Mission In Action: Three Ways Hamden Hall and GOA Prepare Students for the Future

Since its inception, GOA has prioritized partnering with schools that have established a clear alignment between their mission for students and educators and its own. GOA’s mission - to reimagine learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society - was recognized as a mission-driven opportunity in 2014 by Hamden Hall Country Day School. Hamden Hall, an independent day school in Hamden, Connecticut, serves students in Preschool through Grade 12. Their core values of excellence, support, participation, accountability, and respect support their mission to challenge students to develop a strong sense of personal integrity, social responsibility, and a global perspective, while preparing them for demanding academic programs at the collegiate level. These values and their mission to challenge students were the driving force in partnering with GOA. Hamden Hall students, teachers, and leaders offered three ways GOA helps to prepare students for the future.

1. Expanding Global Perspectives

Kim Porto, Upper School Head and Site Director for Hamden Hall appreciates that when her students take GOA courses, “it significantly expands their global perspective while also preparing them for demanding academic programs. One of our core values is participation. The students learn about all different ways to participate in their GOA classes.” Hamden Hall’s Director of Admissions and veteran GOA faculty member Janet Izzo expanded on this by sharing that the opportunity for students to grow their worldview is an invaluable piece of the experience of taking a GOA course. Through participating in a GOA class, students are prepared for college and careers where they will learn and work with people from various backgrounds and places, Izzo explained.

Graduating senior Marlon appreciates the global network of his GOA courses; he shared, “Most of my classmates are spread out around the country and the world, so communicating for assignments really helped me develop a sense of social responsibility.” Reflecting on this core piece of the Hamden Hall mission, he continued, “I developed a global perspective from interacting with so many different people through reading their responses on discussion boards, to asynchronous assignments, and Zoom calls.”

2. Creating Opportunities for Inquiry and Reflection

As students venture into these new content areas and passions, Izzo noted that the students are learning in small classes, similar to Hamden Hall, where educators are supporting and guiding them; they learn to learn more independently, reflect upon how they learn, and learn to ask better and more informed questions.

Before taking a GOA course, Hamden Hall junior Helen said she did not truly understand the value of asking questions. In her course, Social Psychology, a course goal is to promote a community of inquiry. Helen said, “We are encouraged to ask our peers questions to deepen their thinking and open up a new area of curiosity for them. I have implemented this competency into all of my classes and believe it has really helped me grow as a student.” She added, “GOA also promotes us being responsible for our classmates’ learning in addition to our own. This includes asking questions and helping them generate a new understanding.”

3. Learning Through Interests

At its core, Hamden Hall’s mission includes more than just the knowledge gained in taking a course. “The idea of being able to take a primarily asynchronous, yet interactive and specialized course is what interested me in taking Bioethics,” Marlon explained, adding, “GOA forces students to develop numerous personal skills such as knowing how to work independently and time management…I took this course because I saw it as a way to practice personal skills while also learning about an interesting new topic.”

This combination of personal and academic development is what senior Chloe reflected on from her GOA experience as well. While pursuing a topic of interest for college, Chloe found growth in her confidence and knowledge of the topic at hand. Combining an interest in psychology and a passion for the arts, she enrolled in Positive Psychology, where she could learn about the effects of music on the mind. Having committed to an arts-specific college, she also enrolled in Arts Entrepreneurship which was a wonderful introduction to what she would be studying in college. She shared that her course pursuits “helped me discover my true artistic identity and become more vulnerable in exposing myself to deeper artistic expression…I pushed my own personal boundaries of comfort…this project was the first time I had ever shared my own songs with others, and it was really beneficial for not only improving my skills themselves, but my confidence in music.”

In partnering with GOA, Hamden Hall students have the opportunities to expand their global perspectives, reflect deeply and engage in inquiry-based learning, and learn through their interests. Kim Porto noted, “Overall, we are thrilled with the partnership and encourage as many of our students who can to take a GOA class before they graduate.”

This post is part of our Missions in Action series, which profiles how GOA member schools align GOA’s student and professional learning programs to meet their school’s mission. GOA member school students have full access to our online courses and member school educators can take our professional learning courses for free. Inquire about membership. Are you a GOA member? Want us to profile your school? Email us at hello@globalonlineacademy.org.

Be a part of what's next.
Let's talk.

Contact Us