The EARCOS Triannual JOURNAL A Link to Educational Excellence in East Asia
Featured in this Issue EdThought How to Grow Mindfulness in Your School Stories that Move Toolbox Against Discrimination Student Voices Fault Lines Pastiche
From the Executive Director The EARCOS JOURNAL The ET Journal is a triannual publication of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools(EARCOS), a nonprofit 501(C)3, incorporated in the state of Delaware, USA, with a regional office in Manila, Philippines. Membership in EARCOS is open to elementary and secondary schools in East Asia which offer an educational program using English as the primary language of instruction, and to other organizations, institutions, and individuals. Objectives and Purposes * To promote intercultural understanding and international friendship through the activities of member schools. * To broaden the dimensions of education of all schools involved in the Council in the interest of a total program of education. * To advance the professional growth and welfare of individuals belonging to the educational staff of member schools. * To facilitate communication and cooperative action between and among all associated schools. * To cooperate with other organizations and individuals pursuing the same objectives as the Council. EARCOS BOARD OF TRUSTEES Margaret Alvarez, President (ISS International School) Stephen Cathers, Vice President (International School Suva) Andrew Davies, Treasurer (International School Bangkok) Barry Sutherland (International School of Phnom Penh) Saburo Kagei (St. Mary’s International School) Kevin Baker (American International School Guangzhou) Laurie McLellan (Nanjing International School) Ronelda Capadona (Chiang Mai International School) David Toze, Past President (International School Manila) Office of Overseas Schools REO:
Larry Hobdell (ex officio)
EARCOS STAFF Executive Director: Assistant Director:
Edward E. Greene Bill Oldread
Elaine Repatacodo Ver Castro Robert Sonny Viray Rod Catubig Jr.
Giselle Sison Edzel Drilo RJ Macalalad
Editor: Bill Oldread Associate Editor: Edzel Drilo East Asia Regional Council of Schools Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan Biñan, Laguna, 4024, Philippines PHONE: 63-02-697-9170 FAX: 63-49-513-4694 WEBSITE: www.earcos.org
Welcome to the first issue of this year’s EARCOS Tri Journal. Within these pages, you will find, as always, a rich collection of ideas, best practices, creativity, and inspirational stories. As the journal devoted to the professionals and students of the EARCOS region, how could one expect anything less? Please remember that this journal depends on you. It is vitally important that you take time to share your insights, your ideas, your questions, challenges--and solutions—with colleagues across the region. This journal is just one of many ways that EARCOS provides member schools with opportunities to connect and learn together. Speaking of learning together, this is a perfect moment to highlight five other EARCOS initiatives that are coming your way in the months ahead. First, in mid-September EARCOS, in partnership with the Council of International Schools, will host the Fifth Annual University Admissions/Counseling Fair. The event brings together over 100 university admissions representatives from Europe, the USA, Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and Canada. The weekend event also attracts well over 100 international school counselors—not to mention the nearly 800 high school students (and their parents) who will be gathering information from the university representatives. In late October, the 51st Annual EARCOS Leadership Conference will be held at the gorgeous Sutera Harbor Resort in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Between the 14 pre-conference sessions, three inspirational keynote speakers and 90 workshop sessions (many led by EARCOS school leaders), this year’s ELC promises to be one to remember. If you haven’t registered yet, please don’t delay as space is at a premium. In late March, the Bangkok Shangri La will be the host site for the Annual EARCOS Teachers’ Conference. This year’s ETC, with a theme of A Clear Focus for the Future, will itself focus on the STEM disciplines as well as the Social Studies, Global Issues, and Service Learning. Be sure to mark your calendars for March 26 to 28 for this one! Each April many EARCOS school leaders make their way to an annual retreat for a relaxing weekend of shared inquiry, camaraderie, a bit of soul searching and support. This event focuses on current issues and a host of topics of vital interest to the Heads, while at the same time offering opportunities for quiet reflection on one of the most challenging jobs in education—the international school headship. This year’s retreat will be held in Luang Prabang, Laos and will be led by Dr. Shabbi Luthra of Consilience. The fifth EARCOS ‘event’ that supports learning together is not one event but actually 46 separate events that will take place across the region and across the entire school year. Each year, EARCOS awards numerous grants to schools to support a workshop on a topic they wish to explore together. The workshops are also open to others in the region who may wish to learn more about the topic. The EARCOS Weekend Workshops are truly unique to this organization and reflect a deep commitment to ‘giving back’ to the schools that make EARCOS the stellar regional organization it has become. As the incoming Executive Director, I certainly cannot take credit for any of these great opportunities. We must recognize that these five stellar initiatives, hallmarks of EARCOS, are the legacy of my predecessor and dear friend, Dick Krajczar. Dick’s untimely passing, just months before his planned retirement, has left a void in our hearts and in the world of international education. It falls to each and every one of us, collectively across this dynamic region, to celebrate Dick’s gifts to all of us. In doing so, it is our shared responsibility to redouble our efforts to learn together, talk together and walk together as we rethink and re-create the schools our students deserve, and require, as they head into the uncertainties of tomorrow. I wish each of you a wonderful start to the 2019-2020 academic year. Please enjoy the first issue of your journal. I look forward to meeting many of you in the months ahead and to seeing your ideas in the pages of an upcoming issue. Please let us hear from you! With all best wishes, Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. Executive Director
In this Issue
Welcome to EARCOS - New Schools - New Heads - New HS, MS, ES Principals - New Early Chilhood Principals - New Associate Institutions - New Individual Members
Global Citizenship Awardees
Curriculum Initiatives - Developing Gender Inclusive Practices in International Schools - Eat Right, Exercise, Post your Language Objectives - Concordia Shanghai Students Solve Real-World Challenges Using Design Thinking - How STEAM at Northbridge helps students learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives (see page 35)
EdThought - How to Grow Mindfulness in Your School
Action Research - When it Comes to Close Reading, Should Students Use Those Devices for Notes, or Not? - Student Internet Use and Academic Outcomes
Creative Writing - My Name is Jane
Stories that Move, Toolbox against discrimination
Parent Outreach - Building Community of Readers Reaching Out to Parents
Green & Sustainability - Making Sustainability Sustainable – the Formation and Fostering of Organizational Habits
Student Voices - Fault Lines Pastiche - Fault Lines Reflection
Campus Development - Jakarta Intercultural School - Nanjing International School - The Story of Space
Community Service - SMIS Students Participate in Habitat For Humanity’s Global Village Program - The DLSK Club at the International School of Ulaanbaatar - Seoul Foreign School celebrates 20 Years in the North
Biosphere Stewardship Camp Program
ETC Advisory Committee Meeting
Inside back cover: Elementary School Art Gallery Outside back cover: List of Professional Learning Weekend SY 2019-2020
The EARCOS Action Research Grant
In an ongoing effort to implement the EARCOS Strategic Plan, specifically Strategy E, to conduct, communicate, and archive relevant data and research to identify and enhance exceptional educational practices, grants will be made available to encourage our teachers, administrators, and professional staff to conduct action research to improve educational practices for the purpose of enhancing student learning. Action research is a reflective process, conducted in the school setting, to solve a real problem, or to improve and enhance the instructional process. This research may be undertaken by an individual, or by several people collaboratively. It is our belief that the results of such research will impact not only the researchers’ practices but also those of others with whom they share their findings. To that end, grantees will be expected to publish their findings, which will be made available to all EARCOS members on the website. Some researchers may elect to present their work at a subsequent ETC, ELC, or publish it in the EARCOS Journal. Please visit the EARCOS website for more information. www.earcos.org Action Research proposals are due to the EARCOS office by February 1, 2020
Contribute to the ET Journal
If you have something going on at your school in any of the following categories that you would like to see highlighted in the Fall issue please send it along to us: Faces of EARCOS - Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Service Learning Campus Development - New building plans, under construction, just completed projects. Curriculum - New and exciting curriculum adoptions. Green and Sustainable - Related to campus development or to curriculum efforts. Community Service Student Art - We showcase outstanding student art in each edition. (E.S. Fall Issue, M.S. Winter Issue, H.S. Spring Issue) Student Writing Press Releases Thank you for your help in allowing us to highlight the great things that are going on in EARCOS schools.
Fall 2019 Issue 1
Welcome New Schools >> Canadian International School Bangalore Chinese International School Manila International Bilingual School of Hsinchu International School Dhaka
Dr. Ted Mockrish, Head of School Timothy Boulton, Head of School Roger Lee, Principal TJ Coburn, Director
www.cisb.org.in www.cismanila.org www.ibsh.tw www.isdbd.org
Welcome New Heads >> American International School Hong Kong American International School,Vietnam American International School of Guangzhou Bandung Independent School British School Manila Canadian International School of Hong Kong Garden International School Kuala Lumpur Global Jaya School Independent Schools of Riau International Bilingual School of Hsinchu International Community School - Singapore International School of Busan International School of Kuala Lumpur International School of Kuantan International School of Myanmar International School of Phnom Penh K. International School Tokyo
Anita Simpson Barry Sutherland Kevin Baker Amy Bowley Martin van der Linde Jane Camblin Robert Stitch Cory Carson Julie Hunt Roger Lee JP Rader Simon McCloskey Rami Madani Richard Carroll Ben Marsh Gareth Jones Kevin Yoshihara
KIS International School Korea International School Jeju Korea Foreign School Medan International School North Jakarta Intercultural School Nishimachi International School Osaka International School Prem Tinsulanonda International School Punahou School Singapore American School Stonehill International School Tianjin International School Tokyo International School Tohoku International School United World College of South East Asia Yangon International School
Paul Johnson Shawn Vento Birol Inaltekin Darren Acomb Gerald Donovan Karen Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Neill Myles Jackson Rachel Keys Michael Latham Tom Boasberg Brian Brumsickle Ryan Witt Daniel Reynolds Nicholas Schirmer Carma Elliot Mike Livingston
Welcome New High School Principals >> American School of Bangkok, The Alissa Kordprom / Brody LaRock Asia Pacific International School Meg Hayne Berkeley International School Ashley Peek British School Manila Rebekah Russell Canadian Academy Mark Frankel Canadian International School Bangalore Don Macmillan Canadian International School of Singapore Jeffrey Smith Canadian International School, Tokyo Mike Mahon Chinese International School Manila Juan Jose Del Alamo Christian Academy in Japan Tanya Hall Concordia International School Shanghai Aaron Chowning Gyeonggi Suwon International School Tony Cartmel Hong Kong Academy Teresa Tung International Bilingual School of Hsinchu Yi Chi Chu International Christian School - Pyeongtaek Collin Thornton International School Dhaka Ildiko Murray International School of Kuantan Richard Carroll International School of Qingdao Randy Attaway 2 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Oberoi International School Osaka YMCA International School Prem Tinsulanonda International School Seisen International School Shanghai SMIC Private School Shen Wai International School Shenzhen Shekou International School Singapore American School Stamford American International School Stonehill International School Suzhou Singapore International School Taipei American School THINK Global School Tianjin International School Yew Chung International School of Qingdao Yew Chung International School of Shanghai Yogyakarta Independent School
Anthony Wright Marc Mesich Jeffrey Marquis Alex Lee Darshana Hegde Jennifer Hager Phil Rogers Stephen Ly Ocki Fernandes Joe Lumsden Ms. Lucy Burden Andrew Lowman Adnan Mackovic Rico Corporal Pierce Wise Dusten Kent Kimberly Kingry
EARCOS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2019 OCTOBER 31 - NOVEMBER 2, 2019 KOTA KINABALU, SABAH, MALAYSIA
“Nurturing Growth and Building Relevance” The East Asia Regional Council of Schools is excited to invite you and your administrative staff as delegates at the 51st Annual EARCOS Leadership Conference (ELC2019) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia scheduled for October 31 to November 2, 2019. We have a host of excellent keynote speakers and workshop presenters. We think the conference will prove to be professionally stimulating and will provide you with an opportunity for networking and building camaraderie.
Welcome New Middle School Principals >> American School of Bangkok, The Alissa Kordprom / Brody LaRock Brent International School Manila Benjamin Josephson Canadian Academy Mark Frankel Canadian International School Bangalore Regis Cuadrillier Canadian International School of Hong Kong Tim Kaiser Canadian International School of Singapore Jeffrey Smith Canadian International School, Tokyo Mike Mahon Chadwick International School Jacqueline Cameron Concordia International School Hanoi Stephen Conroy Hong Kong Academy Kristen Feren Hong Kong International School Brad Latzke International Bilingual School of Hsinchu Yi Chi Chu International Christian School - Pyeongtaek Collin Thornton International School Dhaka Ildiko Murray
International School of Kuantan Kaohsiung American School Korea International School-JeJu Campus Osaka YMCA International School Shanghai SMIC Private School Shen Wai International School Shenzhen Shekou International School Stamford American International School Taipei American School Thai-Chinese International School Vientiane International School Yew Chung International School of Qingdao YK Pao School Yokohama International School
Richard Carroll Barnaby Payne Patrick Carroll Marc Mesich Bethany Bates Jennifer Hager Phil Rogers Elizabeth Durkin Josh Budde Michael Purser Michael McMillan Pierce Wise Caroline Xu Liz Andrews
Welcome New Elementary School Principals >> American School of Bangkok, The Alissa Kordprom / Brody LaRock Canadian International School Bangalore Rekha Sachdej Canadian International School of Singapore Angela Henderson Canadian International School, Tokyo John Jamieson Canggu Community School Ben Voborsky Chinese International School Manila Mylene Pastor Garden International School Kuala Lumpur Nicola Nelson Gyeonggi Suwon International School Michele Lajoie Hangzhou International School Julie Terry Hong Kong International School Geoff Heney International Bilingual School of Hsinchu Yi Chi Chu International Christian School - Pyeongtaek Collin Thornton International Community School - Singapore Tina Michels-Hansen International School Dhaka Thomas Van Der Wielen
International School of Kuantan International School of Qingdao Kaohsiung American School Lanna International School Thailand Marist Brothers International School Nishimachi International School Osaka YMCA International School Prem Tinsulanonda International School Raffles American School Saint Maur International School Shanghai SMIC Private School UWC Thailand International School Wells International School - On Nut Campus Field trip to an Yongsan International School of organic Seoul farm
Welcome Early Childhood Principals >> Bangalore International School Canadian International School of Singapore Gyeonggi Suwon International School Shanghai SMIC Private School Shen Wai International School St. Michaels International School Surabaya Intercultural School Suzhou Singapore International School Tianjin International School United Nations International School of Hanoi Yew Chung International School of Beijing
4 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Shibani Murlidhar Angela Hollington Michele Lajoie Tway Ye Anna Laurenson Lauren Brownen Lisa Bridges Carmen Murray SuJung Ham Nitasha Chaudhuri Maryanne Harper
Richard Carroll JoAnna Kolbe Jessie Coyle Sarah Reynolds April Wuest Kalpana Rao Dwayne Primeau Justin Jarman Anita McCallum Rachel Forbes Danielle Maâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;u Kurtis Peterson Sean Snider Brian Marshall
Welcome New Associate Institutions >> APD Book Services Sdn Bhd Agent for Publishers/Book Distributors
Can fish climb
Educational Executive Coaching, Training and Consultancy
Dawsons Music Ltd
Equipment and Design Services for Music and the Performing Arts in International Schools
Houghton Street Consulting - Interntional Insurance Solutions
Provides results-oriented improvements to schools in the onboarding and relocation of new hires
Jungle Lore Student Expeditions Pvt Ltd Service and/or Specialty: Educational Tour Operator
Service and/or Specialty: Computer Based Security Awareness Training and Phishing Simulation Testing
Rephouse (M) Sdn Bhd
Manufacturere of Rubber Sports, Fitness, Recreational and Commercial Flooring
Richmond Associates Asia Pte. Ltd
Executive Search Services Focusing on Fundraising Professionals
SkoolSpot Inc. Insurance
Service and/or Specialty: Intergrated Facility Management Services
Teach-Now Graduate School of Education
Service and/or Specialty: Teacher Preparation Program leading to a full, state issued license and Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in Education Degrees
Service and/or Specialty: Online university destinations platform
Vista Higher Learning
Educational Textbooks & Resources
Welcome New Individual Members >> Lisa Bridges, Surabaya Intercultural School
Ms. Michele Lajoie, Gyeonggi Suwon International School
Adam Broomfield, The International Montessori School, Hong Kong
Anna Laurenson, Shen Wai International School
Lauren Brownen, St. Michaels International School
Jayne Lund, Canadian International School of Thailand
Nitasha Chaudhuri, United Nations International School of Hanoi
Ms. Shibani Murlidhar, Bangalore International School
SuJung Ham, Tianjin International School
Carmen Murray, Suzhou Singapore International School
Maryanne Harper, Yew Chung International School of Beijing
Tway Ye, Shanghai SMIC Private School
Angela Hollington, Canadian International School of Singapore Fall 2019 Issue 5
Richard Krajczar’s Legacy at American Community School In honor of the memory of Dr. Richard Krajczar, The American Community School of Amman has named their current Sports & Cultural Center to “The Dr. Richard Krajczar Activity Center”. Dr. Krajczar (affectionately known as Dr. K) served as the Superintendent of ACS from 1979-1989 and dedicated these years to the growth and success of ACS.
Dr. Dick Krajczar’s Legacy at ACS Dr. Dick Krajczar had a significant impact on the growth and development of ACS during his tenure as Superintendent from 1979-1989.Thirty years after he departed ACS, we can still see the footprints he left behind. Dr. Krajczar facilitated the school’s first accreditation visit, obtained proper licensing for the school through the local Ministries and Municipalities, he worked with the government to allow Jordanians to attend ACS, he held the first graduation ceremony at the ancient Roman city of Jerash where the tradition holds till this day, and he broke ground and worked on the planning and construction of the Athletics and Fine Arts center. Dr. Krajczar was also a long-standing member of NESA and served as their President for many years. Before his arrival, the ACS mascot was the Falcon and the school colors were blue and white. At that time, Dr. Krajczar was a founding member of the EMAC activities league and there were three other schools in the conference with the same mascot and colors. He somehow learned that when the American International School in Kabul had shut down due to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, all of the school’s sports equipment was boxed and stored. He worked with the US State Department to have all of the uniforms, equipment, etc. from Kabul shipped to Jordan.Their mascot was the Scorpion and their colors were black and gold. And this is how ACS Amman came to become the home of the Scorpions, represented by black and gold! Given his contribution to ACS, and to international schools over the last 40 years, the ACS Board of Trustees has agreed to name the facility he helped build in his honor. #ACSproud
ISS Announces Leadership Changes in Asia-Pacific Office International Schools Services (ISS) of Princeton, New Jersey, began a relationship with Shekou International School (SIS) in 1990. Over the past three decades ISS has nurtured what was once a small school into what is now a thriving ‘ISS School of the Future!’ Today ISS remains involved in many aspects of the SIS school life. From providing the latest instructional materials to the most current staff development, assisting in the hiring of top tier teachers and in guiding the schools’ expansive facilities renaissance. ISS insures that the quality of learning experience is unmatched in the Shenzhen area.
are so grateful for all of his contributions.” Greg Smith, Head of School at Shekou International School (SIS), Shenzhen, China, will assume the leadership role for the ISS Asia-Pacific Office when Dr. Cox steps down. Smith will also continue to serve as Head of School for SIS. “Over the past year, Greg has solidified our efforts in the Asia-Pacific area, built relationships, and led some impressive initiatives at SIS,” said Duffy. “His dual role will benefit SIS, the ISS Asia Pacific Office, and most importantly the communities we serve in Shenzhen, China and the greater Asia Pacific region.”
Effective in the 2019—2020 academic year, ISS will change its leadership structure in the Asia Pacific Office. Dr. Dale Cox will step down from the ISS VicePresident, Asia Pacific role to assume a faculty position at Utah Valley University in the U.S., where he will help create a new graduate program in educational leadership.
To support these changes, a Deputy Head of School will be added to SIS’s administrative team, starting in the 2020—2021 school year. For the 2019—2020 school year, Bob Stearns, who previously served as interim Head of School for SIS, will become interim Deputy Head of School, ensuring that the transition to this new leadership structure is seamless.
Liz Duffy, President of ISS, commented, “I have deep respect for Dale as an educator and as a person. Under his leadership, the ISS AP Office has flourished and we
For more information on ISS, visit www.iss.edu or on SIS, visit www.sis-shekou.org.
6 EARCOS Triannual Journal
World Class Ski and Field Trips for Leading Schools around the World Verbier Switzerland
T +41 27 775 35 90 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; email@example.com
Fall 2019 Issue 7
Global Citizenship Awardees >> List of Global Citizenship Award 2019 Winners
This award is presented to a student who embraces the qualities of a global citizen. This student is a proud representative of his/her nation while respectful of the diversity of other nations, has an open mind, is well informed, aware and empathetic, concerned and caring for others encouraging a sense of community, and strongly committed to engagement and action to make the world a better place. Finally, this student is able to interact and communicate effectively with people from all walks of life while having a sense of collective responsibility for all who inhabit the globe.
Access Int’l Academy Ningbo Alice Smith School American Int’l School Hong Kong American Int’l School of Guangzhou American School in Taichung Ayeyarwaddy International School
Seyedeh Sara Ahmadi Nishaboori Teresa Habib Meriggi Easther Tse Ting-Ting SORASIT Jennifer Yang Sean Ko Win Mya Thet Htwe
Bali Island School Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Bandung Independent School Bangkok Patana School Beijing City International School Berkeley International School Brent International School Baguio Brent International School Manila Busan Foreign School Busan International Foreign School
Kiara Brown Beltra Chong Arif Ashworth Chawin Asavasaetakul Allan Hsiao Hinako Kuramochi Lawrence Konrad Quizon Nadia Azizi Putri Anastasia Kim SeNa Julsdorf
Canadian Academy Canadian Int’l School Bangalore Canadian Int’l School of Hong Kong Cebu International School Chatsworth International School Chiang Mai International School Chinese International School Concordia Int’l School Shanghai
Ayano Shirakawa Berenice Lecocq Luca Thompson Ana Luisa Laplana Thi Phuong Thao Pham Wooyoung Keum Emily Stewart Claire Hou
Daegu International School Dalat International School Dalian American International School Dominican International School Dulwich Int’l High School Suzhou Dwight School Seoul
Hong Kong Academy Hong Kong International School Hsinchu International School
Mathea Sobejana Weilyn Chong Anson Wu
IGB International School Int’l Christian School - Hong Kong Int’l Community School - Bangkok International School Bangkok International School Ho Chi Minh City International School Manila International School of Beijing International School of Kuala Lumpur International School of Phnom Penh International School of Qingdao International School of Ulaanbaatar International School Suva ISE International School ISS International School
Clarissa Teh Sum Yi Leung Bhumi Patel Montawan Chairatchaneeboon Yena Seong Razel Marie Suansing Hannah Graham Isabella Jokela Angela Wei Anna Li Khishigjargal Tuvshinjargal Wai-Makare Sorby Jiyeon Suh Yen-Ju (Ruby) Chen
K. International School Tokyo Kaohsiung American School KIS International School Korea International School Korea Int’l School - JeJu Campus Korea Kent Foreign School Kunming International Academy
Noa Helmer Alice Wang Sarah Saleem So Hyun (Sophia) Ahn Taemi Kim Eunice Choi Solon Johnson
Samantha Toledo Yuuki Horie Xiaoqiao Wang Ian Ko Kimmy Ma Tarin Wenger
Lanna International School Thailand
Bonita Natakann Burford
Marist Brothers International School Medan Independent School Mont Kiara International School Nagoya International School
Kiichi Nagamine Angeline Lee Taine Te Huki Kotomi Tanaka
Ekamai International School
Faith Academy, Inc.
Nanjing International School NIST International School Northbridge Int’l School Cambodia
Felicity Crook Hannah Bickel Vinika Ngy
Osaka International School
QSI International School of Shenzhen
Ruamrudee International School Saigon South International School
Pisa Leelapatana Penny Pham
Garden Int’l School Kuala Lumpur Serena Lee Gyeonggi Suwon International School Imyeong (Alice) Park Hangzhou International School Hillcrest International School Hokkaido International School
8 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Natalia Stubbs Kevin Kosasih Saiyka Chowdhury
Saint Maur International School Mahito Masuda Seisen International School Sarah Junko Atanacio Seoul Foreign School Jason Tae-Young Whang Seoul International School Joshua Hahn Shanghai American School - Pudong Campus David Lin Yi Lu Shanghai American School - Puxi Campus Luke Gregory Heald Shanghai Community Int’l School - Hongqiao Campus Shin (Cindy) Chen Shanghai Community Int’l School - Pudong Campus Thalia Chelouche Shen Wai International School Bhumija Santosh Sakpal Shenzhen Shekou International School Ye Seo (Kelly) Yu Singapore American School Evelyn Zhang St. Marys International School Aaryan Batra Surabaya Intercultural School Melodie Walla
United Nations Int’l School of Hanoi United World College of South East Asia UWC Thailand International School
Minh Quan Neefjes Pia Miller Camilo Saravia Aguayo
Vientiane International School
Kelly Hasegawa Allen
Wells International School - On Nut Campus Western Academy of Beijing Wuhan Yangtze International School
Ruby Song Jonas Boettner Seongmin Cho
Yangon International School Yew Chung International School of Shanghai
Soyal Khedkar Shu Min Tan
Taejon Christian International School Taipei American School Teda International School The American School in Japan The International School Yangon Tohoku International School
Global Citizen nominee names are due to the EARCOS office by April 14, 2020.
Ji Young (Silvia) Yun Chloe Yong Rohaun Moallem Anna Komisarof Kyaw Min Khant Takumi White
Global Citizenship Community Grant Recipients >> All of us here at EARCOS wish to extend our sincere congratulations to the following Global Citizens who have been chosen to receive an EARCOS Global Citizen Community Service Grant of $500 to further their excellent community work during this upcoming academic year. The recipients are: Serena Lee, Garden International School Kuala Lumpur Project Name: Sign for Malaysia
Pisa Leelapatana, Ruamrudee International School Project Name: RISing Coffee
Razel Marie B. Suansing, International School Manila Project Name: Kahon ng Karunungan
Weilyn Chong, Hong Kong International School Project Name: Thankful Thrusday
Pia Miller, United World College of South East Asia Project Name: Akey for Guatemala, Supporting “From House to Homes“ Claire Hou, Concordia International School Shanghai Project Name: Xiaohusai Tea Project BIOSPHERE STEWARDSHIP CAMP PROGRAM SCHOLARSHIP - Felicity Crook, Nanjing International School see page 36.
Fall 2019 Issue 9
Developing Gender Inclusive Practices in International Schools
By Dallin Bywater, Shekou International School, firstname.lastname@example.org In 2015, world leaders identified 17 Global Goals for making a better world. Reducing inequalities, and more specifically, achieving gender equality, are two of those essential goals. The Global Goals website aptly declares: “It [gender inequality] is not just a human rights issue; it is a tremendous waste of the world’s human potential.”1 This inequality manifests itself in various forms across the globe, and more specifically, in our international schools. Discrimination, unequal voice and participation, limited leadership opportunities, and gender bias in our education practices are a few forms of gender inequality that can be found. At a first glance, some of the issues seem straightforward to tackle in the education environment: Advocate for equal pay for women. Provide equal education and leadership opportunities for girls. Eliminate child and forced marriages in our communities. Most of us can agree on these targets. But then what about the issue of protecting LGBT+ students from harassment and discrimination? And what about educating teachers, parents, and children about gender identity and gender bias, to promote acceptance of all students so that they can all learn in a safe environment? Depending on the host country and culture, these topics can come with difficult conversations that many educators fear to initiate. No matter how conservative the cultural or school environment, you can take some steps to reduce inequalities, especially gender inequality, in your school. Here are a few tips for working with your school to establish gender inclusive and equitable practices and policies: 1. Know your host laws and culture, and the biases and barriers that come with them. It may be illegal for you to teach certain concepts (ex: gender identity) to students, so you should be aware of the restrictions that exist in your host country before proceeding. Knowing your host culture will help guide your first steps for advocacy. 2. Talk to other international school counselors and professionals in the area who may have some experience with gender inclusive practices. You likely 10 EARCOS Triannual Journal
will learn from the mistakes that others have made on their journey towards greater equality and inclusion in unique cultural environments. 3. Understand your school culture. The level of conservative environment varies from school to school. Whatever the case, it is important to find allies, especially in school leadership, who will support you in your efforts to promote gender inclusion and equality. School culture changes do not come with an individual. Connect your advocating efforts to the Global Goals and school mission so that the advocacy is not a personal crusade, but rather, an attempt to encourage global citizenship and empathy. 4. Gather information about good practices in gender inclusion. A few websites with great ideas that you might consider are: • www.welcomingschools.org • www.genderspectrum.org • www.genderinclusiveschools.org Remember that no website, policy, or guideline will fit your school environment and community perfectly. Adapt what you find to fit the needs of your community. 5. Have a plan for increasing inclusive practices, and be patient with the progress. Do not expect policies to be adopted in one month, or even one year. Be committed to slow and steady progress. In one international school, gender inclusive practices started with a casual conversation with a principal - one year later, that conversation grew into student-led awareness campaigns, policy development, and other advocacy initiatives for gender inclusion and equality around the school. Research supports the idea that students who feel included and have a sense of belonging to their school community are more likely to be academically motivated, develop social and emotional competencies, and avoid problem behaviors2. These are outcomes that we all strive for as educators. Efforts for achieving gender equality and inclusion creates a more accepting learning environment for all of our students, and is a worthy cause for our action.
Eat Right, Exercise, Post your Language Objectives
By Irish Farley, Language Acquisition Teacher International School of Tianjin
As a long time educator, I’ve worked at several schools with a wide range of demographics in three different countries. At each school, around the time of my observation, I remember to post my lesson objectives. On the board I write either “objective:” or “Today I will…”, fill in the blanks and tick that box. Done and done-objective posted! I think all teachers know that posting an objective is considered best practice and furthermore, ELA teachers know that identifying language objectives is important too. The purpose of this article is twofold; first, to dig in to the reasons content and language objectives are so important and second, to challenge you to not only post the objectives, but to talk to your students about them too. As a teacher, you’re teaching lessons all day long and you know what your goal is. You know you want the students to add decimals, practice vocabulary, understand the states of matter, or any other number of lesson outcomes. When you have a focus in mind, you know what you need to do to get there. Students need to be aware of what their objective is too. They need to see it in writing and then hear it. They also need to know the direction of the lesson-the goal they should have in mind. For students who are not native English speakers, being in a class with instruction given in English, there is an essential extra step: posting the language objective. The language objective illustrates what language skill or language function they need in order to reach the content objective. For example, if you don’t know how to write a summary, how will be able to accomplish the lesson objective of writing about the main idea of chapter 5? Posting the language objective along with the content objective helps your students not only learn the content more effectively, but will be able to acquire the language more efficiently. According to Goldenberg (2008, as sited in Himmel, 2013), “English learners best acquire English when language forms are explicitly taught and when they have many opportunities to use the language in meaningful contexts” (p. 2). The meaningful contexts, are within your content lessons. This is to say that if you usually teach vocabulary words in isolation it will not be as effective for the student as it would be to learn about the academic vocabulary as it relates to the content within the context of the lesson. So rather than teach about Leprechauns in March, stick to the content and focus on the academic vocabulary, scaffolded as needed. Not only will students remember it better, but if students are not exposed to grade level materials, the amount of information they learn compared to more fluent speaking peers, is vastly less over time (Lewis-Moreno 2007). Does every lesson need a language objective? Probably. Echevarria (as sited in Barton, 2006), explains that teachers can sometimes think that students should be able to complete a task because they can have a conversation in English. However, just because a student has social English, does not mean they have academic vocabulary yet. Don’t forget, conversational English takes one to four years, while academic English takes between five to nine years to learn. Generally speaking, after English Learners have reached a certain point of proficiency, they are expected to attend classes with native and near-native English speaking
peers, receiving instruction in English. In these classes, it is also essential that the classroom or content area teacher post the language objective. Depending on the model that your school uses, you may be the person to provide the language objectives or at least help the classroom or content teacher make sense of how to write language objectives. Writing a language objective might take some practice, but there are some tricks to make it a bit easier. The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) identifies key words to help get you started. When writing a content objective, try to start with a verb such as identify, comprehend/understand, solve, investigate, distinguish, compare, hypothesize, create, select, and so on. When writing your language objective, try using one of the following verbs: name, retell, define, summarize, persuade, explain, write, respond, talk about. For example, a third grade class might be learning about states of matter. The content objective might be something like Students will be able to compare the difference between a liquid and a solid. The accompanying language objective, then, could be Students will orally or in writing explain what the difference between a liquid and a solid. These two statements might seem similar, but by writing the language objective, you are effectively identifying what students will need access the content. My challenge for you is to post the content and language objective and go over it with your students for every lesson for one week. At the start of the lesson, have the objectives written somewhere students can see, and tell them what they’re expected to learn by the end (Evhevarria, 2004). Then at the end, ask them if they reached the goal. Maybe you already do this, but I know as the school year wears on, as you become more comfortable teaching and you know where you’re going with a lesson, it’s easy to skip this step. I have found that my lessons are more focused and both the students and I are more engaged when the goal is addressed at the start of the lesson. Trust me, just try it. If you don’t see a difference in your class (you will!) then go back to how you were doing it before, no harm done. References Barton, Rhonda. “What the Research Says About Effective Strategies for ELL Students. ” Colorin Colorado, Colorin Colorado, Jan. 2006, www. colorincolorado. org/article/ what-research-says-about-effective-strategies-ell-students. Evhevarria, Jana, et. al. Making Content Comprehensible for English Learners: The SIOP Model. Pearson, 2004 Himmel. Jennifer, “Language Objectives: The Key to Effective Contenet Area Instruction for English Learners. ” Colorin Colorado, Colorin Colorado, 3 Mar. 2013, www. colorincolorado. org/article/language-objectives-key-effective-content-area-instructionenglish-learners. Lewis-Moreno, Betsy. “Shared Responsibility: Achieving Success with English-Langauge Learners. ” Phi Delta Kappa International, vol. 88, no. 19, June 2007, pp. 772-775. Jstor, Language Objectives. Short, Deborah J. et. al. “Developing Academic Language in English Language Learners Through Sheltered Instruction. ” Teachers of English Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), vol. 46, no. 2, June 2012, pp. 334-361. Jstor, Language Objectives. Fall 2019 Issue 11
Concordia Shanghai Students Solve Real-World Challenges Using Design Thinking By Brandon Fisher, Assistant Director of Marketing, Brandon.Fisher@concordiashanghai.org
Design thinking is a way to solve authentic challenges utilizing a humancentered approach. It serves as a framework to redefine problems as opportunities and work toward viable solutions. Recently, students in Concordia Shanghai’s Social Entrepreneurship class participated in a lively discussion about cleaning products. During their conversation, students periodically scribbled ideas on Post-it notes and placed them on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. Before long the board was covered with bright yellow and pink post-its. To the casual observer, teenagers discussing home care products might seem unusual, but for this particular group, the discussion was a necessary part of their design thinking process, a tool they use to solve complicated problems. A capstone project for this high school course requires students to address a real-life challenge faced by a real business. In early spring they met with the founder of Soapnut Republic to do just that. Soapnut provides a home care product line that delivers non-toxic, allergen free and biodegradable products for cleaning and personal care. Founder, Kim Gililand, enlisted help from the students to tackle the following challenge: Create a plan to best leverage Soapnut’s online presence in China in order to gain followers and convert those followers to buyers. While this may seem a complicated issue to tackle—especially if one is unfamiliar 12 EARCOS Triannual Journal
with cleaning products and the Chinese market—through design thinking, the students were able to meet this challenge head on. The first step in the design thinking process is to empathize. Conducting empathy interviews allows one to better understand the needs of the people they are designing for. In the case of our Social Entrepreneurship students, empathy interviews led to conversations with members of the school faculty and staff about their cleaning product preferences. The students also sat down with their parents and aiyis(helper) to learn what influences their decisions when choosing home care products. Back in the classroom, students decided on a pertinent “point of view” statement as part of the defining stage of their design work. Focusing their point of view allowed students to paint a picture of the opportunities unearthed during the interview process. For one group, the point of view statement read: “The customer needs a way to make cleaning convenient and safe because of the lack of time and the number of fakes online.” Students then began the process of ideation, brainstorming “How Might We” questions centered around their point of view. (This is where the Post-its came in.) “How might we emphasize the convenience and safety of cleaning products?” posted one student. “How might we improve the shopping experience for the customer?” wrote another. In generating
possible solutions for their user, students were encouraged to aim for quantity and suspend judgement—no ideas were off limits. Having amassed assortment of ideas, students then chose one idea for which to create a low-fidelity prototype that could be tested by actual users. While not all ideas generated lead to viable solutions, the process of ideating and prototyping was essential to the process. Each misstep and flaw led to iteration and improvement, encouraging students to embrace the notion of “failing forward.” With data from their user tests, students presented their final prototypes along with validation to Soapnut, for approval and implementation.
needed more interactive games that would help make the challenging vocabulary of their geometry unit stick. What ensued was a design thinking project that allowed students to design for the needs of other students, while deepening their own understanding of mathematical language and content.
“Using design thinking as a road map, this complicated challenge became less overwhelming,” says Social Entrepreneurship teacher Anne Love. “Talking to the students, it is clear that they learned how to spend time with the problem and deeply understand it as opposed to jumping right to a solution, which may seem like the easiest thing to do.” Back in June 2018 and again in February 2019, trainers from Stanford University’s d.school came to Concordia to lead members of the faculty and staff through a series of design thinking workshops. Since then, design thinkers have emerged from every corner of the campus, taking on a range of challenges that touch virtually all aspects of school life. In the middle school, students used the design thinking model to address, “How might we improve the lunch experience in the school cafe?” Conducting empathy interviews with fellow students and carrying out field research at neighboring restaurants, the students addressed topics from seating arrangements for inclusivity and better conversation to new ways to educate diners about making healthier food choices. After completing each step in the process, students presented their prototypes and findings to their teachers and classmates. The next step for the students will be to present their work to school administration with the goal of fully implementing some of their ideas for improving and enhancing the school dining experience. To eighth grade teachers Michael Lambert and Holly Raatz, the bias toward action that is rooted in design thinking echoes the school’s philosophy of learning by doing, making the process more about “creating innovators rather than any particular innovation.” In elementary school, grade three students interviewed students in grade two to find creative ways to make their geometry math units more engaging. With help from their teachers, students ideated around the question, “How might we make learning about shapes more engaging?” The third graders discovered that their grade two counterparts
After conducting empathy interviews, Concordia middle school students created prototypes of potential solutions to their lunchroom challenge. “As educators, we know the deepest form of understanding comes when we are able to teach the concepts we’ve learned or are learning,” says elementary school STEM coach Kristy Godbout. “It is very rare that students have authentic opportunities to do just that—become the teachers and facilitators of the concepts they are learning.” The impact of design thinking on student learning has exceeded the expectations of the educators at Concordia. Not only have the teachers involved become more creative and innovative risk-takers, they have become models for these qualities, and their students are following their example. Relationships have been built across grade levels, and the act of kids designing for others is something educators hope to continue at Concordia, says Godbout. “It is an act of service, an application of learning, and it deepens all of the student learning outcomes, truly offering the holistic experience we strive to provide.”
It is with deep sorrow that we share with you the news of the sudden passing of Mr. Mark Bretherton, Cebu International School Superintendent from 1998-2008. He was most recently acting as the School Principal (Headmaster) at the English Academy in Kuwait. Prior to his time at CIS Mark was a lower school principal in Brent International School Manila from 1994-1998. Mark is remembered with great admiration by former colleagues, parents, alumni and the wider community of educators who had the pleasure of working with him. According to colleagues who knew him personally, he was a kind and generous man who valued the schools and the people he worked with. Mark Bretherton
Mark is survived by his wife, Carol and sons, Bryan and Jazz who are based in Leyte. We offer our deepest sympathy to his family.
Fall 2019 Issue 13
How to Grow Mindfulness in Your School
By Brenda Perkins MS Grade 8 Health & Well-being Educator, Mindfulness Teacher International School Bangkok email@example.com For anyone who’s enjoyed gardening, you know the satisfaction of cutting the first rose in bloom or harvesting the first carrots of the season. If you’re particularly good at it, you may also enjoy some local notoriety of having some special or magical quality of a ‘green-thumb’ amongst your neighbors, whose own experience of wilted coriander and empty rows of soil has left them in awe of your herb-whispering ability. Now, for some of you, it’s probable your academic mind may be inclined to stop reading an article that metaphorically compares the development of mindfulness programming in a school to gardening, but I encourage you to keep hoeing. You just may unearth something unexpected… What is mindfulness, really? Or is it “Big M” Mindfulness? Or mindful practices? Or being mindful? In research, the practice is called ‘mindfulness’. That’s what it is referred to by science. It’s just easier when everyone agrees to call digging around in dirt and sometimes growing things “gardening”. So, let’s stick with science and just call it “mindfulness”. Mindfulness is most frequently defined as “paying attention, in the present moment, on purpose and without judgement” (Kabat-Zinn et. al., 1985). OK, well. That doesn’t necessarily seem special or magical. Can I pay attention to stuff when I want? The wilting flowers mean one 14 EARCOS Triannual Journal
thing – water them or they’ll be dead by morning. Check. Can I be ‘in the moment’? I’m totally aware when a bee and I are hovering around the same sunflower. Check. Can I do things on purpose? Absolutely! I’ll finish weeding the garden when I’m done all of my other stuff. Check. Can I suspend judgement? Ok, well, that’s harder. If your pumpkin is bigger than my pumpkin, I may feel something about that. But we can still be friends. Check. But putting it all together at the same time and in the same space is much, much more challenging. Do you have dirt? Check. Do you have water? Check. Do you have seeds? Check. Yet a garden you have not yet made. But, when you learn the act of gardening, special things actually do happen. The act of gardening, at its most fundamental level, is nurturing life. The act of mindfulness nurtures the awareness of your life, and allows you to fully live in it, accepting all the weather and weeds and harvests as equally important seasons. Haven’t you ever noticed that people garden even when they don’t have to? There’s something inherent in the process that is valuable and nurturing. In practicing the act of mindfulness, you tend to like your life just a little bit (or a lot) more. All right, blah, blah, gardens and life and tending and all that. If we’re doing mindfulness with our students, in schools, where parents and teachers and administrators expect their children to learn something helpful to both their present and their futures, we’d better be sure that it actually makes a difference to students in a positive way.
What does the research say? Mindfulness research has exploded over the last decade. From fields such as mental health, psychology, sports performance, and trauma, mindfulness has proven (like, Scientifically Proven) to be helpful to people. In 2018, there was an estimated 800 peer-reviewed research articles published involving mindfulness (PubMed, 2019). Teaching mindfulness to students has also shown to improve cognitive performance, reduce stress, improve mental health outcomes, resolve conflicts, reduce bullying and in general help develop Social and Emotional competencies (Mindful Schools, 2017). Now, there are those that may argue that the ‘robustness’ of the mindfulness research is still lacking. There is a partial truth to that in general in the social sciences, but research studies that have passed muster have still supported that mindfulness is helpful to students in a myriad of ways (Zenner, et. al., 2014). Sounds awesome, right?!! Let’s do it! But there’s a catch. Of course! Just like a garden, you can’t just throw in the seeds and water and dirt together and hope something grows. You have to do the act of gardening. Research is very clear about this. Unless teachers are trained in teaching mindfulness and actually do mindfulness themselves, it will not make a positive difference to students (Jennings, et. al., 2017). That’s right. Re-read that bold sentence a few times and consider the truth of that. You can throw in all the ingredients of guided audio mindfulness sessions and fun mindfulness worksheets and make glitter jars all you want, but unless you, the teacher, actually do mindfulness, you might as well stop wasting your time, and the precious learning time of your students. Unless YOU do it, it won’t make a difference to the learning of your students. It’s not me telling you this. It’s science. This reality makes growing mindfulness programs very problematic for schools. Many schools have tried, with limited success, to implement mindfulness programming for the entire school and mandate that all teachers teach mindfulness to their students. Why is success limited? It may be because we haven’t taught teachers how to actually teach mindfulness. It may be because not all teachers like digging in dirt and doing the backbreaking work of hoeing. That’s fair enough. Not every teacher
can swim, but we expect PE teachers to be proficient if they’re going to teach students. It’s a targeted skill-set. References: Crane, Rebecca S et al. “Training Teachers to Deliver Mindfulness-Based Interventions: Learning from the UK Experience.” Mindfulness vol. 1,2 (2010): 74-86. doi:10.1007/s12671-010-0010-9 Jennings, P. A., Brown, J. L., Frank, J. L., Doyle, S., Oh, Y., Davis, R., . . . Greenberg, M. T. (2017). Impacts of the CARE for Teachers program on teachers’ social and emotional competence and classroom interactions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(7), 1010-1028. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ edu0000187 Kabat-Zinn, Jon & Lipworth, Leslie & Burney, Robert. (1985).The Clinical Use of Mindfulness Meditation for the Self-Regulation of Chronic Pain. Journal of behavioral medicine. 8. 163-90. 10.1007/BF00845519. Zenner, Charlotte, et al. “Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Schools – A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 5, 2014, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00603. “Research on Mindfulness.” Mindful Schools, 24 Mar. 2017, https://www. mindfulschools.org/about-mindfulness/research/#mindfulness-withstudents However, schools can support the teachers who do want to grow mindfulness, providing the essential ingredients of time, funding, planning help, quality professional development, and community support. In schools that have had the most success, they ensure teachers are trained specifically for mindfulness teaching, just like for other special teaching skillsets such as music or art or PE (Crane, et. al., 2010). In my experience, teachers who teach mindfulness are passionate and are willing to work hard to teach kids to do the act of gardening, when the tools are made available. The gardener knows that there is great joy in sharing the harvest of their work and care with their family and community. They understand that the seeds and water and fertilizer they received from others can be transformed and shared, feeding lives. And so it is with mindfulness.
Elementary School Art Celebration International School of Ulaanbaatar “My self-portrait “ - Pencil drawing inspired by the book “A Bad Case of Stripes” by David Shannon Zac Dempsey, Grade 3
Osaka International School Fenced Japanese Tree, Watercolor by Alona Boock, Grade 5 Fall 2019 Issue 15
When it Comes to Close Reading, Should Students Use Those Devices for Notes, or Not? By Chelsea Wilson, Nansha College Preparatory Academy
useful and user-friendly. Many individual students expressed strong preferences, though, for one method over the other with specific reasoning. These reasons were varied. Some students recognized the potential distractions of computer usage, while others saw the benefits of quickaccess to outside resources and the ease of organizing information when using technology. Some students recognized that writing by hand can be more time consuming, while others indicated that writing things by hand may lead to deeper thinking and better recall of information later.
As an English teacher, I’m always asking my students to read. Often the reading I require from them is close-reading, the process through which they interact with a text in order to develop an understanding of not only the text’s content but also how the text works. At one time, close reading notes were done by hand, but now, with the advent of 1:1 device programs and online collaborative platforms for reading and writing, some students and teachers have moved toward technological methods for reading and documenting one’s thoughts on a text. This shift made me curious: • •
Is there a difference in student perceptions of close-reading notes done electronically and by hand? Is there a difference in reading outcome for students who take close-reading notes electronically vs. by hand?
By exploring these questions with four sections of seniors taking AP Language and Composition with me, I hoped to develop some insight. During our Politics and the Economy Unit, when students read Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security by Sarah Chayes, students in two sections were asked to complete close-reading notes electronically while two other sections were asked to complete them in physical form. All students were preparing for a summative discussion on the book and an end-of-unit test which included AP multiple-choice to test their reading comprehension. Pre-assessment data using another set of multiple-choice had already been collected. Students were given one month to complete the reading task before they were assessed and filled out end-of-unit survey to get their feedback on the type of closereading notes they completed. The survey data collected at the end of the unit indicated that on average students find electronic and hand-written annotations similarly 16 EARCOS Triannual Journal
The assessment data was not able to establish a relationship between annotation method and student performance or growth in this unit. Because Gutierrez and Wang (2001) found a similar result in their study which looked at a different context and goal but also compared the use of technological vs. non-technological note-taking, this result was not surprising. Prior concerns about students using computers for note taking suggested that performance suffered when students failed at “processing information and reframing in their own words” (Mueller and Oppenheimer, 2014). Perhaps the nature of close-reading, a student interacting with a text in order to develop an understanding of their reading, mitigates this concern: students who close-read electronically are still required to engage with the text, whereas students who take lecture notes electronically are not. This may suggest there is no need to require one method over another when it comes to assigning close reading notes so long as the opportunity cost of using technology is considered. Given that students who completed their reading without the computer were equally successful and students as a group didn’t show an overwhelming preference for using a computer for this task, it may not be wise to use much teacher training time or class time to learn any prerequisite skills that may be needed to prepare close-reading notes electronically when that time could be invested in a higher-leverage teaching strategy. For students and teachers already competent in this skill set, there seems no harm in using technology, and there is likely value in reviewing the pros and cons of the two methods with students so they can make an educated decision about how they take close-reading notes as they move forward in their education. References Gutierrez, C., & Wang, J. (2001). A Comparison of an Electronic vs. Print Workbook for Information Literacy Instruction. Journal Of Academic Librarianship, 27(3), 208. Mueller, P.A. & Oppenheimer, D. (2014). The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking. Psychological Science, 25(6), 1159-1168.
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Student internet use and academic outcomes By Matt Kelsey, Director of Educational Technology Nansha College Preparatory Academy, firstname.lastname@example.org
equal, each additional average daily megabyte of IM and social media bandwidth predicted a .35 point drop in students’ math RIT scores. This means that each additional 2.85MB of bandwidth used daily for an entire year would translate into a predicted 1 point drop. 2.85MB of bandwidth use is the equivalent of scrolling through 21 images or watching 1.5 minutes of low-quality streaming video through a site like Instagram or Snapchat. Online collaborative software use (i.e. Office 365 or G Suite for Education) may have a significantly positive effect on math and work completion. Wikipedia use was significantly negatively related to reading achievement. The other bandwidth variables – YouTube, streaming media excluding YouTube, and all other internet traffic – did not significantly predict any of the outcome variables. The bandwidth variables together explained less of the variance in the outcomes (4-5%) than did the control variables (49-53%). Prior achievement as measured by fall MAP reading and math scores explained most of the variance in the outcomes. Absences were also a significantly important predictor of the rate of incomplete work.
Introduction Educational technology is a field of dichotomies. On one side are the cheerleaders who imply a silver bullet for everything from student engagement to creativity to test score improvement. On the other are the skeptics who warn of a lost generation unable to read deeply, their self-esteem beholden to clicks and likes, their attention consumed by ephemeral memes. In the middle are teachers and administrators who must make practical decisions: how should I integrate technology? What policies should I adopt? Should I spend thousands of dollars on solutions to monitor students’ internet use? Should I devote cognitive resources and scarce time to policing students’ technology? Educators have little data on the relationship between internet use and academic outcomes conducted specifically at the secondary level; much existing research focuses on lecture settings at the tertiary level. Methodology This research used a detailed data set of student MAP scores, incomplete work rates, attendance, and average daily bandwidth use across six categories to explore the relationship between various types of internet use and student academic outcomes. The control variables were fall MAP scores, the number of period absences, and gender. The bandwidth category variables were IM and social media, Office 365, Wikipedia, YouTube, streaming media sites excluding YouTube, and all other internet traffic. Outcome (dependent) variables were spring MAP math scores, spring MAP reading scores, and incomplete work rates. Three blockwise multiple regression models were used to determine if adding bandwidth use as predictor variables improved the prediction of the three outcome variables after controlling for gender, prior achievement, and absences. Results The results of the three blockwise multiple regression models suggest that IM and social media use has a consistently significantly negative effect on all measured outcomes. In particular, all other factors held 18 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Discussion and Implications for Practice Like many articles, there’s something for everyone in this study, especially cherry-pickers. The cheerleaders can crow about how collaborative tools like Office 365 are positively related to student outcomes; they can also point out that this study still leaves open the question of how technology affects other outcomes beyond standardized test scores and the percentage of work handed in. Skeptics will find comfort that IM and social media use had a negative effect on all the measured outcomes, in line with every methodologically rigorous study on the topic. Practicing educators and school leaders can look at the larger perspective this study provides. Yes, internet use – the “killer app” of educational technology – had an effect on student outcomes. But it wasn’t the most important predictor; prior achievement and in some cases attendance explained more of the variance in student outcomes. The difference in variances raises the practical question of opportunity cost. If educators and schools are devoting cognitive, labor and financial resources to promoting technology or mitigating its drawbacks rather than other factors such as attendance or literacy that may have larger impacts on student outcomes, then they may be neglecting the most effective strategies to improve student learning despite having the best of intentions. As Hattie said in Visible Learning, “Instead of asking “What works?” we should be asking “What works best?” Thus, perhaps the most relevant takeaway of this study is that schools can combine clearly-defined student outcomes and a holistic, contextually-specific understanding of the variables that contribute to student achievement to make smart decisions about where to invest their limited resources – whether in educational technology or another area.
My Name is Jane
By Sang Ha Kim, Grade 8, Surabaya Intercultural School
I felt myself falling down. I didn’t see it, no I didn’t, but I felt it. I felt the darkness, darker than the darkest night sky, darker than the deepest woods, and darker than the lowest basement. I was suffocating. I got a gasp of air; I thought that would help but, it burned and it made me feel worse. I fell lower and I closed my eyes forever. *
Well, not forever but for such a long time that the doctor thought it was going to be forever. I woke up from being in PVS (Persistent Vegetative State) for 6 years. I was 11; they say I am 17. There were only six books to “Scarlet and Ivy”, my favorite book series, but they say that now there are 13. Things changed, so many things did, but sadly, one thing remains the same: I am alone in a room. I don’t remember much. All I remember that I am or was 11, there were six books to “Scarlet and Ivy”, I was abused by my so-called parents and grandparents, and that I jumped, devastated into the ocean. And one more thing. I hated myself, how my young life is, my identity, and just everything about me. I met the doctor, I didn’t want to say much. I don’t know her, not at all. She seems nice, and I know I should trust her after I was her patient for seven years but I have severe trust issues. It’s extremely difficult to rely or trust anyone, I was alone and lonely for such a long time. But my slight curiosity from the heart, got me to talk. I asked how I got here, who has been paying my hospital bills, and what’s going to happen to me. The doctor, Ms. Mirabelle, answered many of my questions. So by the end of our conversation, I learned that some woman jumped into save me and brought me to the hospital, and that same woman has started raising funds which covered my hospital bills. Ms. Mirabelle said that that woman, whoever she is, is supposed to be back from a business trip the day after tomorrow. Ms. Mirabelle said that this woman has come everyday if not at least once in every two days. *
In my room, who is this woman? Who possible would do such thing for me? I am a girl that was abandoned by her own parents, and went through 5 other step parents that all abandoned her. Ah, I have a headache, this happened a lot today and everytime it happened it got worse, but I seem to faintly remember a few more things. I need to stop writing and go to bed. My head is burning.
Two days later in my hospital room, this woman walks in. She is faintly familiar but I cannot identify who she is. She is coming closer, closer, and closer. She embraces me with a hug and I feel tears, her tears, but surprisingly, my tears as well. I don’t know this woman, but I feel something. We stayed like that for another few minutes. She then handed me a piece of gummy, my head hurts and I remember another moment, the moment where she gave me a gummy when I was younger. I ask her, “Who are you?” She seems to hesitate but then she slowly replies, “I am one of your teachers. You were a great student. I knew something was going on on the day of the accident so I followed you, and saved you.” I was confused and asked why, ouch! I am remembering more things. She asked if I was okay and when I assured her that I was fine she said, “I wanted a daughter like you and after the accident I did some research and learned about you. I sincerely wanted you to wake up so we could be a family. I could be your mother, and you could be my daughter.” After she said that I seem to remember more about her. I remember her being nice, like a friend. I feel warmth inside me, it was the first time I felt that way. I remember that I had feelings of hatred, cold, and envy but never, warmth. She told me that she got the adoption papers done, which took her awhile and she is going to get me homeschooled. *
Ahh, this time it hurt, my head hurt as if something just banged it, hard. And all the memory flew back of school. I loved it, the education, the schedule everything, but the kids who bullied me. My science textbook, my English journal, my math test, my life and everything rushed in. There were so many things rushing in that I wanted to keep out. My abusive parents beating me until I passed out, the abandoned mansion that I lived in alone, and so many other things. But like my teacher, my mother now said, “Your bad past and your good past is all part of you. They all make your identity. So if you block and force to forget a part of it, whether it’s good or bad, your identity is not complete. You are not you anymore.” It hurts, it hurts awfully to remember what I have gone through and a part of me, six years, feels missing and empty. But my identity is complete. I have not forced to forget, I am complete, I am myself. Nice to meet you. my name is Jane.
Faces of EARCOS Carma Elliot CMG OBE, College President UWC South East Asia (UWCSEA) “I am delighted and humbled to be joining the UWCSEA community as the College’s first President. I have had the privilege to live and work outside the UK for most of my life: I am internationalist by conviction, and with a lifelong commitment to social responsibility and service, I look forward to joining a movement which inspires, and is inspired by, its students and alumni to take action and to make a difference locally, nationally and internationally.” Fall 2019 Issue 19
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Empowering EARCOS members with one central platform.
Schoolbox EARCOS ET-Journal Advert 2019 - CMYK 3mm Bleed FINAL.indd 2
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ETC Preview: Stories that move will be offered as a pre-conference workshop at ETC2020
Sharpening our vision – by clearing away the clouds of intolerance
The authentic voices of youth, and their uncertainty, are used to both engage with your students and empower them to talk openly and honestly on these highly-emotional topics. This online tool explores the premise that someone’s real story can move one’s thinking in a way that a statistic may not. This online toolbox challenges learners to both think critically about diversity and discrimination, and to reflect on their own position and choices on these matters. Stories that Move, winner of the prestigious 2018 Comenius EduMedia Medal for excellent teaching materials, was developed by educators from seven countries and is available in seven languages. The project is an international cooperation between the Anne Frank House (Netherlands), Anne Frank Zentrum (Germany), Eagerly Internet (Netherlands), erinnern.at (Austria), International School of Amsterdam (Netherlands), MART (Ukraine), Milan Simecka Foundation (Slovakia), Pedagogical University of Cracow (Poland) and Zachor Foundation (Hungary). This online toolbox consists of 5 ready-to-use learning paths, each path consisting of 3 online lessons, with multiple layers of information, engaging tasks, and video clips of stories to bring the tasks to life for the learner. The tool offers a variety of learning modes for students to engage. For example, within each path, there are moments for full-class discussion, online collaborations, as well as individual work. The 5 learning paths are:
By Shannon Hancock, International School Amsterdam, and Karen Polak, Anne Frank House
Nelson Mandela famously wrote in Long Walk to Freedom: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”Yet, looking around the world today, we see many educators seeking ways to teach not just the fundamentals of essay writing or solving equations but also the power of applying those skills to the urgent challenges of our time -- growing divisiveness, prejudice and discrimination. Many of us want to address these complex issues in our classrooms, yet we feel uncertain how to do so effectively. Even the most experienced teachers have pressing questions: • • • •
How should I handle a student making an insensitive comment? How do I provide space for minority viewpoints, to create real dialogue? How can we make room in the mandated curriculum to cover these critical topics? How do I design relevant and age-appropriate lessons in my subject that cover diversity and discrimination, and are truly inclusive?
The new online platform, Stories that Move: a toolbox against discrimination, was created as a way of answering those questions, which is why we hope to see you at EARCOS the teachers’ conference in March. StM: Taking a Unique Pedagogical Approach An essential and unique element of the Stories that Move toolbox is the central role that young people have played in its design process. 22 EARCOS Triannual Journal
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Seeing & Being (identity and diversity) Facing Discrimination Life Stories Mastering the Media (bias, propaganda, online media) Taking Action
Through short film clips, young people share their own positive experiences and pride in their identity but also those of exclusion, discrimination and hate crimes. These poignant stories, told by compelling and relatable young people, form the starting point of an honest exploration of many topics related to discrimination. It should be noted that the Stories that Move tool never aims to tell a young person how to feel or think, which can be counterproductive to truly moving thinking forward on these issues; instead, the platform offers stories, asks open questions, and aims to create a safe space for honest and open discussion within the classroom community with the teacher as a trusted, critical guide in this process. The tool supports teachers, offering detailed lesson plans, using online and offline learning in a creative and engaging way; expert voices on central themes, including how to create safe space and how to respond to racism between students; and professional development opportunities. This online platform is free to use, allowing all schools and students access. Its aim is to open a door to a growing international community of educators and educational leaders, communicating and supporting one another through the backdrop of this tool. The tool has been tested and is highly effective with young people in real classroom settings. The International School of Amsterdam (ISA) has been one of eight partners involved in an intense and rewarding five-year collaboration with the Anne Frank House to develop, pilot, and offer a think tank of teacher experts in creating a unique tool for our classrooms. This process has ensured that the tool is practical for teachers to use, including teacher lesson plans and advice within each learning path. The tool will also offer your classroom an internationally-
minded approach to discussing discrimination, prejudice, and diversity. Vision for the Future: Students Taking Action Ultimately, we want to use such a tool to inspire our students to take positive action in the world around them. It is the belief of this project that students around the world need more opportunities to discuss the pressing issues of discrimination, prejudice, and increased polarization in new ways. Stories that Move appears to be inspiring many students to take action that they feel is necessary, which we hope may be an opportunity for students to replicate at other school sites on these issues. For example, at the international launch of the Stories that Move project in Berlin in June 2018, students from the International School of Amsterdam spoke out for the need for such projects in all schools. Rania (15) told the large audience – which included a German state secretary, museum directors and community leaders, as well as many educators: “In a world where discrimination is pervasive … the next generation must be equipped to take on injustices wherever they may be found.” Trinabh (15) added on by stating: “If we cannot value another person for who they are, then we have failed to make society work.” An example of the empowerment young people feel from working with the tool is the Stories that Move IB CAS club set up by students at ISA. Over the past year they have become multipliers for the tool, undertaking various projects and even developing a workshop for parents on media choices and bias. Our EARCOS Pre-Conference
• • • • •
about prejudice and discrimination; Explain the innovative use of Harvard’s Project Zero Visible Thinking strategies integrated into this tool; Facilitate an international exchange among teachers, to address individual dilemmas and explore how to use the tool in your school context; Contribute to the wider dissemination of the toolbox to address anti-Gypsyism, antisemitism, discrimination against Muslims, discrimination against LGBT+, and issues of racism in history and today; Build on the experiences and insights of teachers and students who have worked with the tool in the first phase; and Create a sustainable network of educators who will continue to work together.
Our workshop themes to anchor this important work: • • • • •
Creating a community of trust Hearing the authentic voice of confusion Creating safe space in the classroom for honest dialogue Leading a way forward – seeing what the Anne Frank Youth Network & International School of Amsterdam students are doing with the tool Supporting teams and creating school partnerships
Stories that Move is free and here for all of us. Please join in building a community of classrooms where young people can learn how to share their stories, in order to sharpen their own visions for a more tolerant world.
Our goals for the time together: •
Share the opportunities that online learning offers in teaching Karen Polak is a historian and senior staff member at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. She has worked extensively in curriculum development and publishing with organisations across Europe. She was on the Dutch delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance from 2001 to 2017, chaired its committee on the genocide of the Roma, and currently sits on the international advisory board of the House of the Wannsee Conference. Karen is the international project coordinator for Stories that Move. Shannon Hancock is an English language and literature teacher at the International School of Amsterdam, with more than 20 years’ experience across the world. Shannon believes that digital tools can promote social justice and activism in new and dynamic ways. She has been a partner in the Stories that Move project for four years and has piloted the learning paths in her classroom and teaching team.
Fall 2019 Issue 23
Building a Community of Readers Reaching Out to Parents Brent International School is about 30 km from Metro Manila, which in the Philippines can mean 30 minutes or many hours, depending on the traffic. Because of this, we have a large number of parents who spend their days on campus, waiting for their children to finish school. In the Early Learning Center (ELC) we have students from nursery-second Grade, ages 3-8. We have found that the parents in our school are eager for information about how they can help their children be successful. Last year was our second full year as a Workshop School. At the start of the year, we realized, when it came to Reading Workshop, there was still a lack of understanding among parents. Many remained focused on the ‘level’ aspect of their student as a reader and were not yet open to seeing their child’s full reading profile. At the start of the year, as an ELC team we agreed upon a common language to move away from simply labeling a student by their reading level, particularly when talking to parents. Inspired by Jennifer Serravallo’s ‘The Reading Strategies Book, 2015’ we looked closely at “A Hierarchy of Possible Goals for Reading” and created a Journey of Reading. In an effort to create a Parent-Teacher Inclusive Learning Community we presented this journey to parents in a Coffee Talk-an hour long parent learning session- in September. Teachers then used this visual and language in parent-teacher conferences to describe individual student’s place on the journey and provide helpful tools and strategies which could use at home to support their young readers. As we looked ahead to the second semester, and knowing parents were familiar with the idea of learning to read as a journey, we wanted to give them some perspective into what that journey might be like for their own students. So, we planned a “We Are All Readers” Coffee Talk in February, just before our second round of parent-teacher conferences. We’d like to share our own journey, with the hope of inspiring other reading communities to grow as well. We Are All Readers In January, the ELC and lower school literacy team, attended a literacy coaching workshop with Sara K. Ahmed at the Hong Kong International School Literacy Institute. A big takeaway for us was the importance of not only seeing our students as readers, but also recognizing our own reading identities. This message seemed to echo the sentiments shared by Kathy Collins at the International School Manila in September: How can we authentically instill a love of reading in our students if we do not model our own love of reading? When we saw Kathy, she had us create posters that reflect who we are as readers - our Reading Identities. Each of us interpreted this in very different ways, but what was clear when reflecting on our posters was that we all saw reading as a joyful and important part of our lives. At our coffee talk we shared our own Reading Identity posters with parents, along with some posters that students had created. We then asked parents to give it a try and create their own Reading Identity
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posters. At first, there was some hesitation and it appeared that a handful of parents felt nervous about opening themselves up and sharing in this way. After a few minutes, however, the tables were abuzz with conversations about reading. We began recording bits of conversation we were hearing around the room and adding it to a chart at the front. “You should read this book!” “I couldn’t put it down” “After a long day at work, I like to escape into a light-hearted book” “I always look forward to reading bedtime stories with my children” “Have you read _____ series? I’m on the third!” “It’s so relaxing.” As we were wrapping up the activity, parents were so engaged -- they didn’t want to stop! It was amazing to see this level of reflection among the parents and we were honoured to get insight into such a personal part of their lives. As we shared the list of language and vocabulary we had heard through their conversations, parents were surprised at how positive it was and we tried to drive this point home: The way you are feeling right now about reading is how we want your children to feel about reading - all of the time. In Your Child’s Shoes With the goal of reading being a positive experience, we wanted to provide a contrast which, unfortunately, can happen when young children begin their journey of learning to read.
Inspired by a simulation by Kim Yaris at the HKIS Literacy Institute, we handed each parent a picture book with the conventional font replaced with wingdings, and told them it was time to read. As parents struggled to begin, we listed bits of their conversation next to the positive language we had heard earlier: “This is too hard.” “When I get things like this, I just quit right away.” “They expect us to read this?” “How do I get started?” After a few minutes, we gave them a “strategy” designed to make the text more accessible. As with our students, the strategy worked for some, but left others more frustrated and struggling to access the meaning of the font. At the end of this simulation, we discussed the negative shift in language we noticed and asked parents to consider the following: “What does this make you think about your own child as a reader?” “How must your child be feeling when this happens?” What’s In A Level? To conclude our time with the parents, we asked how many of them knew what their child’s reading level was. Of the parents that raised their hands, we asked them how many knew what that letter meant. Very few of the parents said they did. We acknowledged that over the last few years, teachers have been on a learning journey of trying to understand what reading levels mean and why they exist.The article “A Reading Level is a Teacher’s Tool, NOT a Child’s Label (Fountas and Pinnell, 2016)” really resonated with us as we reflected on our practice. As teachers, we were all guilty of some level of misuse along the way, as we continue to grow as educators and learn more about teaching reading. We read aloud to parents the story ‘Holy Bagumba! A Cautionary Tale’ from Who’s Doing The Work (Burkins, Yaris, 2016). This story is a tale of
a young reader, Daisy, who puts thought and care into choosing a book she is very excited to read. What follows is her teacher telling her she may not read the book due to her reading level. We then posed the question: “What does Daisy do as an independent reader that her teacher failed to notice or acknowledge?” This was a powerful question to parents. They began to notice all kinds of wonderful things Daisy was doing as a reader. Our hope is that if they could do this for Daisy, they could use the same lens to look at their own young readers. So Where Do We Go From Here? We all agreed that parents and teachers want the best for students. We all want students to see themselves as passionate, avid readers and have a positive experience in their Journey of Reading. We asked parents to not get hung up on how easy or difficult a book is to read but instead ask themselves, “Is my child excited to read this book?” If yes, celebrate and enjoy it together! In turn, we promised to ensure that in school we would provide students books that would help their reading skills to grow and develop. Moving Forward As this new school year kicks off, we know we are beginning our journey as a parent-teacher inclusive learning community. It is our plan to continue to build a common understanding of the journey of reading among teachers and parents. Our hope is that our message will continue to spread through this community. We look forward to the continuous building of a community of readers among our students, faculty and parents. By Emily Turner-Williams, First Grade Teacher, Readers and Writers Workshop Lead, Catie McKenna, Kindergarten Teacher, Readers and Writers Workshop Lead, and Brittany Stapley, Second Grade Teacher, Readers and Writers Representative
Green & Sustainability
Making Sustainability Sustainable – the Formation and Fostering of Organizational Habits By Alan Cox, Beijing City International School Alan.Cox@bcis.cn Reveling with our youngest learners on the roof-top garden amongst the towering stalks of sweetcorn, beaming sunflowers and verdant ropes of squash and pumpkin, a literal green oasis in the heart of urban Beijing, it is hard to think we are already entering our sixth year in our purpose-built green facility. In the early planning phase for Beijing City International School’s additional kindergarten campus, pollution, air quality and air filtration were all hot topics and areas of concern for Beijing. Guided by our school’s mission to challenge and empower students to be compassionate and inspired people, who act for the good of all and for the sustainable development of the world, it was determined then in 2009, that the new building should be environmentally friendly. Working with the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, we set out to ensure any new construction not only reflected the school’s mission but modelled to the wider community the importance of taking meaningful environmental action. The thorough standards for site selection, water & energy use, preferred materials, finishes & furnishings, waste management, indoor air quality and occupant comfort guided discussions between architects and educators for the duration of the construction project. So, when opening our doors in 2014, we could stand proud that our efforts, commitment and decision-making merited the issuing of a gold level LEED certification for Beijing City International School’s new early childhood center. Fast forward to the start of a new school year, Head of School, Julie Lawton challenged the community to rethink our consumer practices around the recent rapid rise of the food delivery phenomenon. In response to the amount of waste generated last academic year – particularly single-use plastic – the school’s mission helped to determine that we would no longer allow food deliveries onto campus. This got me wondering about the behaviors and actions of organizations. Beyond the bricks and mortar of the physical environment and the values outlined in one’s guiding statements, is there a way to develop healthy institutional-level habits? In our case, how do we in fact make sustainability sustainable?? The start of a new school year often coincides with a long list of ‘mustdo’ resolutions for self-improvement – usually, for me, loosely tied around the idea of work-life balance and increased cardio exercises! Google for any self-help website and a common list of step-by-step instructions for forming good habits will be presented. Charles Duhigg,
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Students start the year by revisiting the United Nation’s sustainability goals and targets in order to identify areas they feel that can make an impact. (PHOTO: Yooah Nguyen)
author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, proposes that in fact there are a lot of similarities between the habit formation of individuals and those of organizations. Namely that organizations should recognize that: • • • • •
big changes demand to be broken down into smaller component ones – so start small; habit forming takes time, so be patient; habit forming will involve some failures and a few setbacks, but to not let too many go unchecked; habit forming should actively involve a grassroots level of participation and support; the effects of good habits influence the development and sustainability of additional good habits.
But wouldn’t one’s organizational habits just be an expression of organizational culture? Or does one hold sway over the other?
We know that a strong school culture is dependent upon people, purpose and patterns. Harvard Graduate School of Education associate professor Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell contends that the habits of an organization are in fact, one of five overlapping influential elements that shape school culture. She identifies a school’s fundamental beliefs, shared values, norms, behavior patterns (let’s call these habits) and physical evidence related to one’s culture as being influential. Basically said, what community members believe to be true; Why they determine something as being a ‘good’ thing or a ‘bad’ thing; How they think people should act or behave; and how people actually act or behave – their habits. All of which is reflected in the evidence found around the school showcasing said behaviors, thoughts and beliefs. Like Charles Duhigg’s reference to getting the grassroots of an organization onboard, Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell places equal importance on the power of relationships, relationships, relationships. She identifies strong school cultures as having many overlapping cohesive interactions within its community. The more connections that are healthily maintained and fostered, the farther reaching and better understood the core values, beliefs and shared habits will be among its members. BCIS Head of School Julie Lawton feels that a culture that is well connected to the school’s mission is necessary as it highlights the fundamental beliefs of a school. In light of these beliefs, she feels that it is essential the leadership team ensure there is clarity of expectations – the how people should act or behave. She notes that speaking and acting with one voice is the goal. “It’s not a few people trying to do something, it’s the whole group. Giving ownership and asking people to hold each other accountable is also important.” With core values understood they naturally help provide guidance to the hundreds of unwritten rules found within any organization. These allow students, teachers and staff to feel empowered to voice their opinion, suggest changes or share new ideas. Once such example was the recent establishment of the school’s regularly held Eco-Market. Initially started as a farmer’s market class project, teacher sponsor Ashely Bondurant explains, “The Eco-Market provides students a platform that empowers them to take on authentic tasks, learning to contribute to others and to explore entrepreneurship. Sustainability is also reinforced through the market. All vendors must apply and be approved based on their impact on others and the environment. This allows our community to support outside businesses that align with our own school values. In turn they model their business practices to our own student community.” He feels that most importantly the EcoMarket helps to foster organizational habits by not only reinforcing the school’s mission but helping our community live it. Other examples of the long-term commitments Beijing City International School has made to developing sustainability as an organizational habit include: Shared leadership - Additional leadership responsibilities have been appointed in each school division. The sustainability team leaders help to ensure community members have the tools and information needed to make better choices. Grade 5 teacher and Elementary sustainability team leader Kelli Cochran echoes what we know about habit formation. “A sustainability leader can help keep the momentum moving forward (by) taking people’s ideas and discussing them with our student Green Committee, breaking the idea into manageable steps and taking action so that these suggestions for improvements are explored.” Through this process Kelli feels that a culture is created where, “people (are) heard
The Eco-Market at BCIS allows both local producers and student-initiated projects to showcase their sustainable products to the community. (PHOTO: Jin Ming)
and proud of the improvements that they have put forward.” Shared understanding - Schoolwide, students, teachers and staff continue work started last year with the team from Inspire Citizens to authentically embed and activate the United Nations seventeen Global Goals, also known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), through curriculum, operations and community life. Shared celebrations – Recognizing and appreciating the little things from bringing reusable food containers for staff and student social events, to refusing disposable coffee cups and lids by taking your own school mug into local coffee shops are shared with the community’s hashtag #BCISpirit. When establishing long-lasting environmentally friendly behaviors as a school, Julie Lawton points out that it’s important to remember doing so is not necessarily an easy or quick task, and as an educational leader, it is important to keep the desired changes in behavior on the agenda and in people’s minds – showcasing progress, learning from failures, celebrating successes and thanking people for their commitment – all integral components in the forming and fostering of organizational habits. References Duhigg, Charles 2012, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life And Business, Random House, New York. Harvard Graduate School of Education 2018, Leah Shafer, What Makes a Good School Culture? It starts with connections — strong and overlapping interactions among all members of the school community https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/07/what-makes-good-schoolculture Inspire Citizens 2019, https://inspirecitizens.org/ United Nations 2019, Sustainable Development Goals, https://www. un.org/sustainabledevelopment/ U.S. Green Building Council 2019, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, https://new.usgbc.org/leed
Fall 2019 Issue 27
Student Voices Fault Lines Pastiche By Priscilla Lee, Grade 12 Student International Christian School, Hong Kong
What would it mean for one such as I to pick up a mirror and try to see her face in it? Would I first note the trembling lips, curling into a smile that scrunches my eyes, drawing the curtains on my soul’s windows? Those lips, which, in an ancient but vivid memory, I realised were naturally frozen in a half-grin even as I drifted off to sleep, and which I had to consciously relax, remembering I was alone. And that tongue, which forgets its mature anglicisation in times of panic, stripped to its virgin, untrained state whenever my heart is equally naked. Would my face be schooled, guarding against the piercing eyes that glare at themselves? As my brows inevitably settle into a frown, reality and reflection goading each other with increasing intensity, would the battle of wills cause a shocking implosion or the slamming down of gates? And what of these lofty words, these carefully crafted phrases? They are a dam, an exoskeleton around my skin, barring the sweat, the blood, the puss. They slow the outpour of myself, stuffing thoughts into mooncakes like revolutionary propaganda, dangerous in exposure, packaging them with a lifted left corner of my mouth, a sardonic glint in my eye, a convoluted metaphor or two. Is this not arrogance? My juvenile mind is a girl dressing in her mother’s clothes, naive sincerity wearing the stilettos of cynicism and the rouge of contempt. This need for superiority, gleaned from assuming intellectual maturity, makes me scorn the teenager in the mirror. She’s so hopeful (I coo at her like a babe), she sees herself on the shore of life, about to embark on a journey on vast oceans, free to sail in any direction. Little does she know of the tempests that are to come. Little does she know of the force of the winds. Little does she know that she may never step aboard, for she’ll be tempted by warm fires and huts, compelling her to remain on the fertile land. 28 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Why do I think this way? The stilettos are too big and the rouge is fading. Yet I flex my feet and reapply, taller and pinker than my peers. What is this self-imposed exile, that the earnestness of my infantile soul becomes weakness and is plastered over with artificial calluses? This is the arrogance of youth, born from one’s first tastes of Brontë and Truffaut. My palette has been introduced to aromatic vintages, a noted difference from the sweetness of box wines. The aged flavour is sharp, giving me an edge, and enjoying a pleasant flavour now seems immature. In the mirror now is a girl I dismiss – she’s brainless, unthinking, with a fervour for life. I drown out her voice, but here she sings, clear and true as ink onto the page. She admonishes me, the aspirant woman, clutching that which I cannot touch. Instead, their reflections I tilt onto me, a distorted refraction of glinting parts: wisdom is pessimism, tattooed on my skin; questioning turns rebellion, rolling my eyes; knowledge becomes pretension, shaping my words. There’s hysterical laughter as my selves negate each other: this one knows that one is being silly. Why I rip myself in two I do not know. It’s now too complex, perhaps because I wish to be unsolvable. To remain a mystery, with unnecessary ciphers in place to protect – nothing. There exists nothing. Is emptiness my greatest secret? How privileged am I (again I mock myself) that the depths of my darkness is simple shallowness. And so I write, turning prose into pitiable poetry, ignorance into fanciful imagination, my flatness into sharpness. Is it that I cannot see myself, or that I cannot portray myself? My words swing between self-victimisation and sarcasm, then swiftly fall to encompass both. The cold glass ripples before me, like molten silver with a skin on top. One finger will break it, and the liquid pour out, that the homeless girl may find her tenement in me. She yearns to be disappointed, to be heartbroken, to be rejected; to her, that is life. I shake my head – the “I” I cannot see – and like the Lord to His children, say, You know not what you ask. Yet this is blasphemy, when coming from my foolish lips. Is this the unique infirmity of this age? I’ve gained admittance into the museum of greats: I’ve danced around the galleries, bathed in the golden light. Now I ponder the works, while lounging with the feigned indifference of a frequent guest – no, a patron. From my lips spill sentences I do not understand, as if my deliberation were instantaneous and my enlightenment complete. I’m a student standing before a portable easel, mixing pigments to match another’s. What I produce I do not create; they are merely syntheses and imitations, even though I turn away in rejection of what has come before. Perhaps I should cease to deplore my limitation, let what little is within run free. There’s a raw beauty in organic wildness. Refinement will, if it does, come later.
What would it mean for one such as I to pick up a mirror and try to see his face in it? In the throng of a crowd, if I happened upon myself, would I even recognize the person I saw in front of me? Could I distinguish him from the torrent of bodies that lead lives similar to my own? And what expounds the distinct makeup of my own soul? They say the eyes are the windows to what’s inside, and yet mine only reflect the world I see around me. My eyes that draw in a cascade of images: kindness, understanding, the warmth of relationship, and constant reminders of the capabilities of human nature, the purity before selfish impulses taint a childlike outlook.
Fault Lines Reflection By Joel Witzig, Grade 12 Student International Christian School, Hong Kong
Our viewpoint of humanity starts from birth; the way in which we interact with those around us and formulate opinions depends greatly on the nurturing of our family and the nature of the environment that encompasses us. But what of a constantly shifting framework, of not staying long enough to be truly shaped and formed in a significant manner. Each location a sculptor, and I the lump of clay, being molded and reshaped, pulled and stretched in every which way. Left out to dry until being refreshed into a new scenario, unaware of the context or expectations required of me. How do I choose just one design in outward appearance to illustrate the complexity of concepts that define me? And what of the communities in which I still feel so isolated, the locations which can never hope to understand me, and I them. Who unintentionally seclude me from their lifestyles and factions, as I could never aspire to fully blend in. Our surrounding configurations the same, yet each creation generically unique and specific. Yet if these designs are intentional, if everything has its place, where is the home meant for me? Beings thrive in relationships and overcome differences to create a blended unity, so why am I the stand-alone creation? If not a part of the standard norms, you can find solace in the attraction of opposites, yet in such a unique fabrication, could I fantasize one to oppose myself? How is it possible to connect this puzzle piece, void of loops and knobs? In my heart of hearts I know there are others who could relate to me. Those who have shared in similar experiences and have walked parallel paths of life. But what if I have grown accustomed to my isolation, what if I have become proud of my own distinctions? Is it easier to sit and observe the intricate workings of relationships, becoming an idle spectator? Is it possible that I’m scared to let others know me, because I’m not even sure that I know myself? Relationships are the epitome of human advancement and a requirement for flourishing. In being spread so thinly across so much space, I am a part of almost too many things, truly belonging to nothing. Each change in my formation is another chain upon me, restricting me from prospering and developing into the way I was meant to be. Still many questions remain: Why am I the way that I am? Can I, do I even want to be fully understood? What hidden truths remain etched into the details of my character? I looked it up in an online dictionary. It went like this: Enigma: A person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand. Perhaps that is the word that defines me, the way that it is supposed to be. Similar to the universe, some things are supposed to be left to mystery, to be left as simply unexplainable. So I’m left to a mindset of introspection, slowly reflecting and unraveling the threads that make up the complicated knot of my identity.
Fall 2019 Issue 29
Jakarta Intercultural School
By Sinta Sirait Chief Financial and Operations Officer Jakarta Intercultural School
theater has the capacity to hold 400-500 people and is designed as a traditional black-box theater with a state-of-the-art sound system and multimedia center. The Jatayu Theater is supported by Renkus-Heinz speakers and dB tech subwoofers, LED PR and Selecon lighting. Its acoustics were designed by Handy Widjaya, a design engineer who has created many theaters and auditoriums for schools and universities in Indonesia. This project also added about 5,000 square meters of green area for our Middle School students. Soon, that area will be developed into a playground. The S Module was developed from start to finish with sustainability in mind. This can be seen in details such as the hybrid ceiling fan and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system that provides thermal comfort at 25-26 degrees Celsius room temperature for energy efficiency. There is a high-quality F7/F9 air filter system in this building as well.
M Module Reading Area At Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), we are always looking for ways to innovate and enhance the opportunities for our students, faculty, and community. This is an ongoing goal for us as a school and one of the ways in which we achieve this goal is through our campuses. Within the last year, we have had a few major construction projects completed that exemplify our commitment to sustainability and being worldwide leaders in education. Two of the projects were additions to our Middle School campus, neither of which could have been completed without the leadership and support of Dr. Tarek Razik, Head of School, and Christophe Henry, Middle School Principal.
We also installed a 100-cubic-meter rainwater tank that will store the water it catches and use it to water our existing green areas in the Middle School and our vertical garden. Eventually, this water source will also be used to treat our hydro-phonic and aqua-phonic gardens in the future. Both the S Module and Jatayu Theater were designed by Burhan Tjakra, M. Arch, a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a certified Greenship Professional, in collaboration with our Middle School team. We look forward to the upcoming school year and the use of these brand-new innovative buildings. These projects will better the opportunities for our students, faculty, and community in Jakarta.
Our new M Module building replaces the old Middle School library, which caught fire back in April 2018. What started as a renovation became a total reconstruction. The M Module houses the Middle School library on its first floor, four classrooms on the second floor, and one multipurpose room with the capacity to hold 150 students. A precooled air handling unit (PAU) circulates outside air into an F7/F9 filter to clean the air. This ensures that our indoor air quality meets the international Air Quality Standard (AQI). We collaborated with PDW architectural firm who designed both the exterior and interior space. PDW has continuously received Top 10 Architects Awards from BCI Asia, the largest building industry database in Asia. Chico Danisworo, the lead architect, is active in the World Green Building Council Asia Pacific. The Middle School library interior was designed in a joint effort between PDW and Raeco, an Australian company that specializes in designing learning areas that meet 21stcentury needs. We also constructed a three-story building called the S Module or STEAM. It houses eight math classrooms, nine laboratory classrooms, three Design Tech classrooms, one workshop, and two multipurpose rooms. Part of this project was the Jatayu Theater. This brand-new 30 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Campus Development Nanjing International School
The Story of Space By Adam Dodge @AdamADodge and Junlah Madalinski @TheMadClass_PYP With “Student Voice and Choice” as an integral part of our strategy, Nanjing International School worked with NoTosh to develop and publish “Dear Architect, A Vision For Our Future School:” a publication that began with a simple question, “How does space help or hinder learning?” Within it are the voice, opinions, and wishes from the school community about learning spaces that would inspire and support us. You might say, it was our message in a bottle, an invitation for learning. In elevating the values our learning community had around space, NIS went further into the realm of “How might we in the Early Years…” Through our core discussions, three key elements began to emerge; CHOICE, VISIBILITY, and ENERGY! We wanted a learning environment that was flexible, open, and inviting for us to explore via our physical, mental, social and emotional selves. During the 2018-2019 school year, with our blueprint in hand and EIW Architectual firm on our side, our community watched our vision come into fruition. It transformed from completely gutted classrooms with only the foundation, load-bearing walls and columns standing to an open concept and fluid space that invites a flow of inspiration for our entire learning community.
When walking in and around the Early Childhood Centre, one notices “campfires,” instead of classrooms. Rounded spaces encircled by soft bamboo shelving brings us together as a community to share stories and ideas. Throughout the entire centre, one can freely walk to visible spaces co-created by students and teachers. Choices abound for our learners in our spaces for individuals or groups. There are caves to climb in with a friend inviting imaginary play, amphitheater steps which invites an audience and new vantage points. Instead of “fixed furniture,” we have open shelving and tables that are dynamic choices with mirrors, blackboard, magnetic tops, and light. Flexible indoor-outdoor spaces provide our early learners opportunities to channel their energy within a challenging, natural environment that tests their physical abilities, offers musical exploration and discover wonders yet still unimagined. This school year, we entered our new space that offers visibility, choice and energy. As the story of that space begins to unfold, we will watch and listen for the possibilities that embrace our vision for learning. Join us on our learning journey via Twitter @NISChina or visit us at the school website at www.nischina.org!
Elementary School Art Celebration International School Bangkok Chao Praya Mural Grade 3
Fall 2019 Issue 31
Community Service Saint Maur International School Students Participate in Habitat For Humanity’s Global Village Program wood planks, shoveling dirt, carrying stones, mixing cement, nailing floor boards and painting walls in intense heat and humid conditions, the house that the students and staff of Saint Maur International School built was ready to be presented to the family. The day ended with a dedication ceremony where a giant key, symbolizing ownership of the house, was handed over to the family in front of all their friends, neighbors and family, each contributor cutting a piece of a ribbon and finally showering the family with flowers.
By Andre Ito, Grade 9 Homeroom Teacher & Mathematics Dept. Head Christina Furstenau, St. Maur International School During this past summer, eleven Grade 10 and Grade 11 Saint Maur International School students travelled to Cambodia to participate in Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program. This was the school’s third time participating in this experience. Habitat for Humanity is a global non-profit organization whose vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. As part of the Global Village program, our students helped a family in need by helping to build a new home for them. A World Where Everyone Has a Decent Place to Live The trip started by visiting the Habitat for Humanity Cambodia office where the Saint Maur International School students and teachers learned more about how Habitat for Humanity functions and how the organization is working towards realizing its vision: a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The students were also presented with traditional scarves as gifts and learned some basic Khmer language. On the second day, the students and teachers were introduced to the family who showed the students their current living conditions: a dark, tight shed-like structure where the family lived with their parents. They barely had enough space to sleep. The father of this family was a seasonal laborer who worked various jobs such as construction, fishing and plowing farmland. The mother sold homemade food and drinks outside her parents’ home. The couple only earned $250 US per month, which is very low even by Cambodian standards. The students and teachers, who got to know the family throughout their time in Cambodia, were surprised to hear that the family spends nearly $60 per month on education for their two daughters, 13 and 11 years old, which makes up almost a quarter of the parents’ monthly income. The students and teachers of Saint Maur International School and Habitat for Humanity took on the rewarding task of supporting the family by providing them with a new home. Building a Home For a Cambodian Family in Need On the third day, the students and teachers started work on the house and after five days of stripping bamboo trees, chiseling wood, sawing 32 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Andre Ito, who has been leading the Habitat for Humanity club at Saint Maur International School for many years, commented, “It always surprises me to see how happy the people in the village are for the family receiving the house from Habitat. Taking a look around, it is clearly the nicest house in the area and there would be plenty of reason for the villagers to be jealous. When I asked why this wasn’t the case, they said that it is because their community is their family.” Delivering Donations From The Saint Maur International School Community Determined to make the local Cambodian children a little happier, the Saint Maur International School students organized a toy drive a few months prior to their trip as an addition project. The students had the opportunity to deliver toys and sporting equipment to a local school and two villages. When the students got off the van with a giant box of toys, a rush of 20 to 30 kids came to greet them. The smiles on their faces when the box was opened were priceless and was something that won’t soon be forgotten. The students feel grateful towards the Saint Maur community for receiving generous donations, but also for having the chance to help bring a little happiness to children in need. Before heading back to Yokohama, home of Saint Maur International School since 1872, the students experienced more Cambodian culture and visited the famous temple complex Angkor Wat as well as a flooding village, where all of the structures are built on extremely tall stilts because the water level of the river rises up to 11 meters during the rainy season. They rode a boat down the river and got to see another village, the floating village, which is composed of houses built on boats which move as a community according to the tide and water levels. Engaging Students in Positive Service Learning Outcomes Through their time in Cambodia and by being a part of the Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village program, the students were not only able to experience local Cambodian culture, but also able to grow by learning about the circumstances of families in need. They engaged directly with the issue of poverty and had to consider the ethics of their choices and actions. One student wrote in a reflection, “This experience was more than the price.Your perspective of the world widens. It was as if I hadn’t opened my eyes ever to look at this world. The whole experience itself is what is valuable in the upcoming years.” Overall, the students were appreciative of the help and support they received by the Habitat for Humanity staff and were grateful for this eye-opening experience.
The DLSK Club at the International School of Ulaanbaatar By DLSK Club President and Founder, A.Devi
We spent countless hours making jewelry under the supervision and support of our art teacher, Mrs. Muyassar, and sold them during major school events to raise money for the greenhouse. The association between the International School of Ulaanbaatar and the Dolma Ling Soup Kitchen encourages students and teachers to volunteer on Saturdays during the cold winter months. In December of 2018, I became one of those volunteers. Prior to my visit, I believed our lives reflected our actions and homeless people were responsible for their hardships. But after meeting and interacting with the people who came for lunch and hearing about their lives, I realised I was wrong. For the first time, I learned people lived in the sewage for warmth, walked up to 10 km for a single meal, and weren’t allowed on buses due to discrimination. With this new knowledge came compassion and a strong desire to help them. Hoping to make a difference, I brought 20 loaves of bread on my next visit. However, its impact was temporary and I realized I couldn’t make a difference alone. I started brainstorming ways to help Dolma Ling’s clients when I came across a Harvard study that showed how Mongolians are deficient in micronutrients as a result of harsh climate and their traditional cuisine. Dolma Ling had planted a garden during the previous spring so that they could grow fresh vegetables to provide some of these nutirents to the diners, but the growing season is far too limited to supply the kitchen for more than a couple of months. I decided that building a greenhouse was the answer, as it will improve the quality of the food served, offering a balanced meal with both micronutrients and macronutrients that can be grown and served throughout the year. I contacted Dolma Ling’s manager and director to work out the details of the greenhouse and created the DLSK Club to fundraise money. By March, our club had 11 official members including two of our teachers and our youngest member, my sister, Aariya.
Some DLSK members making jewelry (from left: Rachel, Sayako, Haruna, Shweta, Hazel, and Devi) Resulting from the contribution of 293 people, including teachers, parents, students of the ISU community, Dolma Ling staff, and DLSK Club members, we raised a total of 10,852,650 MNT (approximately 4,000 USD). Thank you to everyone who contributed to our cause making this possible. With that money, we bought two 6 × 10m greenhouses, seeds, transplants, gardening equipment, two security cameras, and installed a watering system. The culmination of our effort is that Dolma Ling is now serving not one but two bowls of nutritious lunch set. Now, my dream is to enable Dolma Ling to bake their own bread in their kitchen, and serve nourishing sea buckthorn juice grown in their garden, making lunch worth the 10 km walk.
Fall 2019 Issue 33
Seoul Foreign School celebrates 20 Years in the North By Jo Bigwood SFS Dongdaewon Fundraising Coordinator
SFS + Dongdaewon, Celebrating 20 Years. It definitely takes a village to raise money for Dongdaewon (our TB clinic in North Korea). Even looking back 20 years ago, to when it all began, the Board at SFS, were keen to bring communities together. Here is a small excerpt … ‘...an opportunity for the school to provide a focus for student service projects through the ongoing, annual funding of an obviously beneficial, highly visible project such as the TB sanitarium has the advantage of bringing the community together in support of a common service objective.’ For the past twenty years the students from all four sections at SFS, together with the staff and parent community of Seoul Foreign School have supported the Dongdaewon Tuberculosis Care Center in North Korea, (now called Pyongchon MDR-TB Center) in partnership with the Eugene Bell Foundation (http://www.eugenebell.org). The contributions received by SFS go towards providing multiple drug resistant tuberculosis medicine, and food supplement packs, that help the sick and suffering get well and return to their families. With such a highly contagious disease as tuberculosis, TB patients suffering in North Korea are isolated in hospitals or lonely care centers throughout the country. Because of the commitment of the students, staff and parent community of Seoul Foreign School, we have been able to help approximately 1,000 people, but TB has a ripple effect. Untreated infected patients often pass their disease onto their families. Although we have directly treated 1000 patients, indirectly, we have treated many more because we have been able to stop the ongoing cycle of TB in each patient’s family, and have provided them with hope and a future. Our Dongdaewon period usually runs over 5 - 6 weeks, in the winter months. It is launched at our school wide Hearts to Serve Assembly, where the school presents all the service projects for the year. Our targeted amount is approximately $50,000 US dollars, which purchases medicine for about 10 patients, for 18 months. Seoul Foreign’s contributions reflect our compassion, service and care for others. The need is still urgent today. Tuberculosis can kill, but around 75% of the patients can be cured with the proper diagnosis and treatment, this is one of the highest cure rates in the world. Consequently, our contributions really do save people’s lives. Ways SFS has fundraised over the past 20 years: *Annually the faculty produce a pantomime in the winter months. This involves many faculty members. Students and parents from each of the 34 EARCOS Triannual Journal
four sections also participate by helping with makeup, props, ushering and selling food. It definitely takes the whole community to pull this production off. * Each year teachers or students have designed an image to be produced on a t.shirt and sweatshirt. These can be worn as part of the school uniform for the year. * School sections comes up with different initiatives from fairs, to free dress days, selling food, concerts, talent shows, hair shaving, collecting coins, to name a few. * This year we had two new initiatives; HS Zaishu Stool Project (HS Grade 10 students designed Zaishu stools for real-life clients for the students’ design projects), and Dongdaewon greeting cards (result of students artwork made into beautiful greetings cards and sold). * Other initiatives held in the past have been community wide cooking classes, and a variety of other classes, such as photography, tax and sewing classes, selling Shamograms (chocolate bar) on St Patrick’s Day, a community barn dance, and art auctions. “The sick and suffering people in North Korea live just hours away from us, but the distance between us spans a divide that is almost immeasurable in so many ways, both economically and spiritually. Through our work, we are helping to bridge that divide. It is definitely a privilege and an honor to help those less fortunate.” Mary Lyso, the founder of Dongdaewon here at SFS “It has been quite a journey these past 20 years, of fundraising for Dongdaewon. I have been blessed to be a part of this incredible partnership with Eugene Bell for half of it. I often think about the community that is created here, as we all work together to raise funds for tuberculosis patients, but also the community that is created up north, at each of the clinics that Eugene Bell helps support. The patients who spend 18 months together, bonded together through sickness, but given the opportunity of life!” It definitely takes a village to save a life! If you would like to find out more, contact the Eugene Bell Foundation. (http://www.eugenebell.org).
How STEAM at Northbridge helps students learn skills they can use for the rest of their lives By Jack Cooper, Makerspace & Library Co-Ordinator NAE-MIT Programme Regional Lead (South East Asia) Northbridge International School Cambodia email@example.com
In the 1980s an MIT professor Seymour Papert developed the pedagogical approach of Constructionism. Constructionism posits that students learn best when they can engage in hands-on learning and understand how things work for themselves through creative experimentation and tinkering. The teacher’s role is not to “tell” things to the students but rather to facilitate opportunities for students to find out for themselves by “messing around” and making. Essential to Constructionism is the hands-on aspect and the involvement of a physical object that can be created and manipulated. This helps students connect complex and abstract concepts to tangible and concrete objects that are more easily understood. One of the best examples of Constructionism in practice can be seen in the current wave of sophisticated STEAM robotics kits like Lego Mindstorms and Vex Robotics. These platforms allow students to learn complex coding and programming principles by interacting with a real-world object that they can build and create with their hands.
Making has become an important part of Northbridge culture over the past few years. Not only is making an incredibly fun and satisfying activity that children love, but it promotes a myriad of meaningful skills that we believe will serve them well in life beyond school. Making describes any activity through which you create physical objects. In our Makerspace at Northbridge we have various facilities for making such as Robotics, Electronics, Soldering, 3D Printing, Laser Cutting and Coding. But making doesn’t have to be high-tech, we also regularly engage students in making through sewing, embroidery, paper crafting, origami, cardboard construction, Lego, woodworking and more! The idea is simply that you are using your hands to build something tangible. These types of activities for young people have slowly been phased out of many schools and homes in favour of more strictly academic endeavours. Devices and screen-time are also regularly pointed to as culprits for the decline in hands-on activities. Mitch Resnick (MIT) relates in his book Lifelong Kindergarten, the case of a leading Chinese University that noticed a trend in recent years of undergrad students who, despite being academically successful, lacked creativity, innovation and essential problem-solving skills. They determined the root was that those students were not given opportunities to take on meaningful making projects in school or at home, and focused too much on academics and not enough time working on their own personal passion projects. This provides further evidence to the idea that academics alone are not a reliable indicator of future success beyond school. Biosphere 2 Presentation
In previous generations, programming has had a reputation for being a tedious and difficult subject to learn because it involves a lot of complicated theory that is seemingly suited only to certain types of learners. Hands-on learning and Constructionist principles have completely changed how students perceive coding and helped make it much more approachable for a wider variety of learners. At Northbridge we hope to make a whole range of subjects and concepts more approachable to learners through Making. In Grade 8 science, students demonstrate the basics of electricity and circuits by building their own working wire skill testers. Grade 6 Maths students discover mathematical patterns and exponents by building Tower of Hanoi puzzles. Grade 2 students understand how simple machines work by constructing miniature teddy bear playgrounds. Our teachers are constantly looking for ways to allow learners to access the curriculum through hands-on, making projects. But making at Northbridge goes even further. It has turned out to be a popular hobby for students in their free time and after school. During recess and after school you will find student-makers busily working on their own passion projects in the Makerspace. Some of the amazing projects that Northbridge students have pursued in their own time include arcade machines, desk organisers, laser-cut boomerangs, model aircraft, pendants and jewellery, Gundam models, lamps and way more! There is something particularly special about seeing students take on these exciting projects when they are not connected to their “school work” and are just simply because they want to do something constructive. You can hear more about making by listening to Risky Business, a podcast by NISC teachers Mr. Andy and Mr. Jack. There is a recent episode all about the Maker Movement https://anchor.fm/riskybusinesseducation Fall 2019 Issue 35
Biosphere Stewardship Camp Program a closed environment that contained miniature ecosystems such as rain forests, a desert, savannah and a coral reef. Their actions or inactions confirmed the interdependence of living things. One of my biggest take-aways of the Stewardship program was that there are many different ways to help - ways that reflect people’s passions and interests. As a diver, I have had opportunities to see life underwater. I have seen starfish before but not the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS). I learned that the COTS feed on coral polyps and this can prevent fast-growing coral from overtaking the coral reef. However in places where there is an infestation of COTS, a lot of damage to coral can be caused in a short amount of time. Scientists have been searching for effective ways to prevent COTS outbreak. One way I could help as a diver is to learn how to manually poison the starfish but this task would be timeconsuming and labor intensive. 2019 Biosphere Stewards Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Although reactions to environmental actions may not be equal, those reactions can have an impact on our lives and on our world. The choices we make, or do not make, have consequences. I chose Biology and Physics as my sciences for IB. As a consequence, I will not have the Chemistry course needed for some of the university programs I was considering. So my summer was going to be spent studying Chemistry. I decided to apply for a summer scholarship to attend the Biosphere Stewardship Educational Program in Bali, Indonesia. Consequences of my application? Summer plans changed, tickets cancelled and rebooked because I was going to Bali! I spent nine amazing days with nineteen other young adults from Spain, Egypt, Poland, India, Canada, Vietnam, Hungary and Indonesia - speaking different languages but sharing one goal - caring for the environment. The Biosphere Stewardship Program was established as a result of an experiment, the Biosphere 2. Sally Silverstone was one of the biospherians who lived and worked for two years inside Biosphere 2 which was
We spent the good part of a day on Menjangan Island. Most visitors go to the uninhabited island to worship or snorkel. Our task was to collect the litter around the temple. Then we had the opportunity to snorkel to catch a glimpse of the aquatic flora and fauna. We also took advantage of our skills as swimmers and collected some trash from under the water. The rubbish collected was taken back with us to the town so it could be properly recycled or disposed of. Another take-away for me was learning about the existence of coralsafe sunscreen. Chemicals in my sunscreen were toxic to the symbiotic algae that lives within the coral. I have stopped using non-biodegradable sunscreens. I have taken this action-reaction one step further. As a part of my IB course work, I will be writing my Higher Level Biology Internal Assessment on the effects of sunscreen on algae to simulate the consequences of sunscreen on coral. Finally, I was inspired by Pak Nono Suparno. He was the first person I met who cares and takes action for his immediate environment, his home, his backyard. He spent time explaining to us the complex relationship between land crabs and mangroves, trees that thrive in salty waters on tropical coastlines. Mr Suparno also found a way to make bags from coffee sachets since Bali is famous for its coffee. He now also runs a recycling center that employs five people. With plastic waste collected from shops, restaurants and homes in the town of Gilimanuk, Mr Suparno and his team upcycle and repurpose. One challenge he faced was to assure people that his recycling projects would help reduce waste. As a consequence of Mr Suparno’s actions, upcycled bags can now be purchased and jobs have been created. Participating in the Biosphere Stewardship Program was an incredible and life-changing experience. I am grateful for this opportunity awarded to me by EARCOS. I am excited to start my last year of high school sharing a message to take environmental actions now, no matter how small. Sometimes, we cannot tell what the reaction of our actions will be. As far as that Chemistry course is concerned, there is always next summer. We just have to trust that, if we make the right choices, good reactions will follow. By Felicity Crook, Nanjing International School Photos credits: M. Roussel
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Education ready. University ready. Work ready. Ready for the world. Cambridge Global Perspectivesâ&#x201E;˘ is a unique, transformational programme that helps students at every stage of school education develop outstanding transferable skills, including critical thinking, research and collaboration. To learn more, visit cambridgeinternational.org/globalperspectives
Untitled By Keira Handoko, Grade 8
Jakarta Intercultural School I miss the old you. The one who wouldn’t try to make a fool out of me, The one who’d know but be too shy to say, The one who’d include me in every way. The one who’d compliment me in ways I’d never know, Only to figure out, I’m all you ever show. I miss the old you. Because the old you wouldn’t be this cruel. The old you would have smiled for days, And wouldn’t have abandoned me to the waste that day. Because the old you was funny and sweet, ACT: A Community Tapestry Now you try to impress people by what covers your feet. You’re not impressing anybody. I thought you’d stay as the old you. You were the center of all that’s blue. Glistening with that teal glow whenever I see you. And even though you said You couldn’t dance, We still believed. Because the old you would always see true, Now the new you just argues. Who knew? How people could change? Because the new you make lies, So has the old you just died? But I thought the old you was strong, Could I have maybe been more wrong? So will you be the old you or the new you? Because I’d never want the old you To go through What I’ve been through. But what I’ve been through Was due to the new you. Now, I just miss you. Though, I guess, Through and through, I never really knew you.
Ode to Smiles By Keira Handoko, Grade 8 Jakarta Intercultural School
These things can glisten in the dark, Make me feel calm inside, And can be oh so different, Yet all beautiful. Just one of these can brighten my day When no one can. Yes, I say all smiles are beautiful, But yours never cease to dazzle me. Sparkling endlessly in a sea of crowds. Like a warm cloud on a rainy day. And when you smile with that crinkle in your nose, I melt away. So, I hope your smile never goes away, Because you don’t know how much it makes my day.
Ocean 2 By Samantha Furnish Seoul Foreign School
She greets me as if I am an old friend I am terrified of Her Her darkness seems so calming So welcoming So cold I enter Her slowly Bit by bit Feeling Her filling up every hole of what I am missing in myself I am weightless I am drowning My body is caressed by the gentle lapping of waves By the way Her salty tears soothe my skin And mine in turn are wiped away by her guiding tides My throat hurts so very much I taste the acid of Her voice on my tongue Maybe it’s just me Was she once my friend? The years I spent My childhood Beside her With her In her Captured by her A wave comes crashing down It overtakes me It envelops me It crushes me I am embraced so lovingly In Her arms
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(Front L-R) Brian Smith(HKIS), Eileen Rueth(I.S. Beijing), Joni Kerr(ISKL), Lori Richardson Garcia(TAS), Natalie Beals(SSIS), Caroline Ellis(SAS), Deborah Chu(SFS), Kathy Beahn(ISY) (Back L-R) Chris Smith(SAS), Stan Covington(I.S. Bangkok), Colin Aitken(I.S. Manila), Keith Allerton(JIS), Dr. Edward Greene(EARCOS Exec. Dir.)Chris Bell(ASIJ), Bill Oldread(EARCOS Asst. Dir)
EARCOS Teacher Advisory Commitee Meeting
On August 30-31, the EARCOS Advisory Committee met in Bangkok, Thailand to solidify planning for this year’s Teachers’ Conference, themed ‘A Clear Vision for the Future’ and to begin planning for ETC 2021. It was an amazing group of thoughtful and creative people from all over Asia. The advisory committee consists of EARCOS staff and school representatives from China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, and Vietnam. While it began with a remembrance of the great leadership that Dr. Dick Krajczar had provided in the past, we welcomed the new leadership of Dr. Ed Greene (Executive Director), Bill Oldread (Assistant Director), and Ms. Giselle Sison (Program Coordinator). This year the ETC will return to Bangkok, Thailand, and the lovely Shangri-La Hotel. It promises to be an amazing event with keynote speakers Candida Snow speaking about Global Competence, and Rick Wormeli speaking about the importance of working with students in the middle grades. Lastly, Linda ElkinsTanton will be sharing information about her current project working with NASA that integrates science, math, and technology. Additional bonuses this year are the Pre-Conference offerings of Advanced Placement training in Biology, Calculus AB & BC, Computer Science, and World History. The strands for this year’s conference will be Science, Math, Social Studies/Humanities, Global Issues/Citizenship, Middle School, Service Learning, STEM, and General Education Topics. We already have a tremendous lineup of speakers from all areas. Every year we also look to incorporate presentations for teachers and educators in the field. If you are interested in presenting, speak with your local EARCOS rep to learn more since the deadline for submission is November. This year’s conference promises to be yet another fantastic EARCOS event. If you are looking for amazing PD and the opportunity to network in a beautiful location, mark your calendars for March 26-28, 2020 for the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. For details on all the different professional development opportunities, visit: www.earcos.org/etc2020
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Elementary School Art Celebration
American International School Colourful Hong Kong Grade 2 (Collaboration) Nagoya International School (NIS) Rainbow Cat Kyla Wright, Grade 2 Recycled materials, paper mache, tissue paper & paint pens
American International School Happy Girl with Donut Earring Junlee Park, Grade 4
International Community School Bangkok Sushi Collage Yosep, Grade 4 Ekamai International School Bangkok (L) Patcharmon Wachiranunjarukorn, Grade 8 (R) Prae Kiatsunthorn, Grade 3
CONCORDIA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HANOI (L) Shapes: Oil Pastels, HyeRye, Grade 5 (R) Leaves, Thomas, Grade 3, Colored Pencil
SEOUL FOREIGN SCHOOL Enjoy the View Chloe Park, Grade 5 Markers and Pen Fall 2019 Issue 41
EARCOS Professional Learning Weekend SY 2019-2020 SEPTEMBER Sept 27-28 School: Morrison Academy Title: Getting Classroom Assessment Right Consultant: Dr. Laura Link Sept 28-29 School: Korea International School Title: Cognitive Coaching: Dare to Lead Consultant: Jolene Lockwood School: Ruamrudee International School Title: Writer’s Workshop Consultants: Anne Marie Chow and Scott Riley School: Saigon South International School Title: PlayTime - Making and Coding for Educators Consultant: Evan Weinberg
Oct 5-6 School: American School in Taichung Title: Learning Targets, Feedback, and Proficiency Based Grading Consultant: Dr. Hannah Reeder School: Bandung Independent School Title: The Role of the Teacher in Student Well-Being Consultant: Dr. Christopher Liang School: Saigon South International School Title: iPad Inspiration for Every Classroom Technology by Design Consultant: Rebecca Jardin Oct 12-13 School: Nagoya International School Title: Understanding and Supporting Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultant: Lori Boll Oct 19-20 School: Shenzhen Shekou International School Title: Every Teacher is a Language Teacher Consultant: Dr. Virginia Rojas Oct 26-27 School: Shanghai SMIC Private School Title: Connecting Mathematics to the World Around Us Consultant: Ron Lancaster
NOVEMBER Nov 2-3 School: Seisen International School Title: Teaching with ATL in mind Consultant: Lance King Hong Kong International School Title: Designing an Assessment System to Measure Three Dimensional Science Learning Consultant: Wendy Smith Nov 9-10 School: Cebu International School Title: ATL Skills Program Design and Implementation Consultant: Lance King
Nov 9-10 School: Surabaya Intercultural School Title: Assessment for Learning Consultant: Tania Lattanzio
Feb 15-16 School: The American School in Japan Title: Planning to Engage and Empower Readers and Writers Consultant: Penny Kittle
Nov 16-17 School: Concordia International School Hanoi Title: Developing the Design Mind Consultants: Kevin Jarrett and David Jakes
February 22-23 School: International School of Phnom Penh Title: Inspire Citizens Consultants: Steve Sostak & Aaron Moniz of Inspire Citizens
School: Osaka YMCA International School Title: Connecting Mathematics to the World Around Us Consultant: Ron Lancaster
Feb 29 - Mar 1 School: KIS International School Title: Concept Based Mathematics: Teaching for Deep Understanding level 1 for Prek to 12 teachers Consultant: Jennifer Chang Wathall
School: IGB International School Title: The Magic of Learning Consultant: Silvia Tolisano
School: Korea International School KORCOS International Educators’ Conference 2019 Consultant: Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes
March 7-8 School: Xiamen International School Title: The Writing Workshop: Creating a Community of Writers Consultant: Laurie Ransom
Nov 30-Dec 1 School: International School Bangkok Title: Social and Emotional Learning for Teens: Why, What & How? Consultant: Amy Smith
School: Surabaya Intercultural School Title: Conceptual Based Learning Consultant: Tania Lattanzio
School: International School Bangkok Title: Creating The Learning Support Classroom of Tomorrow Consultant: Phil Bowman
Hong Kong International School Title: Connecting NGSS and the PYP Curriculum Framework (ES Teachers & PYP Coordinators) Consultant: Wendy Smith
Mar 12-14 United Nations International School - Hanoi MIDDLE SCHOOL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2020 Theme: “Clear Vision for Student Success”
Jan 11-12 School: Osaka International School Title: Supporting Global Citizenship, Leadership and Sustainable Development Goals Integration Consultant: Justin Bedardon
Mar 14-15 Chadwick International School Title: Dare to Lead: Daring Classrooms Consultant: Jolene Lockwood
Jan 18-19 School: Yokohama International School Title: Learning Through Wellness Consultant: Energetic Education - Dale Sidebottom
Korea International School Title: Power of Music in the Elementary Years Consultants: Beth Nelson, Director, Orff Schulwerk
School: Brent International School Manila Title: Student Health and Wellbeing Consultant: Amy Lauren Smith
School: Tokyo International School Title: Fusing Reading & Writing Workshop in IB-Style School Settings Consultant: Christopher Frost
April 11-12 Yokohama International School Title: Inclusive Classrooms Consultant: Matt Barker
School: Suzhou Singapore International School Title: How the Science of Learning can Inform the Art of Teaching Consultant: Ewen Bailey
April 23-24 Alice Smith School Title: Catering for the needs of all learners in Maths Consultant: Janet Smith
Feb 29 - Mar 1 School: Shanghai American School Title: Visual and Performing Arts Summit Consultants: Nyssa Brown and Jeremy Holien
Please visit the EARCOS website for more information on Professional Learning Weekend.