Global Challenge, Global Teaching 2023 – a conversation with high school teachers

February 6, 2023

High school teachers from seven countries gathered on February the 2nd to learn more about the Global Challenge. The Global Challenge is written by hundreds of students every year to learn about food insecurity issues of a specific country. This assignment also allows students to participate in their local Youth Institute, where the best essays are selected. In October, these students will participate in the Global Youth Institute in the United States, where they will learn a lot about food systems with other international students.

Teachers' experiences

Eric Sawatzke from Minnesota (USA) and Greetje Kranenburg from The Netherlands are both high school teachers that already use the Global Challenge in their classrooms. How they deliver this challenge is up to them, and each of them give a unique spin to it.

Eric Sawatzke gave his own twist by making all 200 freshman students write a smaller version of the Global Challenge. He changed the assignment for younger students, so it wouldn't be too hard. If they wanted to attend to the full programme, they would have to write the full 4 page paper.

He refered to a documentary about Borlaug (66 minutes watch time):

Greetje Kranenburg, from the Netherlands, uses the Global Challenge during class time, instead of in the students' spare time. She's used ten weeks (1 lesson on Tuesday of 45 minutes and 2 lessons on Thursday of both 45 minutes). The students were really enthusiastic about the Global Challenge: β€œIn addition to all the knowledge and experience my students have gained during this module, they are now Borlaug Scholar. Who knows what impact this will have on their future?"

"Some students even reached out to the embassy by their own, just because they were that curious!"

Teachers inspired

The meeting, organized by the Youth Institutes of the World Food Prize Foundation in Sweden (SLU), USA (Minnesota) and The Netherlands (Wageningen), was intended to inspire teachers to implement the Global Challenge in their classrooms. Teachers who were already familiar with the Challenge were also able to share their experiences and talk about possible struggles. The event created many opportunities for teachers to implement their Global Challenge in new ways and will stimulate more students to participate in future Youth Institutes! It brought together over 30 participants and overall it was a great succes with many inspiring stories!