The convergence of rapid technological advances and exponential growth in the capacities of developing nations suggests that the world is increasingly smaller and more closely connected. To prepare boys to be global citizens in this new world requires the development of collaborative problem-solving and learning skills, a sense of shared responsibility to uphold the human rights of all global citizens, the advancement of cross-cultural literacy skills through respecting and valuing human differences, and the ability to analyze and understand the interconnectedness of world events and global issues both past and present.
Haverford provides a mission-driven education built on its three core values: honesty, respect, and courage. Global Studies, a major focus of the 2010 Strategic Vision, targeted the following additional core competencies:
- Investigate the world beyond his immediate environment with an open mind, acquiring deep content knowledge and understanding beyond his community, region, nation, and culture.
- Recognize his and others’ perspectives and understand the role these differing viewpoints can play in issues of global concern.
- Communicate his ideas effectively with diverse audiences.
- Collaborate through a variety of models and media with peers, neighbors, and global partners to develop practical solutions to real-world problems.
- Translate his ideas and findings into appropriate actions to improve conditions locally and globally.
Adapted from The Asia Society
Andrew Poolman’s passion for travel and appreciation of other cultures started from a young age.
He remembers traveling to England to visit his father’s side of the family and many of those journeys spilled into continental Europe. As a malleable 16-year-old, his soccer team experiences in France and Italy and his participation in the March of the Living in Poland and Israel, instilled the values that guide him professionally and personally today. He graduated from Carlisle High School in Pennsylvania in 1999 and matriculated to Haverford College.
As a student on the other side of the Duck Pond, Andrew never imagined a career in education, let alone several years at the boys’ school down the street. His college years began with an interest in economics, but a summer internship at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange helped him to realize that a career in finance wasn’t for him. Study abroad experiences in Málaga, Spain, and Santiago, Chile, solidified his interest in the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. Andrew graduated with a B.A. in Spanish in 2003 and wrote a thesis “Soccer: A space of political expression in Chile.”
A year of working at the Country Day School – Guanacaste in Costa Rica as a boarding school intern and geometry teacher laid the groundwork for his career in education. Prior to being on The Haverford School faculty, Andrew worked at the Trinity-Pawling School in Pawling, N.Y., for three years, where he taught Spanish and coached soccer, squash, and golf. Between the academic years of 2006 to 2009, he spent four summers earning a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College.
When the time came to move along from the boarding school lifestyle, Andrew felt fortunate to land a job at The Haverford School in 2007. In his seven years as a full-time Spanish faculty member, he taught all levels of Upper School Spanish and enjoyed creating and developing a Spanish 5 elective course “Cine del mundo hispano” (Film of the Hispanic World). In 2010, he was honored with the “Preparing Boys for Life Teaching Excellence Award,” and his lesson “Sports and Spanish” was published in the book 125 Years for the Boys: Best Practices from The Haverford School.
In 2012, Andrew was appointed as Haverford’s first Director of Global Studies. After its first few years of growth, the Global Studies program nowadays offers numerous opportunities for Haverford boys to travel domestically and internationally. Around 40% of boys participate in one of our travel programs before they graduate, a vast majority of middle school boys take their first foray into academic travel in Puerto Rico, and all boys encounter global competency development across the curriculum.
Outside of the classroom, Andrew coached varsity squash for seven years and led his team to two Inter-Ac and MASA regional titles, and a 2nd place finish at the National High School Team Championships in 2016. He has also coached alongside coaches Kevin Tryon, Bill Brady, and Dan Keefe as part of the school’s successful soccer program.
Haverford's Travel-Study programs strive to enhance the learning that takes place in the classroom by integrating authentic travel experiences into specified areas of the curriculum.
Our programs are often interdisciplinary. Upon their return home, participants are expected to share their experiences with the greater Haverford community. Past Travel-Study programs have included:
- Fifth and Sixth Form Elective Course Global Perspectives with Travel to Cuba (2020)
- Language-focused travel for students to China (2019, 2017, 2015), Guatemala (2019), Spain (2016), Nicaragua (2015) Costa Rica (2014), and Italy (2020, 2018, 2014)
- Cross-cultural and curricular deep dives in Russia (2020), Morocco (2019), Cambodia (2018), Cuba (2017), and Greece (2016)
- 8th grade interdisciplinary and service-learning program in Puerto Rico
Our inter-school and international partnerships provide numerous opportunities for virtual classroom collaboration at all grade levels from pre-kindergarten to Form VI through travel and video-conferencing.
In the upper grade levels, these international collaborations result in short-term exchange programs that afford our students the opportunity to directly interact with their international peers. During the reciprocal exchanges, the students attend the partner school and live with the local families.
Examples of global exchange partner schools include:
- Ordrup Gymnasium – Copenhagen, Denmark
- Colegio Americano - Guayaquil, Ecuador
- Christ Church Grammar School – Perth, Australia (Former program)
- Welham Boys’ School – Dehradun, India (Former program)
Ordrup Gymnasium - Copenhagen, Denmark
Our Danish programs began in 2010 with a musical exchange and has evolved into individual exchanges for all students as well as the musicians. A partnership with The Baldwin School and Ordrup Gymnasium in Copenhagen, Denmark, each school reciprocates in hosting students for a weeklong visit each year. The Upper School students engage in class observations, global citizenship seminars, and collaborative projects.
Colegio Americano - Guayaquil, Ecuador
Colegio Americano is located in Guayaquil, Ecuador. An annual exchange program, done in collaboration with our sister school Agnes Irwin, was established in 2016. During the trip, students live with Ecuadorian host families and participate in bilingual classes.
One of the essential qualities of a Haverford graduate is “to respect and understand people of different genders and backgrounds, and live as a cooperative and engaged citizen of the global community.” How can we guide our students to develop this quality in their time at Haverford?
Fostering genuine self-awareness and encouraging an open mind in each boy may be the first steps to achieving this goal. Our young boys must feel comfortable enough in our community to take risks and learn from their mistakes because, as they mature, the challenges will grow in number and in difficulty. Video-conferencing provides opportunities for our students to interact globally, while remaining grounded in the Haverford community. This type of collaborative technology effectively unites students around the world, and it is our job to weave our academic focus with the global classroom.
The faculty is the driving force behind the global learning that happens in our classrooms. These educators can easily provide varying international perspectives and worldly contexts within their disciplines. However, first hand experience outside the traditional classroom provides perspective and experience that pushes students closer to becoming engaged citizens of the world. International exchange programs allow students to learn from and learn with students of disparate points of view at home and abroad. Additionally, authentic and immersive travel experiences that are integrated into the curriculum are the true developmental steps to achieve intercultural capability and global competence.
There exists enormous potential for The Haverford School Global Studies program to flourish in the years ahead. Some of the projects underway or in planning phases at Haverford under the guise of global programs are listed below. While this list is just a sampling, it provides a first glance at the kind of work we are pursuing.
The Class of 1958 Fund for International Understanding
With these roots in mind, the Class of 1958 agreed that their 50th Reunion pledges in 2008 would support an effort to implement programs of international understanding. With their generous gifts, the Class formulated an endowed fund in response to a shared appreciation of its own experience with international visiting scholars in the 1950s.
What does the fund support?
The primary objective of the fund is to give Haverford School students and faculty members the opportunity to travel abroad to create cross-cultural connections and to deepen their knowledge of global issues covered within the School curriculum. Some examples include the Global Exchange Programs, the Travel-Study Programs, and Global Studies Professional Development for Faculty.
The student beneficiaries of this fund reflect on and share their experiences with the greater Haverford community either during a division-wide presentation, and/or via an article in the School newspaper, a blog post on the School website, a retrospective video, or a presentation to classmates and students in other divisions. Each year, up to five students and a qualifying faculty member are chosen as “Severinghaus Global Scholars.”
Director of Global Studies
Teacher, Upper School Spanish