Global Studies

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.

pico iyer

To promote leadership, service and action, we are committed to instilling in our students a clear sense of global citizenship, facilitate their engagement with complex global issues, and help them understand their role in an increasingly interdependent world.

The Global Studies Program at Princeton Day School is comprised of three tenets:

  • globally-focused daily curriculum
  • school exchange programs
  • international travel programs

We believe that through the Global Studies program, our students will in fact extend the PDS mission to its fullest expression by acting, leading and contributing with integrity, respect and compassion on a global scale.

Global Studies Philosophy

At Princeton Day School, we nurture globally competent students, equipped with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to investigate and analyze global issues, recognize perspectives, communicate across cultures and effect positive change in the world.

In the Lower School the overarching theme for the social studies program is communities. Children begin their exploration of the world by studying their families, homes and neighborhoods. As they grow older their studies expand across world cultures. Students learn about different cultural traditions, similarities and differences within and between global communities, the relationship between people and the land, and immigration.

In the Middle School students compare different cultures in the ancient world and analyze their influence on contemporary ideas, customs, beliefs and institutions. Students study current events and search for themes that connect the modern world to that of the past. The social studies curriculum culminates with a course on world history in the 20th century.

Courses with a global focus are a hallmark of the Upper School. Choices include World Studies, Sacred Traditions, Global Literature, International Relations, and Comparative Government, among others. In addition to learning and thinking about the complexities of the modern world in the classroom, Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in and actively engage with global issues. Extracurricular programs including International Action (Interact), Amnesty International, Energy & Climate Scholars, and one of the nation's top Model United Nations teams, are student-led, facilitated by expert faculty advisors.

At PDS, world languages are introduced in the Lower School and are part of the core curriculum in the Middle and Upper Schools, where students may study Spanish, French, Latin, and/or Chinese. World language courses emphasize communication skills, cultural knowledge and global interconnections.