Generation Global

Generation Global is an education organization that puts together students from different cultures to discuss issues relating to religion and culture through online video conferences.

By Mr. Coe
Spotlight
May 25, 2018

What is Generation Global?

ggGeneration Global is an education organization that puts together students from different cultures to discuss issues relating to religion and culture through online video conferences.

It was started by British Prime Minister Tony Blair and offers several different kinds of conferences for students. Some are based on United Nations international days and others are based on culture and religion and include topics like festivals, the environment, and wealth and poverty.

Sometimes Generation Global tackles current issues and brings in important experts. One year, for example, we participated in a conference on equality before the law and speakers included Mary Tinker, the free speech advocate who went to court over wearing an armband in support of a truce in the Viet Nam War and the grandson of Cesar Chavez, the civil rights activist and labor leader.

The organization provides a moderator for each conference.

We participate in conferences throughout the year in my World Religions/ Current events class.  We’ve discussed the rights of women and girls with a schooling Ukraine, and hate speech with Muslim school in Britain. Here’s a a clip from our conference about hate speech. And here is a link to the short video about one of our conferences several years ago.

 

Generation Global did a teacher feature of our very own Mr. Coe!

Introducing the Generation Global Teacher Profile: George Coe, West Potomac High School

George Coe is a History and Social Studies teacher, who teaches World History at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia. George has been an active collaborator in Generation Global for many years, and works with other teachers in Fairfax County Public Schools to bring international connections to their classrooms. We spoke with him briefly about his experience:

Where do you use Generation Global resources and dialogue activities?

I use Generation Global in my religion and current events elective class for 11th and 12th graders.

How do you use Generation Global in your teaching? 

Many of the Generation Global topics, like Hate Speech or Understanding Extremism, fit nicely with both my religion and current events classes. Students seem to like these topics because they are so relevant.  Sometimes, especially with partnered video conferences, I can schedule the conferences to fit within the time frame of my class. But other times, usually with conferences with a speaker, I have to schedule them early in the morning and get passes for my students who can attend.

What is a favorite moment of dialogue?

One of my favorite memories of student dialogue comes from a conference about Hate Speech in December last year.  We were talking to community college students in Britain, many of whom were Muslim. Students were talking about the challenges of assimilating into a country whose religion and culture is different. One of my students suggested that despite differences like ethnicity, color, and religion, we still have one unifying identity which is that we are all Americans.  A British Muslim student said that at first they did not think that they would have much in common with their American counterparts. But by the end of the conference, they admitted that their prejudgments were not fair.