Institute for Global Ethics trains first school in Mexico in ethical literacy initiative

Dec 02, 2012

Rockport — Widening its international reach, the Institute for Global Ethics has added its first school in Mexico to its growing community of schools engaged in Ethical Literacy. The American School Foundation of Guadalajara began a three-year process with IGE in October 2012.

“We’re very pleased that the tools and conceptual frameworks from Ethical Literacy are proving useful in an international context. We want students worldwide to be trained and prepared to lead ethically in the 21st century. Our future depends on them,” said Paula Mirk, IGE’s director of education, in a news release.

ASFG’s enrollment is approximately 1,500 students, from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade. Eighty-five percent of the student body is Mexican, 10 percent American and 5 percent from other countries. Founded in 1908, the school offers accredited U.S. and Mexican diplomas, and graduates go on to higher education in the United States, Mexico, and around the world. Since Ethical Literacy is not a packaged “one-size” approach, it is a great fit for this culturally diverse and academically rigorous independent school. The Ethical Literacy approach and process mirrors best practices in teaching and learning by honoring each school’s unique context and the deep experience and expertise of its leadership, faculty and students.

At ASFG, educators will take advantage of the K-to-12 environment to make a focus on integrity a comprehensive dimension of learning. The Ethical Literacy Learning Community is an expanding network of like-minded schools, learning from each other and from the Institute for Global Ethics’ two decades of experience in “providing practical tools to build ethical capacity and cultures of integrity at home, at school, in the workplace, and in society.” Ethical Literacy looks different from school to school, although all are equipped with common conceptual threads from twenty years of thinking and research about skill sets for individuals and about sustainable systemic opportunities for a culture-wide commitment to integrity.

As the Ethical Literacy initiative gets under way at the Guadalajara school, participants look forward to immediate, positive impact. “As an elementary school counselor, I have to talk to students on a daily basis about the decisions they make,” said Patricia Marti. “The Ethical Literacy model will be very useful in the counseling sessions, not to mention its usefulness for myself in solving some of the problems I face as a professional.”

The designated point person leading the Ethical Literacy on-site team agrees: “The training is valuable because it helps me understand more fully the importance of communicating ASFG’s values so that all stakeholders, in turn, can understand that these values are the basis for ethical decision making,” said Julie Villand, director of instructional programs. “It is necessary to systematically train stakeholders on the reasons why decisions are made using the IGE right-versus-right ethical decision process.”

ASFG is also a sister school to the Catherine Cook School in Chicago which itself has been engaged in Ethical Literacy training for the past four years. Representatives from ASFG visited the Chicago independent school in 2009 to see how Cook’s one-to-one laptop program was carried out day-to-day. During that visit, the schools first discussed the possibility of developing a collaborative partnership.

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