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 electronic student portfolio.

Essential Questions are specific to the year's theme and indicate the direction of the school. Essential Questions are used to shape student activities and assessments for units of study.   Students will modify, expand, and limit this list of questions throughout the course of the year.  Students will develop more specific questions to guide their own study throughout the year. 

Essential Questions, "Justice on this Planet", 2010-11 (under construction) 

  • 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?