The EARCOS Triannual JOURNAL A Link to Educational Excellence in East Asia
Featured in this Issue EdThought The Power of Silent Teachers Curriculum Online Learning in the Time of Coronavirus Service Learning Building a Culture of Service: Tips and Lessons Learned
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) David Toze, Past President (International School Manila) Ronelda Capadona (Chiang Mai International School) Barry Sutherland (International School of Phnom Penh) Sab Kagei (St. Maryâ€™s International School) Kevin Baker (Busan International Foreign School) Laurie McLellan (Nanjing International School) Elsa Donohue (Vientiane International School), Trustee-elect effective April 2020 Larry Hobdell (ex officio), Office of Overseas Schools REO EARCOS STAFF Edward E. Greene, Executive Director Albert Camburn, Interim Asst. Director Bill Oldread, Consultant Elaine Repatacodo, Administrative Assistant, ELC Program Coordinator Giselle Sison, ETC Program Coordinator Ver Castro, Membership & I.T. Coordinator Edzel Drilo, Web Developer, Professional Learning Weekend, Sponsorship & Advertising Coordinator Robert Sonny Viray, Accountant RJ Macalalad, Accounting Assistant Rod Catubig Jr., Office Staff East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS) Brentville Subdivision, Barangay Mamplasan, Binan, Laguna, 4024 Philippines Phone: +63 (02) 8779-5147 Mobile: +63 928 507 4876
In this Issue
From the Executive Director
Professional Development - How SIY Helped me Deal with Failure as a Leader
Curriculum - Does Getting out of the Classroom Help You De-Stress? - Requirements for New Maths Curriculum: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Resilience (page 12) - UNIS Hanoiâ€™s Distance Learning Lessons Go Global (page 16) - An Examination of Government Perspectives in a MYP Language Acquisition Class (page 26) - Inclusive Schools Week at IGB International School (page 28) - Learning Support & the MARIO Framework (page 32) - Online Learning in the Time of Coronavirus (page 34)
Service Learning - Service that Fosters Deep Connections - Authentic Needs in Service Learning (page 24) - Building a Culture of Service: (page 38)
Press Release - MS Students Participate in Samsung Junior Engineering Academy - IS Manila Celebrates Century of Growth (page 10) - SENIA International Announces New Exec. Director (page 25) - IB Art: Fake Gallery (page 37)
EdThought - Future Ready Skills: Designing A New Subject through the Art and Science of Creativity - The Power of Silent Teachers (page 20)
Student Writings - A True Heart - Poetry (page 29)
Campus Development - Learn, Play, and Grow in the New Taipei American School Tiger Garden
Community Service - Kidzuna Virtual Hanami
Green & Sustainable - 15,000 Mangrove Saplings Planted
High School Art Gallery
Cover photo by Felix Lichtenfeld
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 researchersâ€™ 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
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.
Spring 2020 Spring 2020 Issue 1
From the Executive Director World. Interrupted. Welcome to the Spring 2020 issue of the EARCOS TriJournal. For the very first time our journal will be published in a digital format only. With the emergency quarantine forcing the closure of our printer, and the with uncertainty of shipping across borders, there was no other option. If there is a silver lining to this, it is that we will be able to greatly increase the readership because the journal will be sent to every individual and organization on the EARCOS databases, including all who have attended an EARCOS sponsored conference or event over the past several years.
held at the Shangri-La in Bangkok at the end of October. It promises to be an exceptional conference—not just because of the superb list of presenters, but because it will be the first opportunity many of us will have had to gather together as a community to share ideas and experiences and to rekindle friendships with handshakes, unmasked smiles and (dare we hope?)—hugs!
It has been reassuring to hear from our schools about how they have imaginatively dealt with such difficult challenges. I should mention, too, that it has been especially gratifying The challenge of moving to a digital format is trivial, of course, to receive so many manuscripts for consideration for pubwhen compared to the challenges faced across our region’s lication in ET over the past several months when everyone schools. After decades of seminars on ‘change’ were any has been so preoccupied with such pressing concerns. The of us remotely prepared for the unrecognizable world that manuscripts underscored again and again the inspirational has arrived on our doorsteps these past four months? And work of EARCOS school leaders, teachers and their stuyet, look at what has been accomplished across our region’s dents and their commitment to sharing with colleagues schools as they have responded to previously unimagined across the region. circumstances. We are all deeply, deeply indebted to the thousands of EARCOS teachers who have been teaching Make no mistake: the roots of all that is good about intertheir students online, quite a good number of them from national education have spread wide and deep throughthe lonely confines of their apartments where they have out this region for more than half a century. And, while been locked in and locked down, separated from family, the winds may buffet us for a time longer, who among us friends and colleagues. If you are looking for something can doubt that the EARCOS community will emerge as to celebrate during these hard days, look no further than a beacon shining toward new horizons? Stay the course. the teachers of our schools who have performed a service Stay together with and for one another. That is and has albordering on miraculous. ways been the essence of what it means to be part of the EARCOS family. With a small number of schools beginning to gradually reopen in China, there is a real spark of hope that the disrup- On behalf of all of us here in Manila, and on behalf of the tion from the pandemic will eventually be in the rearview EARCOS Board of Trustees, we wish you, your loved ones mirror. Having absorbed more hard lessons than any of and your school communities well. We look forward to us would ever have expected or wanted to learn, interna- welcoming you to an EARCOS event in the near future. tional educators--and our schools--will re-emerge smarter, stronger, more resilient and, surely, changed in ways we are only now beginning to comprehend. And, for all the incredible help distance learning has offered our schools during this time of crisis, has the power and value of being part of a physical community of learners ever been more obvious Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. or more poignant? Executive Director East Asia Regional Council of Schools Having made the painful decision to cancel the 2020 EARCOS Teachers’ Conference and the Annual Spring Heads’ Retreat, the staff and I started working in earnest on the next major event-- the 52nd Leadership Conference to be 2 EARCOS Triannual Journal
LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE 2020 October 29-31, 2020 Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
>> visit www.earcos.org
How SIY Helped me Deal with Failure as a Leader By Brenda Petersen, Assistant Head of School Concordia International School Shanghai silience. Day one of SIY provided an overview of the neuroscience supporting mindfulness and emotional intelligence. The sessions then further explored ways to cultivate self-awareness/self-regulation. Day two examined values-based motivations and the role of empathy for more profound leadership.The practical exercises were refreshing and promoted vigorous dialogue and reflection. My favorite sessions involved exploring workplace applications with other participants to achieve greater focus, emotional balance, and compassion for ourselves and others. I was not the only person who walked in with a scowl on her face as I saw executives and architects hurry into the meeting room on the first day. By the end of the program, I noticed that the majority of us were smiling and looking at each other rather than our cell phones. To extend and solidify the learning if we chose to, SIY assigned each participant a fellow participant buddy and emailed us 28 follow-up lessons. I drew from the lessons a great deal over the days and weeks afterwards. RLN Teachers run a dance workshop at Unity in Diversity Day.
What mindfulness practices stuck with me?
I was sitting in a room of sixty strangers with a splitting headache. The day before, our leadership team had just announced an extremely unpopular decision with our faculty. Now the decision was out, people were upset, and I was sitting in workshop on mindfulness and compassionate leadership feeling foolish, helpless, and fearful of the emails I would get in the coming hours. Knowing I was interested in all forms of meditation, a colleague had suggested I attend the Search Inside Yourself (SIY) 2 Day Program. I grumpily watched the leaders with a “what-could-you-possibly-have-to-teach-me” attitude and wondered how soon we would have a break so I could quickly scan my phone for messages. However, within minutes I found myself saying “I forgot how centering meditation is” or “that’s a great way to be more present for others” and “I need to do this exercise with my school tomorrow.” By the end of the day I knew I not only wanted to complete the rest of the program, I wanted to share it with everyone I knew.
Taking a sacred pause SIY teaches that we can all take a moment to a pause before responding to a thought, comment, or event. The program refers to this moment as the sacred pause since this time and space can allow us to choose the best, more kind response rather than rushing to react to circumstance. As someone who gets her share of challenging emails or angry parents walking through her door, the sacred pause plays a fairly large role in my life. In challenging moments, it is natural to surrender to an emotional, knee jerk reaction. I confess that I have not always taken the sacred pause as much as I would like in my work or personal life, but after the SIY program I am much more aware of the option than ever before. I also appreciate having the permission to take the sacred pause. I used to think being a good leader was always about jumping right into action to make sure people knew I was taking them or the situation seriously. Now more often than not, I take the sacred pause because I know the situation is important enough to deserve a considered response rather than an instinctive one.
What is SIY? Designed and tested at Google, the Search Inside Yourself program teaches mindfulness and emotional intelligence skills that support sustained peak performance, strong collaboration and effective leadership. Each two-day program is co-taught by two instructors who share both content and practices with participants. The training I attended was a public program with participants from a variety of cultures and careers. Many had never heard of let alone experienced mindfulness before. I was surprised at how quickly myself and others responded to the practices of mediation, journaling, and active listening. The program taught all of us tools for focus, self-awareness, and re4 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Rich Fernandez, SIY teacher and current CEO, leading a recent training in Asia
SIY participants sharing experiences with empathy in leadership.
Staying curious SIY teaches about our brain’s fight or flight response to perceived threats. This mechanism was appropriate when faced with predators 100 million years ago; it is not so helpful now in response to an angry email, tense meeting, or looming deadline. The volume of conflict and challenge could have a school leader staying in fight-or-flight-mode all day, every day of the week. Using the mindset tools from the program, I have been able to move from fight-or-flight mode more to rest-and-digest mode simply by reminding myself to be curious about what is happening in the moment. When I can get curious about a person, a situation, a challenge, I am able to access more creativity and resolve to stay learning in the present moment.This technique helps me to not miss an opportunity to learn more, listen more, understand more. Journaling Another helpful technique I picked up from SIY was to journal in moments of challenge or duress at work. The program uses journaling for a variety of purposes including motivation and visualization. However, I find it most useful to journal when I am upset or unfocused at work. Just two minutes of free writing can calm my mind and help me get in touch with what I can do to be of most use in the moment. The entries often help me check my ego. By exploring my feelings and fears, I can let them go and be present with what’s important right now. I have always kept a journal, but I think I had the bias that a journal should be a pristine, leather bound book with collected observations one would pass onto the grandchildren. SIY recommends letting go of that pretence, and just using whatever pad of paper is handy. I’m now grateful for all those leftover notebooks from various conferences. I can pour in my fear, frustration, and fury for a few minutes to garner the clarity that will serve me for the rest of the day.
The most profound practice I took away from the SIY program was to become a more consistent meditator. Meditation helps me maintain focus, awareness, and compassion for both myself and others. While the program offers several simple practices, it also inspired me to seek out other resources. Here are some recommendations for anyone seeking more support for their mindfulness practice: *Meditation Apps: 10% Happier includes full courses along with talks and single meditation sessions from anywhere to one to thirty minutes. Eat Right Now. This app uses mindfulness to change one’s relationship to eating.Various techniques help you examine your eating habits, experiences, and relationship to food. The tools help you slow down and consider what are you get out of the food you are about to eat. Podcasts. There more podcasts available than to name here. Sharon Salzburg and Deepak Chopra both have offered series that I have found helpful *Silent Retreats. The SIY program recommends attending silent retreats. Many different retreats offer three day to three month-long programs. Like anyone, I was anxious before I went to my first seven-day silent retreat, but I loved my experience so much that now I do at least one silent retreat a year. On many days my mind feels like being stuck at a mall where you can hear two to three different songs playing at the same time. Time spent in silence at a retreat is like having the competing songs turned off so my mind can relax in the absence of chatter. Here are a couple of retreat centers I’ve enjoyed: Assisi Retreats (Italy), Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center (USA), Dipabhavan Meditation Center (Thailand). The SIY program and my meditation practice do not make me immune to failure-- far from it sadly. However, mindfulness training sustains me during the inevitable, humbling moments of leadership. I was able to face the difficult time facing my school when I can back from the 2-day program and countless others afterwards. Meditation and mindfulness give me courage to pause, face my shortcomings, and respond thoughtfully. As one meditation teacher said, you can either spend all your time reviewing and regretting or looking and learning. Failure is part of growth both for institutions and for individuals. Mindfulness tools like the SIY program help me embrace the wins and the losses so I can keep looking and learning each school day.
Margaret Sanders Scholarship Winner We are happy to announce that Nghi (Violet) Vo from American International School Vietnam is our winner for the 2019-2020 Margaret Sanders Scholarship Award. All of us in the EARCOS office and region are proud of her accomplishments and recognition.
Spring 2020 Issue 5
Does Getting out of the Classroom Help You De-Stress? By Caroline Ferguson, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) Leader Bangkok Patana School stress levels. It was clear from the students’ answers that this was not the case. Although 23 percent of students acknowledged that CAS significantly increased their workload, only 8.9 percent felt that this caused any stress. In fact, 53 percent of students reported none or very low levels of stress, with the lowest levels reported by students who were most involved in the creative strand of CAS. The majority of those students who stated that they experienced a level of stress through CAS cited their busy schedule as the reason why they found it difficult to balance academics and their extra-curricular experiences.
We, as teachers and parents, often push our students or children to do more, get more involved and challenge themselves, but does this additional burden on time and energy result in heightened stress and anxiety? I decided to conduct some research into IB Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) to establish not only whether CAS significantly added to the IB students’ workload, and therefore stress levels, but also whether students felt that their experiences in CAS added to their feelings of self-worth, through increased confidence levels, and whether they felt it helped them establish positive support networks through positive collaborative relationships with their peers and teachers. In all, 124 Year 13 students responded to the survey and what they had to say was very interesting, but also incredibly positive. As a requirement of their IB Diploma programme Senior students are required to show that they have been engaged in creativity, service and activity experiences for the duration of the diploma programme. At Bangkok Patana School the students are lucky to have an incredibly wide range of experiences to choose from, from competitive sports such as volleyball to performing in a theatre or music production, to engagement in an issue of global importance through one of our Community Action Teams (CATs). The majority identified Activity or Service as the strand of CAS in which they were primarily engaged while 13.7 percent were engaged in a creative activity and around 20 percent were equally engaged. As part of the CAS programme students are required to maintain a portfolio that contains detailed reflections on their experiences and evidence in the form of photos and videos. My first question was whether maintaining this portfolio represented a significant increase in workload for students and whether this meant increased 6 EARCOS Triannual Journal
So are CAS students happy and self-fulfilled? When asked if their CAS experiences gave them personal satisfaction, an overwhelming 73 percent stated that they experienced high or very high levels (see Figure 3 above). The highest levels of fulfilment were, in fact, cited by students who had a balanced programme which equally incorporated all three strands, or those who were most passionate about service. Three quarters of all students questioned stated that “being involved in service has made me feel good about myself ”, while 67 percent felt that through CAS they had found their strengths and so become more self-confident. In terms of maintaining healthy support networks, over 65 percent of students agreed that “the friendships and relationships I make through my CAS experience(s) mean a lot to me”. So, although their commitment to their CAS experiences does mean that Bangkok Patana students have to work on maintaining balance with their academic studies, the overwhelming evidence is that any extra workload caused is by far outweighed by the positives. Senior students are clearly happier and healthier because if their involvement in CAS. One Senior student reported, “CAS is a great way to relieve your stress from school work, so it is important you enjoy what you are doing and having FUN is the main objective of having this programme.” Another student added, “CAS gives you a really good opportunity to try out new things and helps you improve on existing skills. Approach this ‘subject’ as something that will enrich you as an overall person and have fun because if you have learnt things and gained experience from your activities, you have done well in CAS.”
Field trip to an organic farm
Service that Fosters Deep Connections By Sophia Hamilton, Middle Years Coordinator and Secondary English Teacher Bandung Independent School When the Grade 12 students at Bandung Independent School decided on The Kite Runner as their free choice novel, I asked them to research the political, religious and cultural context of Afghanistan. Their strategy surprised me: they turned to the chat function on their video games. I discovered that my students have been gaming online with Afghan students from the Refugee Learning Nest (a learning community run by and for refugees) almost every night since 2016 when our partnership with the RLN began. With every “service” project that we start, we hope to go beyond ticking a box about the completion of an activity to a real connection with others and a deep understanding of global issues. This is the story of two communities who have opened their hearts to one another only to be surprised at how much they have in common, and how much they have learnt. In April 2016, Grade 7 students were studying Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman, a story about an Afghan boy and his family who flee Afghanistan and head for America. As part of this unit, we discovered that around 2000 Afghan refugees were actually awaiting resettlement in Bogor, a city 3 hours from our school in Bandung, Indonesia. We visited the centre to learn more about refugees, the horrific situations that they have fled from and the struggles of waiting many years for resettlement. However, when the students played games and wrote creatively together, they realised that they were all just teenagers who liked to do similar things. BIS students are in a position of great privilege with good facilities and a worldclass education, whereas their RLN friends still didn’t have a safe place to run and play. This inspired the Grade 7 students to organise a movie night to fundraise. They were able to raise Rp. 18,00,000 - around $1300US, which helped the RLN to build a playground - a place where we have spent many happy hours playing together since. In the years that have followed, we have brought the RLN to BIS for several events, such as Unity in Diversity Day where we have been proud to add Afghanistan and Iraq to the parade of 24 nations represented by BIS students. In this year’s programme, RLN teachers ran an Afghan Dance workshop for BIS students while RLN students joined other workshops. We have also collaborated across the school with the RLN, including G3’s cultural celebration, G5’s Migration unit, G7’s Humanities unit, and G8’s Biographies unit. We worked with the RLN on various Science and Speech units. While the awareness and funds that our little club raise is just a drop in the ocean, I am honored to now be part of not one, but two communities who care about working together to make the world a better place. Students from both communities who continue to organise events from bake sales to talk shows, parents who donate, barbecue and support their teenagers building relationships, and 8 EARCOS Triannual Journal
RLN Teachers run a dance workshop at Unity in Diversity Day. teachers who collaborate together giving up family and holiday time to give students from vastly different backgrounds an education. An education that we believe reaches beyond academics and will empower us all to make a change in our world. We asked the RLN for their perspective and they care as much as we do about the relationship: The Nest feels changes and strengthened since BIS became our partner. The training has built confidence in our teachers to teach our students in a more engaging way. Similarly, the parents also feel more secure for their children’s future now. We can’t stop the kids talking about times that they had with BIS to their friends! They are extremely happy which is not usual for us in our situation. We will never forget the dinners and fun that we all had together- the time when we forgot our difficulties and embraced the warmth of togetherness. This togetherness is something that we believe will stay with us, long after our students have graduated and our refugee friends have been resettled. BIS students enjoying amazing Afghan food.
Middle School Students Participate in Samsung Junior Engineering Academy By Mrs. Jean Candol-Piscioneri, MS Science Teacher Seoul International School This past November several Seoul International School middle school studens (Andrew Kim and Kaden Lee (grade 7), Daniel Lee and Sahngwon Lee (grade 8) had the privilege of being invited to participate in the 2019 Samsung Junior Engineering Academy. The academy was held at the Samsung Engineering Headquarters in Seoul. The event offered a comprehensive education course where all lectures were delivered by the principal engineers from Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd. Sustainable development and engineering, understanding renewable energy, water treatment and petrochemical engineering were among the key points of the lectures.
to do in the future. I learned more details about bio-engineering, which I am very interested in, by listening to the Engineers’’ lectures. I had the opportunity of meeting new friends with similar interests as me, and I was able to cooperate and work with them. I am very thankful for Samsung for giving me this opportunity.” - by Andrew Kim (7th grade) “The Samsung Engineering Academy was a humbling experience for me to discover my potential in the engineering field for our environment. In this two-day event, we learned about waste treatment engineering, safety engineering, and energy usage that could prompt our future generation to an eco-environment. I highly recommend those of you guys who are interested in science and the environment.” -by Daniel Lee (8th grade) “From the Samsung Engineering Academy, I learned multiple things. I learned more about the different types of engineering, and engineering in general. I liked making new friends at the Engineering Academy. I also liked the team building activities there.” - by Sahngwon Lee (8th Grade)
Students from 10 different countries attend the Samsung Junior Engineering Academy with MS students from Seoul International School ~ Andrew Kim, Sahngwon Lee, Daniel Lee, Kaden Lee. A total of 40 students from 10 countries: Australia, Georgia, India, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the U.A.E.
It was such a great experience for our middle school students to be a part of this event. The organizers of this event, Ms. Erica Lima and Ms. Juhyon Yeon, did an amazing job facilitating the logistics of this workshop, and in accommodating the participants. The entire two-day workshop was exceptionally well executed. It was a great way of bringing young students together to collaborate and become well informed on the topic of sustainable engineering. We look forward to the Samsung Engineering Academy as an annual event for our SIS students.
At the end of the workshop, participants were tasked to create their idea of an Eco-city based on what they had learned from the lectures. Our MS students learned a great deal from this event. Additionally, they had this great opportunity of meeting and interacting with other young middle schoolers from other countries. Here are their personal reflections… “Most of the lectures were interesting, but there was one which hooked my attention. The lecture was about safety engineering, I think I felt much more interesting about it because I didn’t know that safety engineering was actually an existing subject. We got a chance to move into another building where we tried simulations of safety precautions in the world of engineering.” Kaden Lee (7th grade) “It was a great opportunity for me to express what I know and what I want
(L-R) Andrew Kim, Sahngwon Lee, Daniel Lee, Kaden Lee with Mrs. Piscioneri of Seoul International School participate in the Samsung Junior Engineering Academy. Spring 2020 Issue 9
IS Manila Celebrates a Century of Growth MANILA, PHILIPPINES - International School Manila is a community composed of 2,400 students from over 100 nations, 400 multicultural faculty, and thousands of alumni across the world. With the school celebrating is hundredth birthday on March 4, it is fitting to look back on its rich history and look forward to its future. Humble Beginnings In 1920, a group of American and British expatriates living in Manila sought to establish a school for their children comparable to the top private schools in the US, with the added cultural education of life abroad. Thus, the American School began at 606 Taft Avenue, a loaned church building, with just eight teachers and fifty students from Grades 1-12. A few loaned Spanish-style houses later, the School opened the doors to its own campus on Donada Street in 1936, today home to Arellano University. 1942 brought with it the beginning of the Japanese occupation, which forced citizens of allied countries into internment at the University of Santo Tomas till war’s end in 1945. Through a combination of resourcefulness and dedication, thirty-four students managed to fulfill graduation requirements during this time.
1930s American School 2nd Grade School Classroom.
10 EARCOS Triannual Journal
The middle decades of the School’s history were characterized by growth—enrollment records were topped year after year—and diversification, as expats from across the world were drawn to the elite education the School offered. As such, a bigger campus was opened in the metropolitan Bel-Air area in 1961. The American School then changed its name to International School Manila (ISM) in 1970 to reflect the growing student diversity on campus. With the move to Bel-Air came the institution of a Filipino Scholarship Program. Almost sixty years later, the Program has helped launch hundreds of careers, from entrepreneurs to humanitarians, lawyers to doctors, and everything in between. Today ISM is a school continuously searching for ways that will enable it to be better. With a focus on sustainability in recent years, the school cafeteria, Kantina has been overhauled. Next year will bring about extended solar paneling as well as the addition of a teaching kitchen and an International Baccalaureate option in Food Science. Sports and Fine Arts facilities see enhancements each year. Additional facilities have been added for younger learners, while a Learning Support Center provides the optimal environment for those who need specialist attention from skilled educators to help them in their growth.
Superintendent David Toze with entire High School.
Integrity, Service, Merit David Toze, who celebrates his 19th year as Superintendent, now the longest-serving in School history, speaks to the values behind an ISM education. “Integrity, as behaving to the highest expectations—even when no one is watching what we do; Service, the recognition of how lucky our community is, and how it behooves us to give back to those who are in need; Merit, the quality of getting what you deserve—of having to work for success rather than having it handed to you on a plate. Not everyone models these every day. But the more our students understand their significance, the more likely they are to become the kind of people our world needs so badly.”
International School Manila, Fort Bonifacio.
Spring 2020 Issue 11
Requirements for New Maths Curriculum: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Resilience By Meredith A. Jewell, Mathematics Teacher Brent International School Manila The materials forwarded by JIS allowed Brent teachers to efficiently and effectively create the new math courses in the aforementioned grade levels.
With the new IB Math courses rolling out in the fall of 2019, Brent International School Manila Upper School Principal, Sonia Bustamante, knew that the math department would need to re-examine their current curriculum sooner than the scheduled review two yearsfrom now. As a result, teachers have stepped up to the plate by collaborating both internally and externally, while also beginning to teach the new IB courses concurrently. Brent is a private, Episcopalian international school of approximately 1,000 students located 20 miles south of Metro Manila. The school offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) and also provides an American curriculum. Traditionally, the school has followed the Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 progression in grades 8, 9, and 10, respectively. In recent years, teachers and administrators have begun questioning this structure and began researching an integrated math approach instead. Identifying the “Big Ideas” was accomplished effortlessly; however, narrowing down the standards within each topic was a more daunting task. The transition to a new Math Head, Lorna Faber, in the fall of 2019 allowed the Brent team to examine standards used at Faber’s former institution, Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS). What took the JIS staff several years to perfect was generously sent to the Brent teachers in the spirit of sharing quality instruction and resources. This gesture to provide Brent with exceptional information for teaching and learning is a testament to the commitment of collegiality and professionalism of the Math department at JIS. As international educators it is crucial that colleagues from different schools begin to collaborate more frequently as well as serve as sounding boards for each other. One study (Goddard & Goddard, 2007, p. 892 – 893) supports this notion by finding a positive correlation between teacher collaboration and student outcomes; that is, the more teachers collaborated, the better their students performed on high stakes assessments. 12 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Another facet of this transition includes teachers’ willingness to be flexible. While Brent teachers are master teachers with an average of 13 years of successful IB teaching experience, they have challenged themselves to be increasingly receptive to new instructional methods throughout the years. The way students receive, process, and apply knowledge has changed a great deal within just the past decade (see, for example, Seifert & Sutton, 2009). Technology advancements also impact how we can deliver instruction, as well as assess students on their mastery of concepts. Brent teachers are now incorporating more inquiry-based activities for students to apply mathematical reasoning to making connections prior to receiving direct instruction.The department is hopeful that in reviewing spring MAP test data there will be evidence that the increased emphasis on conceptual understanding has resulted to improved student learning. The journey for the Brent math team has not always been easy. Teachers are piloting the grades 9 and 10 courses this year in an effort to design the best curriculum for their students. By keeping their focus on the benefits to students, the team has been resilient in this task while also dealing with the global issues of the Taal volcano eruption, which cancelled classes in Manila for a week, and the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. While the teachers continue to maintain their regular job duties, they are also dedicating time to regularly meet to review the execution of the new courses. For any schools preparing for a change in curriculum, this author recommends incorporating the strategies mentioned in this article: collaborate with colleagues both within your school and beyond, cooperate by being open to new ideas, and stay determined to follow through with the process. The rewards of increased student outcomes will justify the commitment to the work that you do. References Goddard, Y.L., & Goddard, R.D. (2007). A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Teacher Collaboration for School Improvement and Student Achievement in Public Elementary Schools. Teachers College Record Volume 109, Number 4, 877 – 896. Seifert, K. & Sutton, R. (2009). Education Psychology. Retrieved from https://courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-educationalpsychology/ chapter/teaching-is-different-from-in-the-past.
Future Ready Skills: Designing A New Subject through the Art and Science of Creativity By Deidre Fischer the process, keep coming back to the purpose to avoid the temptation of adding too much. team app roach
learning p it
op cl devel
Late in 2018 I worked with a client who wanted to see education transformed in her home country. The brief was to design a new subject that allowed for student passions, global issues and the working world to come into the classroom. Developing such a subject that would be delivered by host country teachers in their own language could be truly transformative.This required all my creativity, but was it even possible? I managed to complete the project and oversee the training of teachers and school leaders for the implementation of the new subject. There were some tips that I learned throughout the process that you may be able to use if you wish to create new and engaging courses or re-invent your curriculum. In order to develop new curriculum I believe you need to bring the two critical elements of content and process together. 1. Start with a team approach to defining the purpose and structure In order to produce a quality product I knew that I needed diversity of opinion/perspectives and healthy discourse to develop what my client needed. I invited two colleagues who were specialists in Early Years and Middle Years to join me in my work, and whom I respected for what they could bring to the team. 2. In discussions keep coming back to the ‘why’ and the KISS principle The old question .. quantity or quality? There needs to be extensive thinking with alignment to the purpose before you start planning, and during
14 EARCOS Triannual Journal
3. Embrace the ‘learning pit’ process My discussions and articulation of thinking with my colleagues were healthy, sometimes passionate and we built in ‘think time’ to process ideas and perspectives. It was not always comfortable or easy and we found ourselves in the learning pit at different times, before we were able to ensure we could see how everything worked together. We were conscious that we were entering the unknown as well as understanding that we felt it was all ‘too much’ at times. 4. Develop clarity through no more than 8 school-wide concepts that Pre-School to Grade 12 students can embrace We found that each concept needed an enduring understanding, an elevator pitch description and age appropriate questions that can be asked and answered to deepen understanding. For this subject, we identified 7 concepts that would be explicitly taught from Grade 1, through to Grade 12, wrote “I statements” for each of the concepts so that students could personally identify with the concept and what it would mean for them in a simple statement, and developed written explanations for the concepts. A series of questions were created for each concept, and adapted for the different grade levels to help teachers and students explore what the “I statements” meant and connected with the world beyond school. Refer back to #2 as well – The KISS principle 5. Look after the big picture within the school so that learning is supported through multiple layers and entry points Apart from consistently coming back to the purpose, we also looked for connections between what we were developing and with the education already provided at the school. We also examined how the assessment in the subject will loop back to the supporting philosophy and to nurture a learning focused school environment. This project allowed me the freedom to create a subject that used formative assessment throughout the year, using the same rubric that was going to be the summative assessment at the conclusion of the year. Teachers were to use parts of the rubric to inform their teaching and provide feedback/guide students in their learning and the skill development of ‘finding connections’ between what they were being taught in school and the world beyond school. 6. Understand the process of buying into the change and the market forces in the school What could possibly go wrong? I had to consider what may derail the success of the implementation of the new subject. One of the major
considerations (and challenge) of a change process is how can you help others ‘see’ what this subject would look like. I wanted ‘buy-in’ from the teaching staff to ensure the success of the implementation of this new subject. So, my initial priority was to identify and develop an on-theground team to be ‘lead learners’. They would receive 5 days on-site training and then be expected to help roll out the initiative. We provided lesson plans, resources and a handbook, and the major focus for the on-site training was the pedagogical principles. It was during the teacher training that we were able to generate the excitement and the ‘buy-in’ was visible to see over the week.
ing new teaching strategies that were aligned to an inquiry approach. Feedback from students indicated that they enjoyed the chance to explore questions they were curious about within the concepts. My underlying goal was to help students see ‘connections’ within their learning, regardless of what subject they were studying, and through fostering their curiosity, help them find what they could be passionate about. At the same time, I was hopeful that I could contribute to the development of their future ready skills and they emerge as positive global citizens.
The new subject was implemented and anecdotal feedback shared with me suggested that the client was pleased with the implementation, and the teachers were growing in their own confidence of try-
Student Writing A True Heart By Linh Trinh, Grade 3 Concordia International School Hanoi April stares at the night sky, trying to go to sleep. She didn’t know what to think. She loved writing, and she loved her job, she knew she was lucky, having the talent of sweet words, today was different. Today was a day that April had to admit was a bad day. Maybe it was nothing, and maybe it was just today, but she felt stuck. She felt out of place. She didn’t know what was wrong. She usually could write books as fast as a sailfish could sail through water. And the words were as gentle and as sweet as morning dew on the fragrance of grass. Everything was running smoothly for April. Until the day she was asked to write a biography for the queen. The queen wanted her biography in a month. April had worked so hard on it. But after reading it back and forth, it just didn’t make sense. It wasn’t her style. April did everything she could to try to finish a new book for the queen. But every time she started something new, every chapter she started to rewrite, she just felt it wasn’t good enough. It just wasn’t right. Nothing seems to fit. Her majesty deserved more than words. She deserved the right words. But the right words did not come to April. She couldn’t find them. It seemed as if descriptions were in front of her but just out of reach. It was stressful trying to go to sleep when she knew that there was work to be done and the work had to be done now. Thinking about all this, April stood up and walked over to her desk. She opened her laptop and pressed on a blank document. She did not realize it and just started to mumble. Sometimes this happens to April. She finds something that she doesn’t like in a movie or a book and makes up a new story in her imagination. Of course, she was looking at the book she was writing. So, she talked about what the queen was like to her, and how she thought the queen was truthful and caring, and how the queen had been her role model ever since she was a little girl. She knew everything about the queen. She just didn’t know it yet. Eventually,
April started working. She started by making a timeline of big events, then suddenly, she didn’t remember anything. By the time she woke up, April figured out she had fallen asleep while working on the book. A little drowsy, April decided to recall everything that happened yesterday. She started from eating breakfast and going to her inspiration room, all the way until she remembered working on the book yesterday. She started to realize from that part, that she had known everything that she had to write. She could have grabbed the idea. It was right there in front of her and just out of sight. All this time, she had been right where she needed to be. But she could not locate herself because she wasn’t listening to her true heart. Your instincts will guide you and show you your way. You just have to listen. Your guidance from your heart may sometimes seem hard to believe. But it doesn’t hurt to try what you suggest. The ideas are you and what makes you. So cherish everything you feel when you signal yourself and choose the right road.
Spring 2020 Issue 15
UNIS Hanoi’s Distance Learning Lessons Go Global By Akofa Wallace, Communications Manager United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) Ms. Ngo Thi Bich Hang, the Principal of Dong Ngac B school said she’s grateful to UNIS Hanoi, and specifically to Ms Huong, for the assistance. She added, “We’ve been collaborating with UNIS Hanoi for many years. Our children learn to swim at the school and learn alongside their students from time to time. We’ve also joined their teaching conferences, so it was natural for me to call on them for help. Ms. Huong’s workshops were very beneficial to us as educators and to our students and we’re looking forward to learning more from UNIS Hanoi soon.”
Nguyen Thi Thu Huong (in white) from UNIS Hanoi speaks at a distance learning training workshop for teachers at Dong Ngac B School. As COVID-19 continues to impact countries around the world, schools that have been closed as a precautionary measure are reaching out to UNIS Hanoi to learn how to more effectively implement high quality distance learning programmes. The United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) closed its campus to students at the start of February after authorities in Vietnam directed all schools to shut in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. As I write this over four weeks on, teachers continue to deliver the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme virtually. Utilizing a range of technologies and platforms, teachers have delivered more than 3,000 lessons in a variety of formats to students aged between 3 and 18 years. Imaginative puppet shows, indoor sports challenges, interactive games and screencasts are some of the activities that have replaced classroom teaching. The School has amassed so much original online learning material, there’s a mini-Oscars playlist of the best videos! Programme Creativity Attracts Attention UNIS Hanoi’s rapid response to the unexpected circumstances has resulted in requests for support from other schools in Vietnam and farther afield. Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Huong, who has worked at UNIS Hanoi for a decade paid a visit to a local government primary school last week to show their teachers how to conduct distance learning successfully. She said, “We have a longstanding relationship with the Dong Ngac B School. Since the closures, they have found it difficult to manage online teaching and learning.They weren’t very confident with platforms such as Zoom or Google Hangouts and they didn’t know how to make it effective for their big classroom sizes, so I offered to give them two training sessions. After one week, they say their confidence with technology has grown.” 16 EARCOS Triannual Journal
More Workshops to Follow The partnership has inspired UNIS Hanoi to share its professional support more broadly. The teachers of Dong Ngac B will be invited to join educators from other local schools in Vietnam to learn more about ‘edu-tech’ at the upcoming Vietnam Tech Conference, hosted by UNIS Hanoi. Scheduled to take place on April 25-26, the Conference will include sessions in Vietnamese about distance learning. The event is part of UNIS Hanoi’s commitment to serve UNESCO’s goals to help grow education capacity in Vietnam. Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Vietnam, praised UNIS Hanoi’s efforts: “We value UNIS Hanoi as leaders in this new field of education delivery for the majority of educators in Vietnam and their proactive collaboration with local schools to provide a conduit of best practice. Their outreach promotes intercultural dialogue so essential to tolerance and respect with our students becoming role models in times of tension.” Helping Schools Prepare Beyond Vietnam, schools in countries in Asia and Europe are also asking UNIS Hanoi for advice, just in case the virus forces their schools to close too. Recently, UNIS Hanoi’s Elementary School Principals, Ms. Megan Brazil and Ms. Nitasha Chaudhuri shared distance learning best practices with international schools in Austria, India, Japan and Uzbekistan. “Sharing best practices, especially in extenuating times like these align with who we are as a learning community” said UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School, Ms. Jane McGee. “We strive to be an inspirational role model for a better world. That’s why we welcome such interactions with other educators.” UNIS Hanoi is one of only two UN schools in the world. Established more than 30 years ago, the School delivers the full IB programme to a student population of more than 1,100 with over 60 nationalities. To find out more, please visit: unishanoi.org Registration for the Vietnam Tech Conference will open on March 1 and will be free of charge for educators from public schools: https://2020.vietnamtechconference.org/
The Power of Silent Teachers: Helping Writers Increase Productivity and Build Independence Through Interdependence with Tools in the Classroom By Meghan M. Hargrave We’ve all been there, we finish the lesson, say “off you go,” and writers get started. If we’re lucky, students start writing and we are able to start conferring or pulling small groups. Sooner rather than later, independent writers start to struggle just a little bit, drop their pens and find the adult in the room. Within minutes our independent writing time has turned into dependent writing time and our hopes of differentiating instruction through small groups and conferences is thrown out the window. This all-to-familiar cycle of dependence to independence right back to dependence is one that is hard to break. Whether it’s learned behavior, fear of struggle, or lack of clarity, we owe our students direct instruction around how to break this cycle, engage in more independent practice and embrace the fabulous struggle without having to retreat to a teacher at the first thought of, “what next?” The missing piece to the cycle above is interdependence, the reliance on something besides the teacher for motivation and next steps. We show and give students many cueing systems: anchor charts, checklists, mentor texts, mini-charts, word lists, alphabet charts, etc., yet they are not using these tools when they could help most. Teaching students to ask themselves, “What am I working on?” and “What do I have that could help?” will help them learn the power of being interdependent with one of many silent teachers provided.
So how do we do it? You might start by having students generate a list of all the things in the classroom that help them write, besides an adult. Have writers look around the classroom, open folders, talk to partners, etc. As students are talking, you can chart responses. Each time I’ve done this, students have been shocked at the endless supply of support shoved in their writing folder and posted around the room. The student-generated chart of silent teachers will be a nice reminder when asking themselves, “What am I working on?” and “What do I have that could help?” and a way for you to silently redirect them when they start to swarm. Below is a list generated with one third grade classroom, your chart will look similar but should be a version that resonates with your writers. Resist the urge to create the list ahead of time and show them all the silent teachers you already know they have. Having them help generate this list is part of the process! The start of a list of “silent teachers” created by one third grade classroom.
Checklists, mentor texts, and anchor charts are some of the always-present silent teachers in writing workshop classrooms. Below are ideas of how we can teach writers to tap into their power to help.
A cycle of dependence, interdependence and independence.
20 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Checklists In many units, the roll-out of a checklist comes once the writing process is underway. In the second or third week of a unit, writers are given checklists for self-assessment.This often results in several check marks indicating the writer is “done”, but are they really? We can have writers using the checklist from the very start of a unit, looking at it as a list of things to work on instead of a list of things to finish. We want students to know the checklist is not just an assessment tool but is one of their best tools for interdependence throughout the writing process. Teaching a protocol for how to use the checklist is one more way to help students use it with independence. Below
is one protocol I’ve used successfully in a handful of classrooms. Just having this cueing system out will give students a plethora of things to work on when they feel the urge to find the teacher.
A chart teaching a replicable process for using parts of the checklist.
Mentor Texts We’ve likely all given writers examples of writing to strive towards, maybe a traditional mentor text written by a published author or a student exemplar. Students have copies of these samples and might look at them to get an idea of a strong lead or ending, but what about everything else? Teaching students to look toward these mentors when they are stuck will go a long way. We can teach students to reread the mentor for inspiration, look for one thing the mentor author did that they want to try, study the text with a partner and try something out together, or use the mentor text in conjunction with the checklist, turning it into its own version of a checklist. Instead of handing it out or making it a teacher-lead activity, teach writers to use mentors with independence and help them tap into one of the silent teachers that they’ll use for the rest of their lives. Anchor Charts Most of us have anchor charts beautifully displayed around our classroom. This said, are students looking at them without our reminder and when they need them most? You might pull the easel close to students’ tables and desks, have students identify which chart they will use that day before the “off you go, ”or maybe even suggest students sit near a chart when they feel stuck. Let’s remind students that the anchor charts are for them and one of their greatest tools for interdependence.
Faces of EARCOS Congratulations to Ms. Keenya M. Horton who was recognized by the College Board in its 2019 -2020 Counselor Recognition Program. She was one of the only eight non Americans who received this award and the only Counselor in Myanmar. The College Board highlights the important work of innovative, results-oriented middle and high school counselors who exemplify excellence and commitment to student’s opportunity and success. The recipient must demonstrate leaderships and advocacy in School Counseling practices, promote strategies
In a fourth grade class, this student turned her mentor text into a checklist to use when writing. In his 2010 blog post, “What is Transference?” Grant Wiggins stressed the importance of students’ ability to “self-cue”. He said, “the research is clear, many students do not self-prompt, in the absence of explicit direction. ‘You didn’t say to use it!’ is a common comment.” Let’s break that cycle, celebrate students approximation around the use of the silent teachers they are surrounded by, teach them that self-cueing and interdependence mixed with independence should ultimately be the goal of learning. After all, their not-so-silent teachers won’t go with them though the summer, into the next school year or ultimately through life. Try it and let me know how it goes! This article also appeared in Two Writing Teachers website https:// twowritingteachers org/2020/02/26/hargrave/
that encourage parent and family involvement, proficient use of data that impacts college and career efforts and consistent professional development that focuses on college and career readiness. (2020, March 30) retrieved from https://counselors.collegeboard.org/popular-topics/ counselor-recognition Ms. Horton is a native Bahamian. She is a Mental Health therapist and a highly trained expert who brings over 10 years of international experience as Therapist, School Counselor and Consultant. She has worked extensively in the Education and Social Services arenas, inclusive of public and private universities, elementary, middle and high schools, domestic violence and social service agencies. Spring 2020 Issue 21
Learn, Play, and Grow in the New Taipei American School Tiger Garden: Taipei American School unveils state-of-the-art playground on Tianmu Campus By Lindsey Kundel, Director of Communications and Marketing Taipei American School After watching the structures grow taller and increasingly more elaborate these past few months, squeals of delight and excitement could be heard across campus when lower school students discovered that every space in the new lower school playground was open at recess. The Tiger Garden, the new lower school playground, opened for students Dec.12, 2019, marking the end of a year-long, million dollar building project for the American-based international school in Tianmu. Encouraging independence and appropriately scaffolded risk-taking, the Tiger Garden is a unique learning environment in which students can explore, create, imagine, develop and grow. Students, parents, and teachers alike were enthusiastic on opening day. “It looks incredible,” said Grade 2 parent Cindy Copperthite. “I want to go play on it.” TAS Board member Paul Hsu noticed joy in an unexpected place: “The delight on the administrators’ faces is priceless.” However, all who attended noticed most of all the joyful reactions of the children as they played on the equipment for the first time. The Tiger Garden project began a little over one year ago, in Sept. 2018, when the school began the final stages of building its new Solomon Wong Tech Cube. The previous lower school playground was temporarily demolished in order to accommodate the construction crew who worked on the new building, which was completed in December of 2018. Before beginning this new building project, the school asked their own lower school students what they hoped for in a new playground. Their hopes and dreams included a treehouse, longer slides, a rock-climbing wall, swings, a castle, a maze, a merry go round, an obstacle course, a trampoline, a water fountain with playboats, and many more. Although not all of these dreams have been realized in the new playground, many of them have been.
22 EARCOS Triannual Journal
To make this dream a reality, the school hired world-renowned architecture firm, GreenSpace Architects, a firm which was also recently hired to work on Shanghai Disneyâ€™s expanding campus. The overarching concept behind the new playground was to encourage independence while providing a habitat that would encourage safely supported risk-taking in a diversity of different locations. The center of the design features a towering treehouse, which was assembled locally in Yilan, on the east coast of Taiwan, then dismantled, transported, and eventually reassembled at TAS. Each steel cable of the treehouse can hold up to 1,200 kilograms â€” and, amazingly enough, the entire netting of the treehouse was hand-tied by one talented woman. One intentional design choice was to provide spaces for potential lower school outdoor classrooms and learning spaces--in the den for small discussions or the amphitheater for larger classes or performances. Importantly, there are shade and seating opportunities all around, something which students and faculty will need in the warmer months on campus. Lastly, the Tiger Garden aims to promote diversity and interaction: between plants, wildlife, and the community. The construction of this new playground was funded entirely by the generosity of parent donors.The Tiger Garden will provide TAS students with one of the most diverse, creative and advanced outdoor play and educational spaces of schools in Asia. It is truly world-class and the school looks forward to years of studentsâ€™ laughter echoing outside.
Spring 2020 Issue 23
Authentic Needs in Service Learning By Todd Davis, Service Learning Coordinator The International School Yangon “what types of water issues might they have?” “what types of water purification systems are available in Yangon?” “who could we ask to find some answers?” and on and on. These investigation questions eventually led to us connecting with and visiting an orphanage across the river from Yangon that had significant drinking water issues. Continuing the investigation, we found that the orphanage’s main water issues were too much algae that was clogging their filters, and not enough stable electricity to run the pumps from their ponds through the filters and into their clean water tanks. The science of algae and how to generate a sustainable power supply instantly became hot topics. These grade 5 students had excitedly discovered an authentic need through investigation and learned a lot through the process. This was motivating because they felt part of a real-world issue that connected with the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and was one that they could help to solve. All they needed was a little bit of guidance using the language of service learning.
ISY students doing investigation of water issues at Alae Kyaung Orphanage across the river from Yangon. As Service-Learning Coordinator at the International School Yangon, I have the wonderful opportunity to work with students ranging from KG through grade 12 to help them reach their service learning goals. Recently, following a unit on Water, a 5th grade teacher requested that I work with a group of her caring 5th grade students who became interested in water purification. When I first sat down with the five students, they excitedly explained how they wanted to hold a fundraiser so they could buy water purifiers. I could see the spark in their eyes, ignited for service learning to happen. Of course, I supported their enthusiasm for converting undrinkable water into drinkable water (SDG 6 - Clean Water & Sanitation) so they could help improve human health conditions (SDG 3 - Good Health & Well-being). At the same time, I asked them two tough questions, who was in need of these water purification systems? and, what types of water purification systems would be most suitable? The students replied, “we don’t know yet, we haven’t gotten that far.” The students’ response did not surprise me. It was however valuable information to know because it set-up the logical entry point into their service-learning journey. At that moment, we all recognized some unanswered questions. They realized that they did not have a specific identified need for their fundraiser, and they did not yet have a clear action plan in place that would address that need. In this case, the students’ hearts were fully in the right place, but they just needed a nudge to give them direction towards something more impactful and meaningful. 99% of the time, that nudge involves investigation. Once on the right track these students began raising questions like, “who might have water issues in and around Yangon?” 24 EARCOS Triannual Journal
As we continued with the project the students further investigated through Media, conducting Interviews and Surveys, and making Observations (M-I-S-O) in order to find a range of sources to support their plan of action.This method of obtaining a range of sources was coined by Cathryn Berger Kaye as the MISO method. The Language of Service Learning When creating a classroom / school culture that encourages students to identify authentic needs through service learning, it is helpful to have a common language, using terms such as the MISO method. Some of the key terms that help guide students, teachers and school cultures towards the identification of authentic needs are shown below. Authentic Needs - A real community issue that has been identified through respectful investigation. Service Learning - A learning strategy in which students have leadership roles in thoughtfully organized service experiences that meet real needs in the community. The service is integrated into the students’ academic studies with structured time to research, reflect, discuss, and connect their experiences to their learning and their worldview. ~ Cipolle, Susan, Service-Learning 5 Stages of Service Learning - Investigation, planning, action, reflection and demonstration. The 5 basic stages of the learning / design / inquiry cycle that can be embedded directly into the curriculum at any grade level and leads to meaningful action. Asset vs. Deficit Model - As part of investigation students look closely at the positive attributes already in place. For example, once the 5th grade students found a place that needed clean drinking water, they noted any assets that existed. One of the assets was that the orphanage had sufficient pond water that could be drinkable if filtered properly. Looking only at deficits can lead to misguided problem solving. In order to work successfully with a community, identifying both assets and deficits is essential.
Savior mindset & Reciprocity - By identifying the assets, students are more likely to avoid the “savior mindset”. Students learn to appreciate the positive attributes of the people and places they are working with.They begin to understand that they are there to learn along with everyone else involved. The goal of any service-learning experience should be to create a two-way reciprocal learning experience. Reciprocity means all stakeholders have mutual respect for each other’s contributions to the community efforts and the solutions. Everyone has a role to play and a voice to be heard and learned from. For example, a group of ISY students decided to meet with the Mary Chapman School for the Deaf here in Yangon. They discovered that an asset of the children at the school for the deaf was that they knew sign language. Our students decided to work on improving the library at the school for the deaf, and reciprocally, the students who attended the school for the deaf provided sign language lessons for ISY students. This provided the opportunity to have a twoway reciprocal relationship between the groups. Creating agreed upon definitions and common language used to describe what we mean by doing service learning can be transformative for schools. It prepares students for solving real-world authentic issues which is so greatly needed in the world today. When the language of service learning is embedded in a school’s mission and
SENIA International Announces New Executive Director
vision, it creates a foundation for a school-wide approach to education that is centered around identifying authentic needs and planning for and carrying-out actions that meet those needs. Ultimately, service learning is built through awareness that comes from looking more deeply into the nature of the situations students are exploring through their curriculum. The questions we have to ask are, have we as educators allowed our students the opportunity to stop, step back, and look more deeply to notice the multitude of ways they can engage in change for the better? Have we provided our students with the language, tools, and time needed to engage in real service learning? As our collective awareness of global issues and their true causes becomes clearer, students learn how to work with and engage with them. These issues of global and local significance no longer have the power to leave students feeling helpless because they begin to see that each of us has the power to engage with them and make a positive difference. We come to recognize that service learning leading to action based on addressing authentic needs is the most logical and forward-thinking approach to education out there. This is because it provides students with the tools, they need to lead a life that is both caring and impactful.
ing for the support and resources required to enhance the lives of individuals with dissablities. About SENIA SENIA was started by a group of international school teachers in China in 2002. The goal was to create a support network for teachers and other professionals working with children with special educational needs in Asia. SInce then, SENIA has expanded
Lori Boll to Steer SENIA’s Growth Hong Kong - The Special Education Network and Inclusion Association (SENIA) announced the hiring of its first executive director, educator Lori Boll. “SENIA is seeing rapid worldwide growth and along with the transformation of SENIA (Asia) to SENIA International, we needed a dynamic educational leader to continue to push SENIA’s mission/vision,” said Kate Balsamo, SENIA’s Board Chair. “Lori Boll’s long record of advocating for students in the special needs community along with her personal family connection to autism, made her an obvious candidate.” Lori is no stranger to SENIA. She attended her first conference in 2010 and organized the SENIA 2011 conference in Shanghai, China. She and six others formed SENIA’s first board, of which she has been a member for the past nine years. Lori is currently finishing her work as the Intensive Learning Needs teacher at International School Bangkok, a program she created with support from the school. Although she is sad to leave her classroom, she is excited to help lead SENIA in its work worldwide advocat-
About Lori Boll Lori Boll is an experienced Special Education leader with a personal connection to individuals with disabilities. In 2003, Lori’s son Braden was diagnosed with profound autism.This milestone event changed her focus from teaching elementary students to advocating for all children and their education with a focus on meaningful inclusion. In Shanghai, China Lori worked as a principal for a small school for children with special needs and went on to co-found the first inclusive school in the city. Currently Lori is running the Intensive Needs Program which opened up at International School Bangkok in 2017. Lori has two graduate degrees; one in Reading Education and the other in Special Education and has been teaching for over twentyfive years in international schools, including American International School Riyadh, Jakarta International School, and Concordia International School, as well as in the United States in California and Colorado. Spring 2020 Issue 25
An Examination of Government Perspectives in a MYP Language Acquisition Class By Stephen Brock, Ph.D. (Dr.), English Language Acquisition and IB B English Teacher/CAS Coordinator American International School Vietnam While the American International School Vietnam (AISVN) has an established International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP), this year marked our first attempt at teaching within the bounds of the Middle Years Program (MYP). One engaging unit I assembled for MYP centered on “The Fluidity of Perspective,” a concept when students examined events from different points of view. Our first object of study was the Michael Fay case in Singapore from the 1990’s. In summary, after the American engaged in vandalism, the Singaporean government sentenced the eighteen-year-old to six strokes of the cane, a usual punishment considering the city-nation’s 1966 Vandalism Act. After the court ruling, however, the case drew international attention, especially in the United States (US). The US government thought that, though the judicial decision was within the country’s purview, the punishment was excessive for a teenager committing a non-violence crime. US President Bill Clinton himself appealed to the Singapore government for clemency. In the end, the number of strokes were reduced to four. For this IB MYP Language Acquisition course, tenth-grade students were introduced to the tension sometimes found between collective good and individual rights. Before our examination of the Fay case, students discussed their respective trips to Singapore and watched a YouTube video (2018) focusing on some of the “unusual” laws there. Students found some laws peculiar, others shocking. Concurrently many Vietnamese students wanted to adopt similar laws over issues of litter.Tenth grade students in general were aware of the very positive, modern transformation Singapore has undergone. For much of Asia, Singapore serves a model. As Singapore is closer to Vietnam in both geography and ethos, we began there with an analysis of the collective good. Students could easily give examples where an individual might need to sacrifice for the good of the group. I then provided an overview of a Confucian values system (which permeates the region and evidences a great respect for those in authority). Then we transitioned to the American concern with individual rights. Here I painted in broad strokes, highlighting the “Declaration of Independence” with its focus on “life, liberty, and happiness.” In turn, I demonstrated how Ho Chi Minh, in his Declaration of Independence for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1945, employed Jefferson’s triad at the beginning of his speech. Students nodded in agreement. I also added more about the right to due process. At this point, I showed students the scales of justice. Their task: to decide whether they favored more of an approach favoring the collective good or individual rights. They had to decide on a preference 26 EARCOS Triannual Journal
and not stay in the middle. The task was an evocative one, asking them to examine both historical and contemporary approaches. In the end, those favoring collective good outnumbered those preferring individual rights narrowly. Students later engaged in a trial about Fay’s punishment only. Jurors had to adopt a persona based on a real person in Singapore. Later elements of the unit focused on the concept of civil disobedience with attention paid to the actions of both Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Per the latter, we examined his “Beyond Vietnam--A Time to Silence” oration (1967) opposing the Vietnam War (known as the “American War” in Vietnam). In their evaluation of the unit, students remarked that they found themselves “challenged by multiple perspectives.” Such a teaching approach can occasion student growth as open-minded inquirers and thinkers in a modern world. References Chew, V. (2009). Michael Fay. Singapore Infopedia. https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1554_200908-06.html King, M.L. (1967). Beyond Vietnam - A time to break the silence. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. https:// kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/beyondvietnam. The Richest. 10 Craziest Laws You Can Only Find in Singapore. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xxm7Re-gEdk 6 March 2018.
Inclusive Schools Week at IGB International School By Julie Chen Arcidiacono, Community Services & Support Coordinator and Lizzie Hudson, Elementary Learning Support IGB International School, Malaysia at our school, we have considered all the members that make up our community. We have also considered how to raise awareness, increase knowledge and change the system to reduce inequality. During Inclusive Schools Week last year, elementary students enthusiastically dressed up to raise awareness of diversity, while mix-it-up events saw teachers teaching different grade-level classes. Taking part in an unfamiliar situation and experiencing “strange” environments allowed students and teachers alike to develop a clear understanding of how being an inclusive school is beneficial for the entire community.
What does it mean to be an inclusive school? To us at IGB International School, it means providing an inclusive learning community, embracing diversity and offering a challenging education which empowers our students to be caring, global citizens. This is part of our school’s mission statement and both of us see this in action, work towards it, and live it daily, in spite of our loosely connected departments. We are Julie Arcidiacono and Lizzie Hudson, two school staff members with completely diverse backgrounds and job scopes, who have come together from opposite ends of the world and are now working collaboratively in Malaysia with the joint focus of making education accessible to all students. As a team, we have hosted a SENIA (Special Education Network & Inclusion Association) Malaysia Conference, organised a documentary screening about intellectual disabilities to enlighten our community, and have mobilized our school’s parent organisation to engage collectively in raising awareness about inclusivity. One event in particular has pulled us and the community together even more: for the past two years, IGB International School has participated in Inclusive Schools Week, an annual week-long event run by the Inclusive Schools Network, dedicated to raising awareness and celebrating diversity within schools. The aim of this week is to provide opportunities for teachers, students and parents to educate themselves and learn to include students who may otherwise be marginalised due to disability, gender, socio-economic status, cultural heritage, language preference or other factors. In planning the event
28 EARCOS Triannual Journal
This year, Inclusive Schools Week was taken to a whole new level. We were finally able to put together a Parent Volunteer Organisation Committee for Inclusion; parents carefully planned the lead up to the Week and the Week itself. Posters about inclusion and the “colouring” of the Phoenix, our school mascot, with colours representing diversity kept the community actively thinking about inclusion in preparation for it. Throughout the week, lunchtime storytelling sessions in the library were held, and each day of the week showcased a new learning opportunity for the several school constituents. Monday involved a presentation for Elementary students during their weekly assembly; Tuesday saw a whole school “dare to be different” themed dress up day; Wednesday was targeted to parents and students, with a workshop and movie shorts showing all day; Thursday was Random Acts of Kindness Day, with pay-it-forward kindness-related messages for all and a photobooth, with people standing in as the “i” in “kind”; and finally Friday wrapped the week up with an evening family movie screening and cooperative game night. We are proud to share that our school was a pioneer in terms of its participation in the Inclusive Schools Network, being the very first school in Malaysia to take part in Inclusive Schools Week. But most importantly, we are proud to share that inclusion at IGB International School is purposeful, planned and supported. Everyone who joins the school, whether they be students, parents, or staff, is welcomed, appreciated and included. Everyone.
Community Service Kidzuna Virtual Hanami By Eddy Jones, Kidzuna Community Connection Coordinator Nagoya International School As you probably know, hanami, (cherry blossom viewing) is a huge tradition in Japan at this time of year. Normally, parks would be full of friends and families picnicking under the sakura blossoms. In these days of isolation and online learning, this is clearly not happening in 2020. Here at Nagoya International School, I initiated Kidzuna Community Connection, a neighbourhood outreach programme that aims to get our students out of the international school bubble, connect with the host culture, and make a difference. NIS students run a range of creative events for local schoolchildren throughout the year. Along the way, we raise money and awareness in support of communities hit by the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, northern Japan on March 11th 2011. The word Kidzuna is coined from the Japanese word kizuna, meaning ‘connection’, a word closely associated with the deep ties that bound communities during the post2011 recovery. We took the liberty of adding a ‘d’, because Kidzuna is all about connecting kids. We have run many Kidzuna events since 2011, and planned to hold a special Kidzuna Hanami event this month, featuring the author Narisa Togo to share her beautiful picture book ‘When the Sakura Blooms’. Both a naturalist and an artist, Togo’s work is beautifully ob-
served. We couldn’t wait to have her inspire participants to make their own artwork, creating together under our school sakura trees to make collaborative picture books that we would share with schools in Tohoku. Of course, COVID-19 spoiled our plans for a real-time event, but in its place we have decided to hold a ‘Kidzuna Virtual Hanami’. We can still get together to enjoy the sakura blossom, but separately. Narisa has kindly agreed to connect with us online, and we will be able to have our hanami party, albeit in separate times and spaces. Participants will find their own special sakura tree to observe and sketch. Afterwards, we will share our cherry blossom artwork, photos and writing online, creating pins on a Nagoya sakura blossom map across the city. Best of all, we will still be able to create our picture books for Tohoku. We want to share this initiative with other schools, and hope it will spread across Japan and beyond. A much kinder virus. And just like the sakura blossom, we will be back next year to try again.
A Happy Place in my Dreams
we keep our eyes ahead, sand chips at our blistered feet swollen the size of boulders. we curl our toes and keep trudging. I imagine the city we left, the city burned bare bones: a child rubs crumbled concrete into his wounds. his ribs poking through skin with every breath. a dog, what remains of its fur, charcoaled, feasts on a broken bone, fresh marrow spilling out. I remember passing a man who looked too much like Ba, burnt hair, face ruined, tattered camouflage, his fingers clinging to a crumbled photo of two children, laying like a question forever unanswered.
I dreamt of a place where I could escape, From reality, that is my happy space, A simple quiet home that I can stay, A rather cool day or so I pray. With crackling fire that warms my feet, With gayo music whispering beats, Lighting candles scented with serenity, Some Boba tea is needed especially, Pajamas plus fuzzy socks are a must, Lots of blankets and pillows without dust. Here I am staring at walls of shelves, A place where I can be truly myself, Sitting there in my perfect nook, There will I be reading some books, And so I escape, the harsh reality, And enter other worlds full of fantasy, This is it, though it resides in my dreams,
By Spencer Chang, Taipei American School class of 2021
still, we keep our eyes ahead, never behind Ma hands me a bottle of expired milk, foaming at the top, canned peaches smell of a place that no longer exists. the moon fills our irises, floating like a distant island we’ll never reach.
By Raynah Silprasert, Grade 12 Chiang Mai International School
Here is a place where happiness beams.
Spring 2020 Issue 29
Green & Sustainable
15,000 Mangrove Saplings Planted By Jalal Tarazi – UWCT Secondary Science Teacher, UWC Thailand International School and as charcoal. Mangrove forests were also cut down to create beach-side housing. And lastly, and most significantly, the mangrove forests were cut down to create shrimp farms. However, as Phuket and the rest of the world found out, mangrove forests are essential to coastal ecology.
UWC Thailand International School students celebrate after planting 1000 mangroves in Phuket, Thailand. What is a “mangrove” forest? According to the US National Ocean Service, mangroves are a group of trees and shrubs that live in the coastal intertidal zone. There are about 80 different species of mangrove trees. All of these trees grow in areas with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving waters allow fine sediments to accumulate. Mangrove forests only grow at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures. This makes Phuket a great home for mangroves.
Mangroves are a habitat for many species and nurseries for many more. Many of these species are economically important such as crabs, fish, and mollusks. Mangrove forests are also ideal bird migratory routes and need to be protected internationally to keep bird populations from collapsing. Mangrove forests have always been known to sequester (trap) more carbon than other forests because of the amount of carbon that can be stored in their muddy soils. In 2018, according to the Global Forest Reporting Network, they believe that mangrove forests can sequester as much as four times more carbon than other global forests! These forests are also essential to the land/sea connection. They trap sediment and pollution coming from the land before they reach open water. This is important to protect coral reefs. Coral reefs thrive best in clear water with a very low level of nutrients, which would otherwise allow for algal growth. Last, and probably most importantly, mangroves act as shields against wave action from tsunamis and cyclones. New Scientist released an article in 2014 stating that mangrove forests could reduce the damage of wave action from tsunamis and cyclones by 90%! With the impacts of climate change being seen throughout the world, these ecosystems are essential to protect and reforest.
UWCT Students Tending to mangrove saplings in the schools Nursery
Planting Mangrove Saplings at UWCT When Kru Jalal joined the school in 2013, he was already very seasoned in getting students to help reforest in Thailand. During his time at Thai-Chinese International School, he was able to connect with the Plant A Tree Today (PATT) Foundation in Bangkok. PATT is a non-profit organization, which was based out of the UK and Thailand. It works on planting trees in dryland forests in Khao Yai National Park and in mangrove forests along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand.
Mangrove Devastation Despite Phuket being a naturally wonderful habitat for mangroves, by the mid 20th century, over half of Phuket’s mangrove forests had been cut down for myriad reasons. The forests were seen as muddy places, which were breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Mangrove wood is extremely useful due to its flexibility as a building material
On joining the school community, Kru Jalal was lucky enough to meet Garry Kirkland, a parent at the school and also the Project Manager at JW Marriott involved in many sustainability partnerships throughout Phuket. For the first several planting trips that the school took part in, Garry would help contact staff at the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources to help us with the planting site.
30 EARCOS Triannual Journal
The staff would select the site, bring approximately 1,000 mangrove saplings, clean the site of the debris, and use wooden sticks to mark where the saplings would be planted. Since mangroves survive in muddy soil near the ocean, there was no need to dig and planting 1,000 mangroves took much less time than one would expect. On becoming a member of the UWC movement, sustainability continued to be part of the schoolâ€™s mission. Over time, UWCT developed a strong relationship with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and together they set up planting trips throughout the school year.
Students and Staff Planting Mangroves saplings in Phuket, Thailand Over the past five years, students and staff have taken part in about 15 mangrove planting trips and have planted 15,000 mangrove saplings during this time. The school has continued to support this initiative because of its utmost importance to the future of Phuket. We have planted at several sites since this project began. Our major site was in Mak Prok, which is just directly east of the airport on the Eastern side of Phuket. Over the past five years, every planted mangrove sapling has been planted by the hands of UWCT students and staff and the area is completely reforested. We are also planting in two sites near Ao Po Marina.
The MANTA Mangrove CCA has been supported by many students over the years and teachers such as Kru Ned, Kru Len, Kru Aloni, Kru Heidi Oxley, and Kru Chris Lahey. We are excited that we built a mangrove nursery on campus four years ago and the project remains sustainable to this day, with incredible assistance from Kru Ned and his 4th-grade class. Mangrove seed pods are collected by students and staff and these pods are added to soil in bags and added to our nursery, which uses a pump with a timer to mimic tidal activity. We estimate that 20-30% of the mangrove seedlings that we planted around Phuket came from our own nursery.
Nanjing International School Wins Leadership Award in London Nanjing International School, China won the strategic leadership award for an initiative to transform learning and develop talent by focusing on strategy and embedding it around inclusion, creative thinking, and personal excellence. The International School Awards 2020 took place in London on Monday 20th January. The annual International School Awards, which are hosted by ISC Research, recognise outstanding initiatives being delivered in English-medium international schools around the world. School Director, Laurie McLellan received the award on behalf of Nanjing International School from Craig Seeger, Vice President of International School Sales at Follett. Spring 2020 Issue 31
Learning Support & the MARIO Framework By Karissa Hultgren MSed cated issues that deserve dedicated attention and support. Specialized coaching is often needed to help build capacity in our students so that they can eventually handle these issues on their own. If we have special education teachers on campus, why are we not fully leveraging their expertise to help build students’ self-awareness, selfmanagement skills, self-advocacy, self-efficacy, and self-esteem? The MARIO Framework is encouraging schools to rethink the traditional formats of academic labs and learning support classes. Instead of offering an enhanced study hall, teachers are empowered to create personalized classes that fundamentally improve our students’ toolkits, skills, and learning outcomes. “My students have made even more progress and showed greater engagement with their learning. Students have commented that they wish all their teachers could give them a similar structure. Also, the framework provides the often-required data to show student progress, particularly to management and exterOccasionally an innovation in education makes so much sense and is so quickly adopted that we wonder why it didn’t exist sooner: the MARIO Framework is one such innovation. Launched in August of this school year, the framework empowers special education teachers to create personalized learning support classes that are measured, ambitious, research-based, and structured around oneto-one learning. The framework’s effective and flexible modular design takes into account the varied contexts special educators often work within and prioritizes high-impact learning strategies identified by educational researcher John Hattie. “The MARIO framework has pushed Learning Support teachers professionally by shifting what a learning support classroom should look like through research- based strategies and providing structures to better develop relationships with our students that help
nal agencies” Frankie Garbutt, Secondary Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator St. George’s The British International School Munich To help schools start using the MARIO Framework, all learning support teachers have access to a starter kit and sharing center online. For more in-depth professional development, there are personalized online courses offered to both setup and pilot the framework. If you or your school are interested in the MARIO Framework, the next courses begin on September 22nd and you can register at marioframework.com/mariocourses.
them thrive inside and outside the classroom walls” Jay Lingo, Learning Support & English ELL Teacher American International School of Johannesburg Learning support teachers from over 35 different international Learning support teachers from over 35 different international schools have already committed to piloting the MARIO Framework in their classrooms. As more schools are pledging to be inclusive, they are exploring better ways to support students with additional learning needs. In-class support is already a cornerstone of inclusive education and the MARIO Framework makes a strong case for the addition of one-to-one support and elective support classes. Oneto-One conversations with our students about their learning is a true catalyst for student growth and development. Supporting students in core classes usually focuses on raising academic performance, but this is only a band-aid approach when used in isolation. The majority of our students are dealing with compli32 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Alternatively, you can contact Philip Bowman, the founder of the MARIO Framework and a full-time learning support teacher at International School Bangkok, directly at Phil@marioframework.com
Online Learning in the Time of Coronavirus By Josefino Rivera, Jr. (@josefinor), American International School of Hong Kong “So that’s why F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Nick as the first-person peripheral narrator of The Great Gatsby. He’s like an avatar for Fitzgerald’s true agenda,” proclaims Dong Gyun, a high school senior during a virtual Socratic Seminar in English Critical Analysis. All schools in Hong Kong are currently suspended until April 20, 2020, but that does not stop students from learning. Teachers use apps like Zoom for direct instruction, run Socratic Seminars, fishbowl discussions virtually. Observers are paired with a student who is speaking. Halfway through the discussion, students are separated into their pairs via the “breakout room” function. This allows the observer to offer important formative feedback based on established criteria. Shyer students can use the “nonverbal cues” like “raise hand” to indicate they want to add to the discussion without feeling like they have to interrupt.The optional chat box provides a back channel for questions, comments, announcements, and even humor to build classroom community.
In response to the HK EDB’s announcements, AIS’s Leadership Team (LT) meets regularly to develop clear policies for Online School. After two weeks of data from teacher, student, and family surveys, three central themes emerged which included the need for: * Standardization of methods, tools and applications * Clarity and simplicity of instructions * Connections and contact time with teachers With that feedback, the AIS LT developed a consistent but differentiated Online School schedule. This consistency allowed all educators to work within a framework that was vertically aligned while still malleable enough for educators to teach in their own creative and innovative ways.
Online Learning Toolbox, contributed by Matt Wise (@wisemrmatt), Ed Tech Coordinator
This is one way in which educators at the American International School (AIS) of Hong Kong inspire and empower Online Learning experiences during extended school closures and suspensions. The Closure of Schools due to the Coronavirus While AIS was away on its Chinese New Year holiday from January 24 to February 2, the Hong Kong Education Bureau (EDB) announced that due to the increased number of confirmed and suspected Novel Coronavirus infection cases, the Chinese New Year holiday would be extended to February 17. As the end of Chinese New Year approached, the HK EDB reassessed the situation and pushed the return date back to March 2, then March 16, and most recently until April 20. What originally began as a two-week temporary virtual substitution to teaching transformed into the reality of Online School. Online School Policies Established by the Leadership Team: Anita Simpson, Head of School; Mike Wing, HS Principal; Zachary Post, MS Principal; Cami Okubo and ES Principal; Dave Han. 34 EARCOS Triannual Journal
To facilitate clarity and simplicity of instruction, connections and contact time with teachers, the Ed Tech Coordinator developed an Online Learning Toolbox that offers a plethora of suggested apps, instructions for set-up and use, and legal considerations. By gathering common tools, support videos, requirements and advice into a single area, AIS was able to effectively manage rollout and training in new tools in a short time with widespread adoption and expertise. Selecting a single “recommended” tool in each area of need such as screen recording, collaborating with colleagues, meeting with students greatly simplified and streamlined training and adoption of tools, and facilitated greater collaboration and peer support in learning the new tools required. Key tools selected initially were Zoom for video conferencing and Loom to support teachers with recording. Hangouts Meet seemed like an obvious choice at first, however to meet our child protection policies, all meetings with students needed to be recorded, something that is only supported with a paid GSuite Enterprise for Education account (Google has since begun rolling out free access to premium hangouts video conferencing for educational institutions as of March). AIS first
explored the use of Zoom with free accounts, but later made the decision to roll out paid accounts for all teachers to remove limits on their time, greatly simplify configuration and standardization of required settings and to support with tools and practices such as breakout rooms and co-hosting. Initially, recordings were done locally and uploaded to Google Drive; however, another benefit of moving to a paid account is the ability to utilize cloud recording directly from the meeting itself. This was found to be of great support to teachers with limitations on their bandwidth. Screen recording was the first major tool used to address the need for students to see and hear their teachers as our school was developing the ability to host live sessions and decide what format of session would best meet the needs of our students. Loom was selected as a recommended recording tool because it was free, easy to use, and had integrated support for editing and sharing videos. Since adopting Loom, Screencastify has offered free pro accounts for educational users. In addition, it has been adopted by some members of staff and students. With several good options to meet the need of screen recording, the most important decision made was to focus on a single “recommended” tool as it minimized confusion and simplified learning. Screen recording has also been a crucial tool used by leadership and other staff members to demonstrate and model best and expected practices for large portions of the community at once. Online Teaching Strategies Under these established criteria, AIS educators’ innovative teaching strategies began. Below are examples of ways AIS educators engage with their students virtually.
Virtual Read Aloud Library via Loom, contributed by Rosa Gi Youn Park, ES Library Specialist. website https://www.loom.com/ As online learning progresses and families lack an ongoing supply of fresh reading materials at home, AIS created a virtual read aloud library through the app Loom to support these needs. ES students continue on with their routine of
reading for at least 15-20 minutes a day. Students access this online treasure trove of stories read by familiar faces and voices anytime, anywhere, as their ES Principal Cami Okubo has done, pictured above. This library, which was initiated in response to World Read Aloud Day, evolved into becoming an independent, learning center of its own. Benefits include increased vocabulary, improved word/sound recognition and pronunciation, and enhanced fluency. Teachers use it as an instructional resource to support lessons. It also nurtures and strengthens the connection with teachers and the school community, while learning remotely. The virtual read aloud library is an important tool that is not just useful for online learning but worth continuing once schools reopen.
Topic Tuesday via Padlet, contributed by Candy Lee (@Ms_CandyLee), ES Student Support Teacher. website https://padlet.com/ As the ES Student Support Teacher, one of Ms. Lee’s responsibilities is to promote social emotional learning within the ES community. She shares daily morning message videos focusing on themes such as wellness and mindfulness. She creates opportunities for students to interact with others outside of their class as they would during lunch or recess at school. On Topic Tuesday, for example, she shares a question on Padlet and invites students to respond. Older students type their responses and attach a photo while younger students write and draw their responses and have parents upload them. In addition, students get to earn house points for their responses, and it is a great way for AIS to maintain a strong sense of school community while learning from their own homes. Morning Message via Loom, contributed by Canaan Lee (@kaynan_lee), MS Counselor. website https://www.loom.com/
Formative Assessment via EdPuzzle, contributed by Allen Lee (@MrLee427), Grade 3 Teacher. website https://edpuzzle.com/ Grade 3 teachers use EdPuzzle to connect with their students as they would in the classroom. Teachers are able to ask open ended questions which require responses from all their students, giving students a voice to share their thoughts in a safe environment. Questions of the Day via FlipGrid, contributed by Emily Machnicki (@MissMachnicki), Grade 4 Teacher. website https://flipgrid.com/ Grade 4 used Flipgrid to post daily “Questions of the Day.” Flipgrid is a great platform for elementary students to use because it is very user friendly. The grade 4 teachers keep it engaging by asking new fun questions such as share what you did this weekend, show off your best talent, and draw your teacher. Students answer the question of the day in the form of a video. The students can watch and reply to each other’s videos as a way to see and interact with each other while we are apart.
Having experienced the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong in 2003, Ms. Lee remembers when online learning platforms were not as developed. She experienced a hybrid of paper-based and limited online learning instructions that left her overwhelmed. Her inspiration to create videos to support students stems from this personal experience and her knowledge of the importance of mental health care. She creates topics surrounding personal hygiene, time management, digital citizenship (ex: privacy and intellectual property pictured above), wellness and mental health. She uses her announcements to integrate some athome challenges (ex: 100 sit ups) for students to win points for their houses. In an attempt to simulate social interaction, she encourages students to join their homeroom forum on FlipGrid to discuss non-academic topics.
quiz within the 70 minutes of the class. She found this to be a great way to not only learn what the students knew about the text but also how confident they were discussing it. Having the time limit helped make the students responsible for their own answers.
Weekend Chats via Placemats, contributed by Megan Straube (@ProfeStraube), HS Español. Zoom has been very useful for maintaining and meeting the interpersonal communication standard that is such a foundational part of Profesora Straube’s Spanish courses. She does daily Q&A check-ins -- weekend chats through “placemats” (pictured above) created by Bethanie Drew and Dustin Williamson that she screen shares to scaffold and level up, and other chats about travel/ family/activities outside of school work. They discuss, “Would you rather...?” questions from slides. These activities allow her class to continue building community through personalized and differentiated experiences as well as build proficiency in the area of interpersonal communication.
Reading Comprehension Assessment via FlipGrid, contributed by Keren O’Connor, MS Humanities. website https://flipgrid.com/ Assessing students online can is a daunting task. Ms. O’Connor uses Flip Grid as a way to assess students’ reading comprehension as well as the knowledge of the vocabulary in the novel. Students were given 4 questions and had to choose 3 of the 4 to answer. They then had to correctly use vocabulary words from the text in their answers. They were given a choice of 15 words. They had to complete and turn in the Flip Grid
Music and Drama Rehearsals via ROC ShowReady and Zoom, contributed by Kimberly Williams (@Kimberly W08), HS Drama and Shawna Grimes (@smgrimes85), HS Music While preparing for the upcoming production of Grease, the Drama and Chorus classes combined to work together to go over the words to, Spring 2020 Issue 35
“We Go Together”. With the song being fast, and the lyrics being nonsense syllables, the students were having difficulty knowing what to say and when to say it. Chorus joined the Drama Zoom conference call and worked with Ms. Williams to break down the syllables into digestible chunks. After the initial laughter caused by over 35 people trying to say the same thing at the same but different time, everyone was able to make it through the entire song using ROC Showready software with a deeper understanding of the pronunciation of the lyrics. Ms. Grimes then went over the musical aspects of the song to make sure all students understood when the words were to be sung or spoken. Memes, contributed by Emily Hill (@EmilyHillVAEd), HS Visual Arts The suspension of face-to-face teaching challenged Ms. Hill’s rapport with her students, which often helped them be motivated as well as persevere through barriers. It was important to her that she find an alternative way to try to keep a positive tone to her teaching. She simply began adding GIFs or Memes to her emails to students to add a sense of humor and enthusiasm. There is a GIF for any situation from motivational animal memes to popular culture that will cause even the most studious student a small smile. Students have often then replied back with other GIFs or playful emails helping establish a rapport that is not centered around deadlines, academics or missing submissions. The Limitations of the Virus While the unfortunate reality is that the Novel Coronavirus has closed AIS, it does not have the ability to stop learning. The AIS community continues to develop new strategies to teach and learn virtually. MS science teachers do virtual labs, ES Classroom teachers provide feedback on iterations of students’ writing, HS social studies teachers debate over conference calls and the love for learning is the only thing that spreads while being quarantined at home.
High School Art Celebration
36 EARCOS Triannual Journal
THAI-CHINESE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (Bottom Left) Sawasdee Crab Kanyaphas Boonyapitaktumrong (Mint), Grade11C, AP Art Medium: Acrylic on Canvas (Bottom Right) Self Portrait Avitra Trongtrairat (Bell), Grade11C, AP Art Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
IB Art: Fake Gallery By Ms. Pavla Pooch, HS Visual Arts Ruamrudee International School, Bangkok, Thailand On January 27, 2020, in St. Luke’s Gallery on our Minburi Campus, the IB Year 1 Visual Arts students presented their work at the opening of the exhibition Fake Gallery. The art on display was a culmination of their artwork during their first semester and consisted of a wide range of media, both 2D and 3D, including photographs, sculptures, prints, and drawings, as well as augmented reality (AR) pieces that could be viewed with iPads. The exhibition was on display for several weeks. During this time, one of our PreK 4 classes came to visit the gallery. The students were each given 10 stickers and asked to carefully observe the artwork, pick their favorite pieces, and label them with their stickers. At the end of their visit, they were asked to point out their favorite pieces. This is a great introduction to have these young students looking at, appreciating, and thinking about art. Finally, the PreK 4 students were given an iPad to look at the “work that didn’t have any pictures.” They were excited and shocked when they saw the augmented reality artwork come to life. Initially, many of them kept moving the iPad out of the way in disbelief to see how it was possible for a drawing to come to life. Thank you to everyone who supported the students, and a special thank you to art teachers Mr. Josh and Mr. Aaron who helped support the students’ augmented reality pieces. Even though the exhibition is over, you can still see some of the augmented reality pieces right here. Follow the instructions below to download the app so you can see some of the students’ artwork come to life: 1. Download the app EyeJack on your phone. 2. Allow EyeJack to access the camera on your phone. 3. Visit the RIS Magazine at https://tinyurl.com/rtwd7zw (pp 40-41) Then hold your phone over one of these QR codes. 4. Hold your phone over the image and watch the artwork come to life!
PreK 4 Kids Exploring Augmented Reality
Spring 2020 Issue 37
Building a Culture of Service: Tips and Lessons Learned By Sarah Urquhart, Service Learning Coach & MYP/DP Science Teacher Yokohama International School ple opportunities to develop empathy, take perspective, understand issues and plan action. Including service in as many contexts as possible communicates to students that service is valued and can be applied in multiple ways. Tips and Lessons Learned: • Service as a one-time event with minimal context is not an effective use of time. Put your energy into service-learning experiences that can be sustained over a long period of time so that learning is extended, deepened, and retained. • Involve teachers from multiple grades in developing service, perhaps as a professional learning community, so that opportunities for service exist across the school. • Evaluate other key aspects of school identity and culture such as inquiry, arts, athletics, cultural events and look for possible ways that service can be connected to existing initiatives. Cultural Force 2: Modeling Service
Involving parents and staff in service learning builds culture by modelling school priorities and values for our students. A growing number of schools are recognizing the transformative learning potential that service can offer to students. It can be a challenge for service to really have traction in a school and can sometimes feel more like an ‘add on’ to a curricular program. Service Leaders need to recognize that embedding service learning is about building it into a school culture. Culture can be defined as “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize an institution or organization” (“Culture,” n.d.). Service learning aligned with a school’s mission means that it moves from something that the school ‘does’ to something that the school ‘is’. Yokohama International School believes service is a key aspect to student learning and community identity. School culture defines its identity. In collaboration with “Project Zero”, from Harvard University, Ron Ritchhart (2015) identifies eight forces that shape group culture. I’ve selected four of these forces to apply to service learning and identified tips I’ve learned about schools and culture. Cultural Force 1: Providing Opportunities for Service Learning “In strong cultures, rich opportunities for growth, advancement and creativity are prominent” (Ritchhart, 2015, p.141).There are so many skills, attitudes and understandings that students learn and develop from service. But just like anything, students need practice and multi38 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Modeling requires educators to “see us through our students’ eyes”, reminding us that “Implicitly, our actions are constantly on display for our students.They see our passions, our interests, our caring, and our authenticity as thinkers, learners, community members, and leaders.” (Ritchhart, 2015, p.115). Children learn to prioritize and value what adults in their lives also prioritize and value. To leverage this, schools should offer opportunities for adults in your school community to participate in service too: parents, teachers, school leaders, and support staff. Tips and Lessons Learned: • Engage the power and enthusiasm of the parent community. Connect with your school’s parent association. Educate them about why service is important and share examples of service initiatives at your school. • Invite parents to join in service, either alongside students or as a separate parent group • Use professional learning opportunities for teachers and staff to engage in service • Make service involvement an element of new teacher orientation to your school • Explore opportunities for younger and older students to engage in service together - both groups are equally motivated by seeing the other initiate and participate in service Cultural Force 3: Routines for Supporting Service “As a culture shaper, routines represent a set of shared practices that constitute a group’s way of doing things.” (Ritchhart, 2015, p.171). Both educators and students benefit when there are structures in
place to support service learning. Students are able to connect learning as they move through grade levels when similar processes, language, and expectations for service are clear, consistent and known. Tips and Lessons Learned: • Decide on and use a common language for service that makes sense within your school and curriculum. • Articulate a process for service that remains consistent across the grade levels. I recommend starting with Cathryn Berger Kaye’s Five Stages of Service Learning (Berger Kaye, 2014). • Develop meaningful opportunities for reflection on service learning and establish ways for students to share their learning with others outside of their typical classes. • Form a service group or committee with students from various grade levels. Task this group with helping to develop and communicate student-friendly processes for how to start new service initiatives, distribute funding, plan service events and evaluate service using co-created criteria. Cultural Force 4: Community Interactions that Forge Relationships “Interactions knit together the social fabric that binds individuals in community.” (Ritchhart, 2015, p.199). For service, we need to be expansive when we think of “community” as it is not just those directly connected with the school, but inclusive of the local neighborhood and region. Local service engagement is mutually beneficial to ground students in their immediate context and country while also inviting others to be a part of the school. Local service opportunities are tangible for students and this makes it possible for authentic relationships to be developed, sustained and strengthened over time. Tips and Lessons Learned: • Walk your neighbourhood and note all community organizations and institutions: schools, senior care homes, non-profits, daycares, community centers, parks. Reach out and meet with them to explore possible needs and opportunities. • Ask host country staff to suggest local connections and needs as potential service opportunities. • Once community partnerships are established, be reliable. Schedule consistent engagement and communicate openly to build trust and a reciprocal relationship. When possible, encourage students to take the lead to develop trusting relationships with community partners. By leveraging these cultural forces, schools can nurture their servicelearning culture. The ultimate goal is for everyone in your school community - students, parents, and staff - to possess common understandings around the importance of service learning and to put those understandings into practice in multiple contexts. You’ll know that you are successful when opportunities for learning through service begin emerging authentically from a variety of individuals and groups within your school community. Then you know that service is not just an ‘add on’, but truly embedded in your school culture.
YIS Student Service Committee with various grade level representation.
Secondary students partnering with grade 1 to make rice balls (onigiri) for a local food programme. References Berger Kaye, C. (2014). The Five Stages of Service Learning: A Dynamic Process. Service Learning: A Teacher’s Guide. CBK Associates. Retrieved from http://www.cbkassociates.com/ wp-content/uploads/2013/05/The-Five-Stages-of-Service-Learn ing.pdf Culture. (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/culture Ritchhart, R. (2015). Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Schools. San Francisco, United States: Jossey-Bass.
Spring 2020 Issue 39
High School Art Celebration SEOUL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL The Mushroom Michelle Jung, Grade 11 Medium: Acrylic paint on panel
CONCORDIA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HANOI Ha Hun Jang (Grace), Gr.ade 11
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF ULAANBAATAR “The Pointed Beauty of Mongolia” Sumangua Byambanorov, Grade 9 Medium: Acrylic on canvas
SHEN WAI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (Left) Ella Dai, Grade 11 (Right) Yaqing Su, Grade 9 #CardsforWuhan
40 EARCOS Triannual Journal
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF ULAANBAATAR Grace Elman, Grade 12
SEOUL INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL Modern Convenience SoYoung (Ashley) Park, Grade 11 Medium: Acrylic paint, Paint markers, and Ink on Wood.
INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL HONG KONG Erin Koo, Grade 12 INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL HONG KONG Esther Lam, Grade 12
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HONG KONG Yuisa Xiao, Grade 11
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HONG KONG Linzy Lin, Grade 10
Spring 2020 Issue 41
CONCORDIA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL HANOI
Vinh Hanh Linh Nguyen (Emma), Grade 11
The ET Journal is a triannual publication of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools(EARCOS), a nonprofit 501(C)3, incorporated in the sta...
Published on Apr 16, 2020
The ET Journal is a triannual publication of the East Asia Regional Council of Schools(EARCOS), a nonprofit 501(C)3, incorporated in the sta...