Global Classroom

Global Classroom extends the World Affairs Council’s message of global understanding to K-12 classrooms by empowering teachers with the tools, knowledge, and perspectives to engage students in global studies, cultivate 21st century skills, and foster actively engaged global citizens. Our children’s lives will be defined by the world within and beyond our borders and our goal is ensure that the education system reflects this reality. We bring the world to the classroom to ensure that our children are prepared to live, work, and play in a world of diverse cultures, histories, and economies.

photo strip of students


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Professional Development

Global Classroom gives teachers the tools they need to educate students on meaningful international issues through multiple programs including:

  • Professional Development Workshops: Each school year, Global Classroom organizes ten teacher training programs on a variety of relevant international topics. Programs include guest speakers, panelists, hands-on activities, an up-to-date resource packet, dinner, and clock hours. Participants leave with greater understanding of global issues and stronger connections to their colleagues in both the greater Seattle community and abroad. Resource packets are published following every event and posted free online, including STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) specific content. See our calendar for upcoming workshops.
  • Teacher Resources: In the Teacher Resources section of this website, visitors will find numerous global issues resource packets, curricula designed to support K-12 teachers implementing the Washington State social studies Classroom-Based Assessments (CBAs), and additional curriculum materials. These are also valuable to anyone teaching world politics, history, geography, or economics. Packets also include resources to help you integrate global affairs into STEM curriculum.
  • World Educator Award: Each year, the World Affairs Council honors a local educator who has made exceptional contributions in broadening the global horizons of students and colleagues. The recipient of the World Educator Award is an outstanding K-12 teacher who promotes international understanding in the classroom and contributes to the development of resources so that other educators and community members are better prepared to meet a major challenge of our time: to educate youth about world affairs.

Youth Programming

Global Classroom provides students the opportunity to participate in their growth as global citizens through programs including:

  • World Citizen Essay Contest: Each year the World Affairs Council hosts the World Citizen Essay contest for third through twelfth graders. The goal of the contest is to promote discussion among students, teachers, families, and community members about the ways that individuals can effect positive change in the global community.
  • Participation in Community Programs: Students are invited to attend select World Affairs Council Community Programs with policy experts, political figures, and international leaders. For example, several students had the opportunity to meet and ask questions of Tanzania’s President Kikwete in April 2015. 

Educating for Global Competence

The World Affairs Council’s Global Classroom program provides opportunities for students and educators in the greater Seattle region to engage with global issues and become active global citizens. What does it mean to be a global citizen? Why is it important to educate for global competence? The following resources provide in-depth answers to these questions and articulate the thinking that guides Global Classroom’s programming. 

What are Global and International Education? 

“Global education and international education are complementary approaches with different emphases. The integration of both perspectives is imperative to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes needed for responsible participation in a democratic society and in a global community in the twenty-first century.”

Learn more from the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) here

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World

“Contemporary societies are marked by new global trends—economic, cultural, technological, and environmental shifts that are part of a rapid and uneven wave of globalization. The growing global interdependence that characterizes our time calls for a generation of individuals who can engage in effective global problem solving and participate simultaneously in local, national, and global civic life. Put simply, preparing our students to participate fully in today’s and tomorrow’s world demands that we nurture their global competence.”

Read more from the Asia Society here

EdSteps Global Competence Matrix

“Investigate the World, Recognize Perspectives, Communicate Ideas, Take Action”

Download the EdSteps global competence matrix here.

OSPI:  International Education

“International Education seeks to integrate global perspectives in a variety of academic disciplines that include Social StudiesEnvironmental and Sustainability Education, and World Languages. International Education promotes global competence, which is a component of basic education. It provides students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills to understand and prosper in today’s interconnected world.”


For more information about Global Classroom, please contact:
Ryan Hauck, Global Classroom Director
Email or call 206.441.5910