellectual confidence through self-directed learning.
  • understand, through study and application, how individuals impact the world through agency and advocacy.
  • develop a sense of community through collaboration, consensus-building, and conflict resolution.
  • develop and refine personal and societal ethics by applying these ethical codes to contemporary problems.
  • apply critical thinking skills of the social and physical sciences and arts and literature to diverse global problems.
  • experience the visual and performing arts both as vehicles of individual meaning-making and as conduits of collective cultural expression.
  • utilize technology to facilitate their inquiry and communicate their learning to diverse audiences.•become proficient with multiple literacies (e.g. numeracy, visual, speaking, listening, media, information) and research techniques.
  • display self-awareness and self-advocacy through periodic learning exhibitions and the development of an ongoing portfolio and exhibitions of learning.

examples of yearly essential questions

Essential Questions, "Justice on this Planet", 2010-11 

  • How do we define justice, as individuals and socieities?
    How have these definitions been developed over time?  Is there a universal code of justice?
  • How do literature and the arts express the complexity and difficulty in our attempts at achieving justice? 
  • How are theories and philosophies of justice applied to the environment?  To economics? To political systems?
  • How have key population movements, economic developments, and policy decisions shaped the world around us, and what important lessons can we learn and apply from historical experiences?
  • What avenues for agency and efficacy are available to 21st-Century citizens and how can students use these opportunities to become global actors?

Essential Questions, "Our Relationship with The Planet", 2009-2010

  • In what ways do scientific and technological advancement both protect and threaten the integrity, diversity, and continuity of the biosphere?
  • What current beliefs and values must be revised, and which institutions changed for man-earth relationships to be sustainable at high levels of economic and environmental quality?
  • What positive and negative effects do modern economic, political, and social belief systems have on our relationship with the earth? 
  • How can modern societies reconcile their need for economic growth and environmental quality?
  • What strategies are available and effective in modifying current practices that are detrimental to the environment?
  • What are the key interrelationships between science, the environmental movement and public policy?
  • How do communities, organizations, and governments develop environmental policies?
  • How do literature and the arts express the complexities of human relationships with nature? 
  • How have key population movements, economic developments, and policy decisions shaped the world around us, and what important lessons can we learn and apply from historical experiences?
  • What avenues for agency and efficacy are available to 21st-Century citizens and how can students use these opportunities to become global actors?