Hingham High School

Hingham is a suburban public high school that serves approximately 1,200 students in Hingham, MA.

Why Global Education?

“When you are globally aware, you appreciate and want to meet and understand others, you’re curious, and you care about fellow human beings instead viewing them as The Other. Therefore, you’re no longer fearful, but happy. You’ll also do well economically knowing another language and being able to engage with others for employment. But for me, that’s not the biggest motivator. I’ll use it as an argument for others, but on a moral level, it’s the right thing to do as school leaders, to try to move our students towards understanding the world and wanting to improve the world. What I hope to accomplish are really big things. First, have students understand the world and two, have students improve it. I want them to want to improve it. I’d like kids to graduate with deep understandings, really wedded curiosity, and desperate to go out and make a difference. Seeing the problems, wanting to do something about it, and using their own education for the benefit of others. All of that will lead to a happy life.”

– Mr. Richard Swanson, Principal

Key Practices

Shared Mission and Vision

  • Added “global citizenship” and “environmental stewardship” to the school’s core values based on input from leadership, staff, students, and parents, after a decade of developing the school’s global citizenship focus to result in the high school’s Green Team and Global Citizenship Program (GCP) becoming the biggest and most visible student groups.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

  • Developed the GCP to help the school’s culture fully embrace global awareness. The  GCP has two interconnected branches: the club and the Certificate Program. Certificate  requirements include academic achievement in world history, literature, and language courses, globally focused elective courses, community service, a travel requirement (i.e.,  cultural immersion experience) with a reflective writing component, and independent research project, which students display during a science fair with parent, teacher and community involvement.  
  • Engages all teachers in cross-cultural schoolwide activities focused on global issues by  requesting they link a lesson to a common issue.

Collaborative Professional Community

  • Developed the GCP with a small group of teachers, and then passed the GCP advisory position to a teacher leader. 
  • Supports teachers’ global learning by providing professional development through Primary Source and encouraging teachers to travel on student exchange programs. 
  • Invites thought-provoking speakers on meaningful global topics. 
  • Presents teachers as examples of global citizens for students, other teachers, and community members; for example, by facilitating a town-wide Hingham Public Library series that featured teachers who had lived abroad as a Fulbright teacher, Peace Corps volunteer, and a missionary.

Global Connections and Collaboration

  • Provides opportunities for students to travel abroad in exchange programs run through EF Tours.
  • Developed a homegrown, flourishing partnership between the Hingham High School community and a baseball team from Osaka, Japan, over the last three years. Participated in international exchanges as a school leader, including trips to the Dominican Republic and Japan with students and to China through EF with a group of 25 teachers and administrators passionate about global education.

Advocacy and Community Engagement

  • Calls upon the business community to support global initiatives by financially supporting such resources as reusable hydration stations, school speakers, and contributions to Osaka exchange activities. 
  • Partners with local organizations and universities the Boston area to find speakers and other professional learning for educators on global and cultural learning topics.

Equity and Inclusivity

  • Designed the GCP to broaden inclusivity by allowing all students to participate in the GCP club and accepting students into the GCP certificate program based on student interest and essays rather than GPA. 
  • Planned service-learning trips to heighten staff and student awareness of inequities and inspire a desire to take action, while exchange programs have helped take students out of their comfort zones and foster their appreciation for diversity and equity.

Operations and Management

  • Applies for local foundation grants for seed money that support school, teacher, and administrator ideas. 
  • Worked with Faculty Citizens of the World to successfully lobby for more allocated professional development time on global issues.