Skip to Main Content

World Studies Extended Essay: Examples of Globally Conscious Students

A guide to the research and writing process required for students completing the IB World Studies Extended Essay.

Examples of Global Consciousness in WSEE Students

Heart and brain - Britannica ImageQuestGlobal consciousness does not refer to a body of knowledge that you need to master. It speaks of more enduring qualities of mind and heart—elements of your personal temperament or character.  On this page you can find examples of WSEE student quotes where they show qualities of global consciousness, in:

Global sensitivity

Global understanding

Global self

Global Sensitivity

Global sensitivity—a sensitivity to local phenomena and experiences as manifestations of broader developments on the planet

Identify topic - Student can recognize and frame topics of local–global significance.

I come from a small town in South India where the main problem is the lack of communication with the rest of the world. We don’t have technology like the internet. This leaves the general population uneducated, in ignorance about people and happenings outside.

 In today’s global information societies this isolation is a serious problem. The information available from a few (questionable) sources leads to stereotyping and labeling of other cultures and races. Religious and cultural intolerance leads to instinctive violence and hatred between groups.

 Availability of information can counter these negative effects and aid understanding, and that is what I studied in my village.

Selective attention - Student notices local–global connections to her topic in everyday life

Every article in the newspaper that relates to education immediately attracts my attention. I talk to everyone I meet about this issue!

Curiosity - Student raises questions and expresses a desire to investigate topic

I studied how the economic crisis of 2008–2009 affected the working of an NGO (Sadhana village). The press reported the effect of the economic crisis was far-reaching and would affect most people in the world. Being an economics student and working with the NGO, I was curious to know how the economic crises of big cities could affect a small NGO operating in rural India. My love for economics made me think about the effect of the recession as a relatively disconnected area. Curiosity kicked in and I decided to do it as my extended essay.

Media useStudent tracks chosen topic in the media, internet and sources

I have kept updated on the debate in Norway, how laws are set into effect and what people think. The media covers this extensively so I have found and learned of new things.

Perspective - Student is attentive to multiple perspectives on the topic

[It is important to] understand and acknowledge the existence of a multitude of different cultures by appreciating their differences, striving to learn about them, and realizing that knowing only one’s own cultures is incomplete.

Action - Student identifies opportunities to act related to the topic

I studied the lives and choices of four rural girls who had moved to the city and were either domestic or sex workers. These girls were not able to go to school. Through my interviews I felt the need to do something for them after I finished my essay. I have begun to talk with the girls' employers to ensure that they can go to their local public school.

Global Understanding

Global understanding — the capacity to think and act in flexible and informed ways about issues of global significance

Rich knowledge base - Student employs relevant disciplinary and interdisciplinary concepts, theories, methods and findings in appropriate and flexible ways

The Holocaust changed our way of thinking forever. We can now see that the Kashmir and Middle East problems too come down to an “us versus them debate.

Understanding dimensions  Student understands multiple aspects of a problem including the global and local dimensions

Access to education will help empower people and help them overcome suppression and the overriding of their rights. Hunger is also linked to lack of empowerment and suppression of masses. All three problems are interconnected.

Understanding perspectivesStudent understands a topic considering multiple and different perspectives including their own

Programs to ensure academic success among aboriginal youth in British Columbia have often failed. To understand why, I needed to go beyond general statistics and ask whether these programs actually met the needs and cultural viewpoints of aboriginal communities. In these communities, storytelling is very important and elders are key in approving youth programs. You can only understand aboriginals’ mistrust when you consider their cultural perspectives more fully.

Effective communicationStudent is able to communicate effectively across disciplinary, cultural, social and geographic barriers and reflect about the importance of effective communication

I feel that if I cannot effectively communicate my research findings [on the experience of Nepalese women] I have not done well on it. Since I am trying to prove that there are the local problems but also a more global issue present and we need to do something about it, effectively communicating that is crucial in gaining people’s belief and support … I don’t want any of what I do or say to be misunderstood or acted upon in a way that I had not intended.

Informed actionStudent has reviewed prior solutions to a given problem to inform her own proposal

Once I understood how clean production technologies could result in more economically and environmentally effective improvements for the factory, I shared my findings with the CEO, who seemed interested in considering some of the improvements I identified. Previous efforts to optimize production had resulted in either costly innovations or greater pollution and inefficiency.

Informed judgmentStudent considers ethical implications of a local–global issue and develops a reasoned position on the topic at hand

Globalization is by far the most important ethical issue of today for me.  This is because it is hard to discern whether world integration is beneficial to our entire civilization or proves a disadvantage for developing nations that cannot keep up with the rapidly changing modern and capitalist societies.

 Globalization connects us. It enables people to travel and interact with others around the world.

 Yet, on the other hand, as we have seen with the economic crisis, problems in a few countries can damage the rest of the world. There are also signs that a few countries are controlling countries.  As a result there are also more incentives to use global connections for the world to move forward on unified ethical goals like eliminating AIDS, poverty and corruption.

Global Self

Global self — a perception of self as a global actor and member of a local community, a city, a nation and humanity, capable of making a positive contribution to the world

Personal engagement - Student shows "ongoing inclination" to think about local–global connections

I am from Japan but have lived in East Africa almost half of my life so I am interested in and attached to major problems like poverty. Constantly realizing the economic differences that exist in the world while I was growing up made me connected to issues in developing countries. So for every problem I see I think about that.

Understanding dimensions  Student understands multiple aspects of a problem including the global and local dimensions

Access to education will help empower people and help them overcome suppression and the overriding of their rights. Hunger is also linked to lack of empowerment and suppression of masses. All three problems are interconnected.

Local–global autobiographyStudent views herself (her identity, biography and future plans) in light of local–global understanding

These are topics that interest me, and which I want to work for in the future. My extended essay is on acceptance of homosexuals as parents, and I lead a religious discussion group on campus. PS I’m heterosexual and agnostic.

Recognizing perspective -  Student can locate his own perspectives (cultural, geographical, social, religious, ethical) and reflect about these in meaningful ways

I aspire to be a globally minded person, able to represent different perspectives and opinions, not only one’s own beliefs. Being open to everybody’s perspectives and not only the ones you have grown up with.

Local–global agencyStudent views himself as local entrepreneur able to act in the local–global sphere

I can make a difference, at least within Norway, by working actively for increasing awareness and acceptance levels. I am considering doing an internship or something similar at Norway’s gay and lesbian association.

WSEE Documents

WSEE Subject Guide and worksheets

RRS (Researcher's Reflection Space)

RPPF (Researcher's Planning and Progress Form) examples:

IB Extended Essay Guide & Timeline

Check the Extended Essay guide for specific guidance on completing the various steps in the research and writing process of the EE, and these documents:

Quick Links

NoodleTools Links

For help push button - Britannica ImageQuest

Tutorials! Learn NoodleTools basics with 60-second videos and labeled screenshots.


Really stuck?  Try...

Get Help

The librarian is always happy to help you!

  In Person - during library hours, 
       8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

  Or Request an appointment

  By Phone - during library hours

  By Email - Susan Trower


West Sound Academy Library | PO Box 807 |16571 Creative Drive NE | Poulsbo, WA 98370 | 360-598-5954 | Contact the librarian