The EARCOS Triannual JOURNAL A Link to Educational Excellence in East Asia
Featured in this Issue Cover Story The Impact of the Pandemic on Mission and Governance Leadership Developing Principals for EARCOS Schools EdThought Resiliency Schmasiliencyâ€¦ When Is this Over?
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 Andrew Davies, President (International School Bangkok) Stephen Cathers, Vice President (International School Suva) David Toze, Treasurer (International School Manila) Margaret Alvarez, Past President (ISS International School, Singapore) Saburo Kagei (St. Maryâ€™s International School) Barry Sutherland (American International School Vietnam) Laurie McLellan (Nanjing International School) Kevin Baker (American International School Guangzhou) Elsa H. Donohue (Vientiane International School) Catriona Moran (Saigon South International School) Lawrence A. Hobdell (ex officio), Office of Overseas Schools REO EARCOS STAFF Edward E. Greene, Executive Director Bill Oldread, Assistant Director Kristine De Castro, Assistant to the Executive Director Elaine Repatacodo, ELC Program Coordinator Giselle Sison, ETC Program Coordinator Ver Castro, Membership & I.T. Coordinator Edzel Drilo, Webmaster, 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
Message from the Executive Director
Press Release - Welcome New EARCOS Staff - EARCOS Upcoming Events - Seoul Foreign School Wins International Architecture Award (page 46)
Welcome to EARCOS - New Schools - New Heads - New HS, MS, ES Principals - New Childhood Principals - New Associate Institutions - New Individual Members
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List of Global Citizenship Award 2020 Winners Global Citizenship Community Grant Recipients Reimagining School Together with ISS CHALLENGES
Cover Story - The Impact of the Pandemic on Mission and Governance
Leadership - Developing Principals for EARCOS Schools - Leading to Inspire - UNIS Hanoi’s Women Bosses (page 26)
Campus Development - Griffith Library Reopening Ceremony (RISM) - Wells International School Yangon Campus (page 31) - Canggu Community School (page 44)
Curriculum - Self-Compassion: Putting on your own mask first - Building a Learning Community of the Future (page 22)
Virtual Learning - Teacher and Student Perspectives on Maintaining Community in a Makeshift Online Classroom
EdThought - Resiliency Schmasiliency… When Is this Over?
Student Writings - Virtual Learning Reflections
Action Research - Ownership, Motivation, and Class Engagement - Student Motivation in Completing Formative Work (page 35)
Classroom Management - Enjoying Classroom Management . . . really!
Community Service - Kahon ng Karunungan, Bridging Two Worlds through Educational Equity
The Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award 2020 - The Hug Project Thailand
Global Citizenship Award - Rescuing Wisdom (The British School of New Delhi) - “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” - the journey of Plastic Free NIST (page 42) - Generation. Education. Period (page 43)
Virtual Assessment - Remote Final Assessments adopted by 8 Shanghai International Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak
Elementary School Art Gallery
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. 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 Winter 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
Fall 2020 Fall 2020 Issue 1
Message from the Executive Director Welcome to the Autumn issue of the EARCOS Tri-Journal! As I write this welcome, EARCOS schools continue to be in various stages of reopening. Many have had delayed starts, a fortunate few are actually open for person-to-person learning. Some are running hybrid schedules, while others continue where they left off last spring—with on-line learning. Not a few schools are still awaiting the arrival of new teachers and the return of faculty who have struggled to find flights and complete various quarantine requirements. Faculty from many EARCOS schools are ‘stuck’ in the US or elsewhere, teaching virtually from the opposite side of the clock. What a trying time this has been and continues to be. Early in my career I was deeply influenced by a book by Douglas Heath of Haverford College entitled Schools of Hope. That book has traveled with me to every post I have held since the mid-1980s. Schools are about many things, of course. And yet, after all these years, I can think of no better answer to the question What are schools for? than to say they exist to create and inspire hope. Over the past nine months there have been more than a few occasions when hope has seemed in short supply. However, reports from across the region indicate that the leaders, teachers, Boards and, of course, the students of EARCOS have not only faced unprecedented disruption, but pivoted boldly to face a new normal. Within this issue of ET, you will find a number of articles that speak directly to the new realities we share today. From John Littleford’s cautionary piece on governance in a Covid-19 world, to frank student commentaries on what it is like to learn on-line, to Jadis Blurton’s reflection on ‘resiliency,’ and Mike Simpson’s discussion of the effects of mindfulness on his school; there is much to reflect upon. Looking for inspiration? You surely will find it in the report on the HUG Project, recipient of the 2020 Richard Krajczar Humanitarian Award. And be sure not to miss International School Manila student Razel Suansing’s story about a service project that targets the savage inequalities of educational opportunity. The resiliency, the creativity, the empathy, the commitment to justice that exude from the articles by this region’s educators and students should give all of us hope—hope for a new day that will surely come--hope that despite the myriad challenges of the moment, the world can become what we wish to make it. To that end, and especially during this school year, I encourage you to share your teaching ideas, your programs, your insights and experiences in this journal’s pages. Please reach out to your colleagues across this region. More than ever we need to learn with and from one another. On behalf of all of us at EARCOS, let me wish each of you a healthy and successful fall semester, disjointed as it may occasionally be! Most importantly, please remember to take care of yourselves and of one another.
Edward E. Greene, Ph.D. Executive Director East Asia Regional Council of Schools
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WELCOME NEW EARCOS STAFF Kristine De Castro
EARCOS is happy to welcome Kristine as the new Assistant to the Executive Director. She joins us after ten years at International School Manila; first as the Alumni Coordinator, then serving as the Deputy Director of Admissions for the last eight and a half years. Before relocating to Manila, Kristine worked at the Office of Sponsored Research at Stanford University in California. She has a degree in Humanities and English Literature and her background is in customer service.
EARCOS UPCOMING EVENTS Transitioning to Online Instructional Design: A Primer for Online Learning October 16-17, October 23-24 and October 31, 2020 9:00AM to 11:00AM HK/Singapore Time » read more and register here
Well Intentioned but Precarious New Board Directions October 17, 2020 8:00AM to 9:30AM HK/Singapore Time » read more and register here
Missed Math from School Disruptions: Using Formative Assessment to Identify Gaps and Teach Critical Standards Oct 22nd (K-5) & Oct 23rd (G6-12) Nov 5th (K-5) & Nov 6th (G6-12) Nov 19th (K-5) & Nov 20th (G6-12)
All sessions take place from 8:00-9:00 AM SGT/CST
» read more and register here
Mastering the Pivot November 6-7, 2020 » more and register here
Maker Educator Certificate
November 14, November 21, and November 28 9:00AM to 11:00AM HK/Singapore Time » read more and register here
Fall 2020 Issue 3
Welcome New Schools >> American School Hong Kong John Jalsevac, Head of School Branksome Hall Asia Jeannie Park, Head of School Columbia International School Barrie McCliggott, Principal/Head Dulwich College Suzhou Mike O’Connor, Head of College Hanoi International School Terry Hamilton, Principal International School of Nanshan Shenzhen David Swanson, Head of School Kang Chiao International School - Taipei Campus Winston Hsu, Head of School Keystone Academy Malcolm McKenzie, Head of School St. Josephs Institution International Roisin Paul, Principal The Sultan’s School Dr. Glenn Canterford, Principal Victoria Shanghai Academy Dr. Maggie Koong, Head of School Xi’an Hanova International School Robert Muntzer, Head of School
www.ashk.edu.hk www.branksome.asia www.columbia-ca.co.jp www.dulwich-suzhou.cn www.hisvietnam.com www.isnsz.com www.kcis.com.tw www.keystoneacademy.cn www.sji-international.com.sg www.sultansschool.edu.om www.vsa.edu.hk www.his-xian.com
Welcome New Heads >> American School in Taichung Australian International School Vietnam Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Bandung Independent School Chiang Mai International School Concordia Int’l School Shanghai Faith Academy, Inc. Gyeonggi Suwon International School Hokkaido International School Intercultural School of Bogor Int’l Christian School - Hong Kong International School Ho Chi Minh City NIST International School
Colin Brown Davina McCarthy Jeremy Thomas Michael Berry Terry Howard Dr. Doug Grove Leighton Helwig Stephen Lush Tim Schlosser Ana Araneta Balboa Brian Van Tassel Kim Green Dr. James Dalziel
QSI International School of Shenzhen St. Paul American School Hanoi Stamford American International School Suzhou Singapore International School Taejon Christian International School United World College of South East Asia Yew Chung Int’l School of Chongqing YK Pao School Yongsan International School of Seoul
John Shirley Dr. Myong ‘Moo’ Eiselstein Dr. Mark Wenzel Samer Khoury Michael Moimoi Graham Silverthorne (East) Elizabeth Bray (Dover) Ian Ward Mark Bishop Dr. George Zickefoose
Welcome New High School Principals >> Alice Smith School Dr. Maria Osowiecki American Int’l School of Guangzhou Amos Lyso American International School,Vietnam Chandra McGowan American School in Taichung James Mattiace Australian International School Vietnam Mark Vella Ayeyarwaddy International School Mr. Brock Hughes Bandung Independent School Marci Russell Brent International School Baguio Celeste R. Coronado British School Manila Richard Healy Dalian American International School Nathan Burton Dulwich College Suzhou Nigel Wilsonlock
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Dwight School Seoul Julie Sykes Fukuoka International School Brian Freeman Garden Int’l School Kuala Lumpur Amy Ward Hanoi International School Matthew Buxton IGB International School Sandy van Nooten Int’l Community School - Singapore Darryl Harding International School Ho Chi Minh City Will Hurtado International School of Beijing Lorraine Wicks International School of Dongguan Mr. Todd Brink Int’l School of Nanshan Shenzhen Brian Patrick Kelley ISS International School Christopher Hayward Keystone Academy Diana Martelly
QSI International School of Shenzhen Saigon South International School St. Joseph’s Institution International St. Mary’s International School St. Paul American School Hanoi Surabaya Intercultural School The Sultan’s School
Michael Warren Jennifer Mendes Renato Rainone Jacob Hendrickson Dr. Tila Hidalgo Wendy Woodhurst Paul Toomer
Tohoku International School Jordan Nogaki United Nations International School of Hanoi Jeff Leppard Victoria Shanghai Academy Christopher Coates Xi’an Hanova International School Aristipo Rodriguez Yew Chung International School of Beijing Jonathan Mellon & Hayley Edge Yongsan International School of Seoul Aquil Bayyan
Welcome New Middle School Principals >> Alice Smith School Dr. Maria Osowiecki American International School of Guangzhou Amos Lyso American School in Taichung James Mattiace Bali Island School Ross Ferris Bandung Independent School Marci Russell Dalat International School Tressa White Dalian American International School Nathan Burton Dulwich College Suzhou Nigel Wilsonlock Dwight School Seoul Julie Sykes Ekamai International School Christy Perera Faith Academy, Inc. Hans Colenbrander Garden International School Kuala Lumpur Amy Ward Gyeongnam International Foreign School Peter Lynch
Hong Kong International School International School of Nanshan Shenzhen ISS International School Jakarta Intercultural School Keystone Academy Nansha College Preparatory Academy QSI International School of Shenzhen Singapore International School of Bangkok St. Mary’s International School St. Paul American School Hanoi United World College of South East Asia Utahloy International School Guangzhou Xi’an Hanova International School
Connie Kim Chris Irvin Susan Tilney Noah Bohnen Maureen McCoy Sarah McRoberts Yaisa Banek Jason Tee Hong Wei Colleen Ashmore Dr. Tila Hidalgo Cameron Hunter (Dover) Robert Service Aristipo Rodriguez
Welcome New Elementary School Principals >> Alice Smith School Alan Mc Carthy American Pacific International School Bryan Moskop American School Hong Kong Joanne Mallary American School in Taichung Annie Tung Australian International School Vietnam Julian Carroll Ayeyarwaddy International School Matt Smith Bali Island School Ross Ferris Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Niel Cantrall Bandung Independent School Katie Stone Beijing International Bilingual Academy Kathryn Sutherland Berkeley International School Jake Varley Dulwich College Suzhou Scott Fasciolo-Barnes Dwight School Seoul Jason Hayter Faith Academy, Inc. Kristen MacKay Global Jaya School Elena De La Rosa Gyeongnam International Foreign School Peter Lynch Hanoi International School Angela Meikle International Community School - Singapore Lance Kershner International School Bangkok Michael Pual Allen International School of Brunei Mike Everett International School of Dongguan Dr. Molly Fitzgerald International School of Nanshan Shenzhen Ashley Simpson International School of Ulaanbaatar Colin Powell
ISS International School Susan Tilney Jakarta Intercultural School Justine Smyth Keystone Academy Catherine Copeland Kunming International Academy Charity Sianturi Marist Brothers International School Cushla Jones Northbridge International School Cambodia Martyn Shadbolt Renaissance International School Jennifer Longmuir Ruamrudee International School Jessica Seim Shanghai Community International School Dawn Brews Singapore International School of Bangkok Hero Lee St. Paul American School Hanoi Douglas Sherrill Surabaya Intercultural School Rebecca Caudill The International School Yangon Mike Simpson The Sultan’s School Darren Sibley United World College of South East Asia Pauline Markey (East) Utahloy International School Guangzhou Michelle Jones Victoria Shanghai Academy Ross Dawson Vientiane International School Regina Alcorn Xi’an Hanova International School Jeannie Rice Xiamen International School Inna Klein Yongsan International School of Seoul David Benedict
Fall 2020 Issue 5
Welcome Early Childhood Principals >> Ayeyarwaddy International School Yee-chen Robson Bali Island School Ross Ferris Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Niel Cantrall Beijing City International School Debra Cota Beijing International Bilingual Academy Tara Gillan Brent International School Manila Michelle Jingco Concordian International School Timmy Byrum Dulwich College Suzhou Shirley Wan International School of Dongguan Dr. Molly Fitzgerald International School of Nanshan Shenzhen Thomas Tucker QSI International School of Shenzhen Leah Jamele Saint Maur International School Rachel Forbes-Dias Singapore International School of Bangkok Narisa Letnamwongwan The American School in Japan Christy Carrillo The Sultanâ€™s School Mai Tamimi
Welcome New Associate Institutions >> ASIC UK Ltd
International Accreditation Online educational resources
The Education Factory
School Books Publisher/supplier International educators community that offers recruitment for international schools
Makerspace Furniture and Storage for STEM and STEAM learning spaces
The Education University of Hong Kong Teacher Education / University
Welcome New Individual Members >> Dr. Shabbi Luthra Consilience Education Foundation email@example.com Anuradha Monga Vidyashilp firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ski & Field trips in the Swiss Alps 2020/2021
Field trip to an organic farm
Verbier Crans-Montana La Tzoumaz
T +41 27 775 35 90 â€” email@example.com
Global Citizenship Awardees >> List of Global Citizenship Award 2020 Winners
This award is presented to a student who embraces the qualities of a global citizen. This student is a proud representative of his/her nation while respectful of the diversity of other nations, has an open mind, is well informed, aware and empathetic, concerned and caring for others encouraging a sense of community, and strongly committed to engagement and action to make the world a better place. Finally, this student is able to interact and communicate effectively with people from all walks of life while having a sense of collective responsibility for all who inhabit the globe.
Access International Academy Ningbo American Int’l School Hong Kong American Int’l School of Guangzhou American School in Taichung Ayeyarwaddy International School
Yoshimitsu Kanai Jinyoung Jang Pao Ping Yen Chung-Yen Fann Zin Nyi Lin Htet
Bali Island School Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Bandung Independent School Bangkok Patana School Beijing City International School Berkeley International School Brent International School Baguio Brent International School Manila Busan Foreign School
Malikha Aryatantra Kathlyn Sinaga Max Caubo Clara Boucher Travis Sullivan Ennio Lamari Ye Chan Choi Shuxin Chen Hidaya Mansour
Canadian Int’l School Bangalore Janani Kannan Cebu International School Woochul Kim Chadwick International School Jimin (Rosie) You Christian Academy in Japan Joshua Shew Concordia International School Hanoi Jaheun You Concordia International School Shanghai Isabel Carter Concordian International School Patcharamon (Wandy) Kongmebhol Daegu International School Dalian American International School Dominican International School Dulwich Int’l High School Suzhou Dwight School Seoul
Charles Jaemin Cho Amy Zhang Jasper Chang Ju-Ern Chong Phoebe Edgley
European Int’l School Ho Chi Minh City Yue Wang Garden Int’l School Kuala Lumpur Tishya Kumar Gyeonggi Suwon International School Donghyun Kim Hangzhou International School Hillcrest International School Hong Kong International School
Xu-Hao Joyce Jin Vania Edisa Ron Akaishi
IGB International School Int’l Christian School - Hong Kong
Marvin Chong Wing Chan
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International School Bangkok International School Ho Chi Minh City International School Manila International School of Beijing International School of Busan International School of Kuala Lumpur International School of Ulaanbaatar ISE International School
Sasin Thamakaison Emmy Koch Sarina Malik Shawn Guo Teh Maya Moon Asha Octoman Eun Seo Lee Yae Eun Cha
Kaohsiung American School Sunny Fang KIS International School Puncharat Chaichanawanich Korea International School-JeJu Campus Si Yeon Lee Lanna International School Thailand
Ik (Soo) Jun
Marist Brothers International School Medan Independent School Mont Kiara International School Nagoya International School Nanjing International School
Kaya Sophia Jeschke Justin Ongosari Reem Jaiswal Aiko Connelly Paul Meyer
NIST International School
Osaka International School
Prem Tinsulanonda International School Ugen Dorji Ruamrudee International School
Matchamon (Ton Nam) Pianapitham
Saint Maur International School Seisen International School Seoul Foreign School Seoul International School Shanghai American School Shanghai Community International School - Pudong Campus Shen Wai International School Singapore American School St. Mary’s International School Surabaya Intercultural School
Kakehiro Koike Mifuyu Hori Yujin Kim Yeonwoo Hannah Son Christopher Shen Zoya Cassidy Xinman (Yoyo) Liu Maria Varbanova Junichiro Asano James Widjaja
Taejon Christian International School Taipei American School The American School in Japan The British School New Delhi The International School Yangon
Jamie Suh-Hyun Kim Brian Lain Marine Savoure Vivhan Rekhi Casey “Shin Shin” Jang
United Nations Int’l School of Hanoi Bao Chau Nguyen United World College of South East Asia Brooke Cohen UWC Thailand International School Kechen Liu Vientiane International School
Wells International School - On Nut Campus Western Academy of Beijing Wuhan Yangtze International School
Yangon International School Yew Chung International School Shanghai Pudong
Myat Thet Chal Ann Huang
Imme Koolenbrander Jedidiah Xiang He Koh
Global Citizenship Community Grant Recipients >> All of us here at EARCOS wish to extend our sincere congratulations to the following Global Citizens who have been chosen to receive an EARCOS Global Citizen Community Service Grant of $500 to further their excellent community work during this upcoming academic year. The recipients are: Zin Nyi Lin Htet, Ayeyarwaddy International School Project Name: Empowering Myanmar’s Youth
Kenshin Ueoka, NIST International School Project Name: Precious Plastic at NIST
Vivhan Rekhi, The British School of New Delhi Project Name: Rescuing Wisdom
Brooke Cohen, United World College of South East Asia Project Name: Generation. Education. Period
Casey Jang (Shin Shin), The International School Yangon Project Name: Myanmar Children Health Project (MCHP)
Hrithi Bhattacharya, Wells International School --On Nut Campus Project Name: SerWIS Club
Fall 2020 Issue 9
Reimagining School Together with ISS CHALLENGES:
What practices should carry forward from online learning? By John Burns, ISS Chief Innovation Officer • Dedicating a significant block of time every week to a student passion project • Providing an a-la-carte list of STEAM, SDG or other focused challenges for students to pick and choose from
COVID-19 has forced schools to rethink how they operate, educators to re-imagine their practice, and students to adapt and learn in new ways. Although this pandemic presents unprecedented challenges for schools, it is also an opportunity that enables us to reimagine and reinvent schools in ways never seen before. To scale these great practices, we recently opened our innovation management platform, ISS CHALLENGES, to educators around the globe. At its core, ISS CHALLENGES allows us to pose questions and then crowdsource ideas from the wider community. Our first external challenge asked educators around the globe to reflect on the question, “What new practices should schools keep or implement as a result of our experience with online learning?” The response was tremendous. Not only did educators submit a plethora of fantastic ideas, but they also supported others in further developing their thinking. Many ideas were moved through the innovation pipeline to become scalable initiatives. In the end, seven winners were announced. Perhaps even more interestingly, across the many entries, six broad themes emerged. Here are the six action items that all schools should continue to engage with going forward. Parental engagement Many schools reported a significant increase in parent engagement during this period due to accessible technology and efforts to create learning partnerships. Suggestions included: • Giving parents the option of online or in person student led conferences • Regularly inviting parents to virtually join the classroom as subject matter experts or learning support staff Learner agency Learning at home has shown the importance of making time for students to asynchronously work on projects of interest to them and for all members of the community to share their passions. Ideas included: 10 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Authentic learning Online learning demonstrated the ease and power of using technology to bring the world into classes and open classes up to the world. Suggestions included: • Participating in virtual field trips which are abundant and free online • Using learning portfolios to showcase what students know and do and encourage discourse with the wider community Low-tech, sustainable solutions Not everything needs to be online. Educators discovered that some of the most meaningful learning happens off-line and beyond the formal curriculum and schools need to make room for that. Ideas included: • Creating urban farms. These can spring up even in apartments and high rise living • Introducing no-tech days to encourage physical activity and exploration of other learning opportunities Student-centric design There is a clear need for schools to be redesigned to reflect students’ needs, rather than have students accommodate the standard design of schools. Suggestions included: • Providing more asynchronous opportunities; for example, shift school timetables to reflect the needs of different groups of learners • Use social media more as a mechanism for both student engagement and also learning showcase and reflection Faculty support School closures have catalyzed incredible collaboration among faculty in schools and around the world. Ideas to keep up this positive momentum included: • Snapshot professional learning experiences co-created by staff and shared with other schools worldwide • Transfer faculty onboarding and orientation to an online mode. This can be a great pre-emptive strike before staff even join the team. ISS will continue to launch new challenges for educators and students through 2020-21. Keep an eye on ISS.edu and #ISSedu on social media to get involved!
MAKING A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE
Support for You and Your School When you work with International Schools Services (ISS), you’re connecting with a leading nonprofit with more than 60 years of experience in international education. Whether it’s developing and managing world-class international schools, staffing schools, ordering equipment and supplies, performing accounting functions, or supporting teaching and learning approaches, ISS provides the full range of services necessary for your school to deliver an outstanding global education to your students. Learn more at ISS.edu
Stay connected with ISS 2020-21 opportunities: • ISS-Schrole Advantage recruiting iFairs: ISS.edu/Job-Fairs • Online PD events and resources: ISS.edu/Online-Learning
Spring 2020 Issue 11
The Impact of the Pandemic on Mission and Governance Enrollment challenges for certain schools in specific environments have always been there. Some fortunate few are located in major metro areas with high demand for independent and international schools, i.e., a seller’s market for these top notch schools. But many international and independent schools are in a buyer’s market, and these schools are even more financially vulnerable during these times because they need to differentiate themselves even more from the competition.
By John C. Littleford
In the early 1970’s many single-sex schools in the US went coed just to survive. Most of the girls’ schools were absorbed by the boys’ schools although some single sex schools held true to their mission and have thrived to this day, albeit they are in a much smaller set of single sex schools. The recession of 2008-2010 caused many schools in the US to assess their curriculum, their diploma programs, their schedules and even their core mission, in order to ensure their ability to survive in the short run and be financially viable in the long run. Most were selling a cost/benefit value that included a heavy dose of small class size, close faculty/student relationships, emphasis on community, and a focus on inclusion and differentiation in the delivery of learning
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However, in more recent history nothing has so shaken the core educational and business model of both public and private schools and colleges than a virus that at this time has no proven cure or vaccine and that could have a sharp reoccurrence at any time. What if distance learning is the modus operandi for the immediate future as well as the way that students of all ages interact through sports activities, clubs, friendships, networking and class assignments, perhaps for longer than we had expected? This is prompting schools to reevaluate their cost/benefit ratio, i.e., their value proposition. These challenges will affect some schools’ mission. Many of our client schools are struggling to ensure enrollment health. This may mean changing enrollment and recruitment strategies, core programming, scheduling, staffing patterns, and financial priorities and yes, even the mission itself in order to remain relevant and competitive. Some schools who were already at risk may be struggling to survive. Ultimately there is nothing new in revisiting a mission. It tends to happen every decade or so in our experience, although the Covid-19 impact may have a larger and faster impact on mission relevance than any other recent event. In the midst of all of this, healthy governance is under stress, even under attack. Heads are expected to lead, to see the problems over the hill, to prepare for economic and demographic shifts, as well as scarcity in the marketplace for mission appropriate families. What does the head do? Change the definition of “mission appropriate” students? Change the core demographic of the students being recruited? Stick to an academically focused mission or focus on inclusion as not only politically correct but possibly leading to a larger potential recruitment pool than a narrow focus on the more gifted academically? And bottom line, we need those families who can afford the tuition, even when it reaches $75,000 for boarding schools and as high as $60,000 for some day schools. Need-based financial aid depends on endowment. Endowments have taken a market hit. Just like stores in a shopping mall, financial stress may weed out a number of independent and international schools. That is unless heads can be entrepreneurially nimble enough to balance the clout of a school’s history and mission with the reality of a changing world. In the midst of providing this leadership heads may find themselves coming face to face with boards that feel undermined and not consulted while the head tries to keep the ship afloat, but at what price? The head may not “win” in whatever direction he or she goes.
mend a course of action to protect staff, program, student safety, and yet still meet parental expectations. They must ensure a tuition structure that keeps the school healthy, honors the mission and still garners the support of the board. How to do that? Is that even possible? That is Possible ONLY IF the board confronts and faces honestly the core inconsistency here, the core dilemma: that necessity is the mother of invention. Invention sometimes means recasting ourselves, re-interpreting the mission to enable it to be relevant in changing times.That can cause a head to be mistrusted, disliked and undercut often by the most passionate parents and especially alumni, who may feel the core essence of the school is being compromised. That brings us back to healthy board governance and the absolute necessity of regular board training in the principles of best practice. That is one of the responsibilities of the Committee on Trustees (Nominating Committee). That also brings us back to the critical role of this Committee in screening candidates for the board and retaining valued members. At this time, boards do not need or want members who will tend to micromanage the head. However, boards do need to keep and appreciate wise trustees even though they may be feeling exhausted or stressed in their role now..
John Littleford served as teacher, trustee and head of school for over 25 years. For the past 28 years he has been a consultant to over 5000 independent and international schools. His clients also include corporations, foundations, universities and a range of other non-profit organizations. Mr. Littleford’s areas of expertise include: board governance, strategic planning, executive and faculty compensation and evaluation; executive searches; marketing strategies including admissions; fund raising, managing change; school climate; institutional and financial audits; and team building.
The Pandemic has threatened the mission as it has threatened financial survival. That has caused the board /head relationship to become frayed in many schools. Heads have to recomFall 2020 Issue 13
Developing Principals for EARCOS Schools By Walt Gmelch (University of San Francisco), Glenys Hill-Rada and Roger Rada, (Washington State University) The principal holds one of the most critical roles in education. Teachers, prepared for the classroom, and seldom anticipate sitting in the principal’s chair. When they accept international teaching assignments, becoming an administrator typically is not part of their professional career plans. But, what if an EARCOS teacher or educator decides to seek a principalship, how do they get prepared? Where do they turn? What alternatives do they have to become certified as a principal? This article highlights the need for certified principals, obstacles to meeting this need, and venues for principal preparation. From research on the principalship, consider the Truths of Becoming a Principal. 1. Principals hold one of the most important positions in the education enterprise. Who advances the school? Who coaches the teachers? Who serves the professional community? In many ways, the school district structure should be turned upside down. Headmasters need to serve their principals as they serve faculty and students. 2. Headmasters and superintendents are only as good as their principals. 3. Most educational decisions are made at the building level. Principals are at the helm to advance their schools. They make the decisions day in and day out -- making a difference in the lives of students and the advancement of their teachers. 4. Only a few school systems are comprehensive enough to provide professional development for their principals. 5. The time of amateur administration is over. This is not a time for educators to play musical chairs, stepping ill-prepared into the role of principal or vice-principal. Too much is at stake in this time of change and challenge to let your school’s leadership be left to chance. Obstacles to the Call for Principals Why do some teachers choose to lead and others not? What conditions do we create in education that act as barriers to attracting teachers to serve as principals? 14 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Snuff Out the Spark Before the Leadership Flame is Ignited. First, we have ourselves to blame. If a spark of enthusiasm for leadership is ignited in any young teacher, the educational system may well snuff it out. Far from encouraging teachers, we hold the needs for classroom experts higher than that of leaders and fail to cultivate leadership talent. Exalt the Prestige and Prowess of the Professional Expert. Some teachers may possess the requisite skills and leadership ability but chose not to respond to the call for leadership. From teacher preparation school days, teachers are socialized to drive down the road to specialization. But leaders must be generalists to cope with the diversity of problems and multitude of constituencies. They must look at their schools with a broader vision and global perspective. Ignore the Rigors of Public and Personal Life. Teachers typically enter education in search of a professional life characterized by autonomy and independence. During their tenure they observe the stormy years of the principalship and scathing criticisms of school administrators in general -- and wonder, “Why would I want to subject myself to such scrutiny and public criticism?” Even at home, principals find that leadership is not a “family-friendly” profession. Thus, most teachers are not willing to give up their professional and personal lives for one of servant leadership. Precarious state of principal selection. Experts contend that the state of administrative selection is precarious at best. Why? First, schools have little expertise in the selection of leaders, and at times leave that process to happenstance or search firms. Second, headmasters themselves do not feel particularly competent in the skills needed in selection, and gravitate instead to pressing, day-to-day needs. Finally, most school systems have inadequate hiring, training, promotional, and successionplanning systems. Symbolically, new administrators are “given the gavel” one day as their predecessor leaves the next. Instead, schools should practice “passing the baton” -- mentoring the new administrator months before taking office and coaching them into their new responsibilities and roles. To recount these obstacles is not an attempt
to deafen the call to leadership, rather to call attention to the obstacles that must be overcome in order to develop the next generation of principals. What strategies can be used to hurdle the obstacles of the reluctant principal – to ignite the flame of leadership; to exalt the need for generalists as leaders; and to address the strains on public and personal life. Given these conditions, how do we send a call out to awaken latent leaders to the principalship? How do we make teachers aware of their leadership potential? How to Prepare Principals International teachers typically come to their administrative positions: • Without leadership training; • Without prior administrative experience; • Without a clear understanding of the ambiguity and complexity of their roles; • Without recognition of the metamorphic changes that occur as one transforms from teacher to principal; • Without an awareness of the cost to their academic and personal lives; and probably most importantly; and • Without the opportunity to earn a principal certification while working overseas. The International School Leadership Program (ISLP) provides training to assist teachers in international schools make the transition to administration. More than a decade ago, Washington State University and University of San Francisco launched the ISLP program, designed and delivered specifically for EARCOS educators interested in Principal Certification and/or a Master’s Degree in Organization and Leadership. The two-year, cohort-based program is delivered entirely in Asia in concert with four consecutive EARCOS conferences. EARCOS/ISLP students take seven classes for a total of 21 credit hours, along with six credit hours of internship. This transformation to the principalship takes time and dedication. What are the building blocks of the ISLP program to enable teachers to make the transition successfully to the principalship? Spheres of the Principal Development Three spheres serve as the ISLP’s analytical framework for the development of effective principals (Figure 1).
istrative levels 10. Promoting teamwork 11. Building community 12. Leading change ISLP’s highly interactive, collaborative classes build these skills over the two-year program.
The Development of a Principal Figure 1
Cultural School Understanding. Where do principals work? What type of school? What country? What are the roles of a principal? How is being principal in a high school different from an elementary school? Principals need to define leadership for themselves and find the right place and job fit. What does it mean to build a community of students and teachers, empower others, and set direction for the school? Cultural understanding involves the knowledge that principals need in order to do their jobs effectively. It includes understanding the organizational culture and mastering the dynamics that distinguish one school from another. While cultural understanding of the principal’s roles is a necessary condition to lead, it is not sufficient without application of appropriate behaviors and skills. Principal Skill Development. To perform the roles and responsibilities, principals need to hone their skills. What skills are most important to be an effective principal? Some skills, such as communication, performance coaching, conflict resolution, negotiations, and resource deployment, are more readily teachable than complex competencies such as strategic vision, which requires a long gestation period and involves a multiplicity of skills. The USF/WSU International School Leadership Program (ISLP) identified the following dozen skills needed to be an effective principal: 1. Managing time properly, particularly in the ability to maintain currency in research while performing administrative duties 2. Providing genuine leadership, not mere management, within the distinctive organizational structure of schools 3. Instituting effective teacher development programs 4. Strategic thinking and creating a compelling vision for the future 5. Coaching and counseling teachers to improve their performance 6. Making sound decisions 7. Communicating effectively with stakeholders 8. Managing conflict 9. Working harmoniously with upper admin-
Reflective Practice. Understanding principal’s roles and possessing the requisite skills cannot be achieved without the ability to reflect, correct, and take action. Leadership development is an “inner” journey of self-knowledge, personal awareness, and corrective feedback. Moral, ethical, and spiritual dimensions are necessary to complete the leadership journey. To develop as a principal is very much about finding one’s voice. Because credibility and authenticity lie at the heart of the principal’s relationship with faculty, identifying guiding beliefs and assumptions lie at the heart of becoming an empowering principal. The Internship over the two-year program provides the candidates opportunities to get to know themselves and their core values and beliefs. R e f l e c t i o n - i n action is central to the art by which principals deal well with situations of uncertainty, instability, uniqueness, and value conflict. Principal’s isolation works against reflection-in action. Hence, it is crucially important for principals to be networked and have confidants. They need to communicate their private dilemmas and insights, and test them against the views of their peers. The development of principals does not take place in a vacuum. It flourishes best within a group or with trusted colleagues acting as mentors, partners, coaches, and role models. Students testify that many of the 75 graduates of the program provide the network and support system. Principals and ISLP graduates create and use communication around three types of networks: 1. Operational network to help get work done efficiently and accomplish the duties of the principal; 2. Professional/personal network to develop skills and personal advancement through coaching, mentoring, networking, learning at conferences; and 3. Strategic network from the EARCOS conferences and others opportunities to help develop a vision for future priorities and challenges. In summary, ISLP graduates incorporate all three spheres of advancement: conceptual development, skill building, and reflective practice. Each dimension integrates and builds upon the other, and a synergistic relationship characterizes all of them. Cultural and school understanding builds their “habits of mind,”
skill development their “habit of practice” and reflective practice their “habits of heart.” The development of principals rests with each person’s own motivation and talents and with the receptiveness and capacity of universities such as WSU and USF to support and coach such skills throughout their careers. Top Ten Lessons Learned Ultimately, teachers may ponder this question: To be, or not to be – a principal? For many, there are no easy answers. The following is some sage advice gleaned from our ISLP graduates. 1. Wait until you have a few years experience working in international schools before seeking a principalship. 2. Seek the position for intrinsic reasons (to advance yourself and school) – money really doesn’t motivate! 3. Make sure your credentials, reputation, and credibility are well established. 4. Separate work and non-work activities in order to maintain your personal and professional balance. 5.Take time to learn the position. Becoming a principal is a journey, not a destination. 6. Develop a network of confidants outside your school– and inside your profession for operational guidance and future professional direction. 7. Seek a mentor principal to guide you through the initial white waters of leadership. 8. Consult with significant others and family in your desire to be a principal -- it compounds the stress both you and your loved ones experience. A strategic starting point for a principal’s journey to begin by writing a legacy: How would you want to be remembered by your colleagues? Did you make a difference? Did you leave a legacy? As hundreds of administrators in Asia shared their legacies, three themes emerged from their statements: (1) We advanced our programs – our school is in a better place than before; (2) We advanced people – teachers, staff and students were promoted and graduated; and (3) We did it with decency!” What do you wish to be your legacy? The ISLP is now accepting applications. For complete information and application materials contact: Dr. Roger Rada, Program Coordinator, Washington State University (firstname.lastname@example.org) Dr. Walt Gmelch, Program Coordinator, University of San Francisco (whgmelch@usfca. edu)
Fall 2020 Issue 15
Griffith Library Reopening Ceremony By Elisia Brodeur, Communications Specialist (email@example.com) Ruamrudee International School, Bangkok, Thailand On January 22nd, 2020, many members of our school community gathered to celebrate the Griffith Library reopening ceremony. High school and middle school students had Flex or Focus Block at the time and beyond attending the ceremony, several students were actually able to take part in it. The students, along with alumni, parents, PA reps, teachers, and administrators, formed a line from the temporary library near Godbout Pool to the newly renovated library. wisdom are nurtured. May this be a place for generations to come, where people are enabled to rise to the challenge of daring to be wise.” As Fr. Apasit sprinkled the interior of the library with holy water to complete the blessing, two of our talented alumni from the Class of ’96, Ms. Debbie Klongtruadroke and Mr. Michael Sawatsewi, sang a moving rendition of “The Rest Is Still Unwritten.” While they sang, the original yearbook and several other older RIS yearbooks were passed from person-to-person along the human chain from the temporary library to the newly renovated space.
Father Apisit giving a blessing to reopen the library. HS/MS Librarian, Mr. Garrett, was the emcee for the event and opened by sharing his hope that the library would once again become the center of the school. Then he introduced Mr. Dan, Head of School, who said a few words to begin the ceremony before Fr. Apisit gave a blessing prayer. He began by thanking the many people who helped with the renovations and went on to give thanks for “the blessing that this library has already been and will continue to be for many thousands of students, staff, faculty, and parents…. We pray that this will be a place where exciting new insights are gained, where both knowledge and 16 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Once the yearbooks had been collected, Mr. Garrett announced that the library was officially open. As soon as he mentioned that there was food inside, a flood of students swelled across the new threshold to explore the space and locate the refreshments. As people entered, they were treated to a slideshow display of facts and details from the library’s history along with the clear sweet voice of seventh-grader Siri (Mac) Chaikul (winner of “The Voice Thailand 2019”) singing “A Million Dreams.” Attendees enjoyed the light bites and exploring the beautiful new open-plan space, which is full of natural light and includes glasswalled air-conditioned study rooms that students can sign out to use for schoolwork, group projects, and club meetings. Special thanks to Mr. Garrett, who played a significant role in the intentional design and successful implementation of the library renovations, for his work putting the program together.
Self-Compassion: Putting on your own mask first By Mike Simpson, Director of Curriculum and Learning firstname.lastname@example.org
The International School Yangon is a community of compassionate global citizens: We aim to develop lifelong learners who will be a force for positive change in the world. From the ISY Mission Statement In the face of a global pandemic, our teachers have personified our Mission and Vision through their commitment to our students and a willingness to professionally and personally rise to uncomfortable, unfamiliar and previously unknown challenges. As our teachers continue to meet these challenges, I, along with several other teachers and administrators, have been participating in an online Mindful Schools: Mindfulness Fundamentals course. Two readings from this course continue to resonate with me as I wonder how teachers can continue to sustain themselves in these uncertain times. Both of these readings explore the concept of self-compassion. Kristin Neff (2009) has defined self-compassion as having three main components. These three components as described by Neff are useful in applying the discussion of a 2015 study of the impact of self-compassion on the psychological health of Australian psychologists (Finlay-Jones AL, Rees CS, Kane RT, 2015) to the teaching profession. I believe that the discussion in this 2015 study is particularly relevant to teachers if one considers teaching to be a caring profession (which it is!). 1. Self-Kindness versus Self-Judgment ‘Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be caring and understanding with oneself rather than being harshly critical or judgmental (Neff, p.212).’ Psychologists who are self-compassionate are more likely to think about their struggles, mistakes or failures more objectively. They are less likely to judge themselves harshly or catastrophize events. They are more able to see difficult experiences as a normal part of their professional (and personal) life and are able to adaptively respond (Finlay-Jones AL, Rees CS, Kane RT). 18 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Teaching is every bit as complex as psychology. Preparing students for an uncertain and unknown future (in a very uncertain present) requires teachers to take leaps of faith in their practices without any real confidence that their skills and knowledge will see them and their students land safely. This sounds terrifying but it is a reality that all teachers face each day. However, a lack of confidence in one’s skills or knowledge is not fatal if one can substitute self-criticism with self-compassion.Teachers should always reflect on their practice but they must do so with an understanding that missteps are inevitable. As long as teachers try to do the right thing, it doesn’t matter if they do it right all of the time. 2. A Sense of Common Humanity versus Isolation ‘Common humanity involves recognizing that all humans are imperfect, fail, and make mistakes. It connects one’s own flawed condition to shared human condition so that greater perspective is taken towards personal shortcomings and difficulties (Neff, p.212).’ Finlay-Jones, Rees, and Kane propose that the ‘sense of common humanity engendered by the self-compassionate mindset ( p.11)’ may work to reduce the reactivity of psychologists in dealing with difficult clients or situations. A sense of connectedness to other psychologists reduces a psychologist’s feeling of isolation in their role and also supports their understanding that mistakes are an inevitable part of practicing psychology. Our school has identified the need for teachers to feel collectively capable and connected in meeting the needs of our students. This study of psychologists would suggest that teachers who understand that their shortcomings actually connect them to their colleagues are better placed to accept these shortcomings and ask for help in improving their practice to meet the needs of our students. I wonder if this sense of common humanity might be a more reliable indicator of positive student outcomes than a traditional focus on ‘best practice.’ 3. Mindfulness versus Overidentification ‘Mindfulness...involves being aware of one’s present moment experience in a clear and balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor ruminates on disliked aspects of oneself or one’s life (Neff, p.212).’ Finlay-Jones, Rees, and Kane believe that ‘psychologists who are more self-compassionate are less likely to base their personal or professional self-
worth on positive therapeutic outcomes or favourable reactions from clients (p.11).’ Therefore, they are less likely to view professional challenges or difficulties in their work as inherent in that work as opposed to being an indicator of personal failure or incompetence. Teaching, like psychology, is very difficult. Teachers need to be mindful of this as they reflect on their practice. All teachers have aspects of their practice that they know need to be worked on and it is their responsibility to work on them once they have been identified. But teachers must be careful to keep in mind that good practice does not always lead to good results. Athletes understand that a loss might not mean that you have played badly and teachers would do well to remember this analogy as they strive to meet the needs of their students. Our teachers are good, compassionate people and the way they all stepped up to the challenge of online learning to meet the needs of their students is testament to this. This challenge underlined to me the fact that teaching is a complex task carried out in an uncertain present to prepare students for an uncertain future. I am not sure that the task itself can be simplified to the point where compassionate teachers can be shielded from occupational syndromes such as imposter syndrome, compassion fatigue, or burn out. If self-compassion is an antidote to these ills it would surely warrant a place in any teacher training or professional development program. To use an oft-used analogy that seems more poignant than it would have two or three months ago, one might view teachers practicing selfcompassion as them putting on their own masks first so that they can then help others. The ISY community is very proud of their teachers and is committed to helping them find ways to sustain themselves in meeting the needs of our students. And not just in times of crisis. Finlay-Jones, Amy L., et al. “Self-Compassion, Emotion Regulation and Stress among Australian Psychologists: Testing an Emotion Regulation Model of Self-Compassion Using Structural Equation Modeling.” Plos One, vol. 10, no. 7, 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133481. Neff, Kristin D. “The Role of Self-Compassion in Development: A Healthier Way to Relate to Oneself.” Human Development, vol. 52, no. 4, 2009, pp. 211–214., doi:10.1159/000215071.
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Teacher and Student Perspectives on Maintaining Community in a Makeshift Online Classroom By Hetal Ascher, Niannian “Ava” Li, Yuning “Polly” Peng, and Xinyi “Florence” Xue Hetal.Ascher@dchigh-suzhou.cn Introduction As a teacher in China, in about mid-January I received the news that school would be closed until further notice due to COVID-19, and all teaching would move online. Like many teachers around the world, I had just a few days to create my digital classroom. During this online learning period, the majority of my students were isolated in their homes; many experienced varying degrees of fear and anxiety related to the epidemic. Different research shows that a sense of community and feeling of belonging leads to greater engagement. Keyes study (2019, p. 179) demonstrates that a sense of belonging and engagement is strengthened in classrooms where students and their teacher have a strong, trusting relationship. Additionally, a study conducted in Japan shows that students are more comfortable engaging in speaking activities in classes that had a lighter, less serious mood (Effiong 2016, p. 145). With the core idea of relational teaching in mind, I designed lessons which included collaborative activities. Teacher’s Perspective After the first few lessons, I began to integrate some of the best practices that I would normally use in my classroom, including a starter or daily warm-up and discussion, because I was worried about how isolated my students were. Some of my warm-up questions were basic such as, “What do you think of online learning so far?” and some were creative such as, “Find a photo of an animal and write two sentences from the animal’s perspective.”
In addition, I also included some silly warm-ups such as, “Share a meme or gif that will cheer up your classmates.” To model engagement, I not only participated in my own warm-ups, but I also replied to warm-ups where students exhibited a strong emotional response. Additionally, I made my lessons as interactive and collaborative as possible by using standard tools such as forum posts, replies, and video meetings, and more creative assignments like role-plays and competitive quizzes.The radio drama role-play lesson was particularly successful because it involved a greater depth of collaboration. During our travel unit, in small groups I asked students to select a travel destination and assigned each team member to research a different aspect of the trip. Then, I asked them to write a drama as if they were a tour group traveling to this destination together.They needed to brainstorm a small problem that would happen on their trip and how they would resolve it. The students recorded their radio dramas, created listening comprehension quizzes, and posted their radio dramas for the rest of the class to watch. The students were incredibly engaged in creating the dramas. Several groups even video chatted outside of class time in order to perfect their dramas. About a month into online teaching, a member of our school leadership commented that according to the student survey data, my students were highly engaged. I wondered if the reason for this was the sense of community in my classroom. I asked three students from my year 10 ESL class to share their perspectives on this issue. Students’ Perspectives During the first few days of our online learning, I did not have any contact with my classmates and teachers. I just turned the laptop on and learned by myself. At that time, I felt I was like a machine, which has no feelings and cannot speak! After those terrible few days, I kept chatting with my classmates and sometimes I would also share my feelings and thoughts with my teacher. When I heard from my classmates during our lessons, it made me feel better and feel real. We shared our thoughts and discussed just like what we do at school. It’s very exciting to interact with friends! Sometimes I felt anxious or agitated because online learning is a challenge for me. But when I shared my feelings with my classmates, everything felt different. I felt very happy when I shared my thoughts and feelings with my classmates because I am able to talk with another independent life is the collision of thought sparks. If the person I talked to had the same opinion or ideas as me, it gave me a heartfelt pride, and if we had differences, it allowed us to review problems, think more deeply,
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and make each other feel the freshness of learning more. Every time I watched the videos of my classmates or read their warmups, I felt really excited and happy. Ms. A sent many interesting and special warm-ups every day, and the answers of my classmates were all very creative and include their own thoughts. We also had the radio drama, where groups of students made an audio book together. This helped us learn how to collaborate and work better together. For example, our group aim was to make a conversation pretending that we were travelling. After making the radio drama, we made a Microsoft Form for other groups. We learned different skills in many different ways.
References Effiong, O. (2016). Getting Them Speaking: Classroom Social Factors and Foreign Language Anxiety. TESOL Journal, 7: 132-161. doi:10.1002/ tesj.194 Keyes, T. (2019). A Qualitative Inquiry: Factors That Promote Classroom Belonging and Engagement among High School Students. School Community Journal, 29: 171-200.
When I watched the videos recorded by my classmates, I felt as if we were still in the classroom. The videos of some classmates also had some funny ideas, so that was also very exciting for me. I don’t think it’s enough to fight alone in the face of such a sudden challenge. We need partners to push each other and encourage each other. Conclusion The collaborative activities and the sharing of personal experiences online not only increased student participation and wellbeing during the online learning period but also translated into a stronger classroom community once we returned to school.
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Fall 2020 Issue 21
Building a Learning Community of the Future By Emily Zeng From its foundation, Shen Wai International School (SWIS) has been committed to building physical environments that support 21st century teaching and learning. Examples of this commitment can be seen in the Early Years and Primary Division break-out spaces, the multifunction nature of the SWIS-Hans Gallery, the flow of the SWIS Library and design rooms that inspire inquiry learning.
applied the principles to their local building projects, and worked with other teams in a “design studio” environment to grapple with questions such as: What are the core objectives and features of our curriculum? How can new visions of learning environments best support the people we serve? What might be the key design patterns and diagrams that would best represent how our goals are realized?
As part of this commitment to build environments that support 21st century learning, SWIS sent members of its leadership team to The Learning Environments for Tomorrow (“LEFT”) program hosted by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, to further explore ways to build spaces that better serve the needs of SWIS programs. SWIS was the only school from the greater China region to attend these sessions.
Using project-based methodology, the LEFT program asked its participants to develop a project proposal that improves a learning environment. The SWIS team put its focus on the improvement plan for a loft space in the SWIS cafeteria. The team’s goal was to turn this space into a multi-functional space suitable for both learning and dinning.
The LEFT Program Participants in the program worked in teams to conduct an in-depth study into what is known as the Five Principles (5P). The 5Ps are People, Program, Principles, Plan, and Prototype. The biggest takeaway from the LEFT program is that “people” is the most important principle. It was clear that listening to, and meeting the needs of, every member in the community is the most important aspect of the design process. Under the guidance of Professor Daniel Wilson, participants dug deeper into the process of linking educational goals to design principles. The teams 22 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Using the Principles as well as the feedback and comments from peers in the group, the team created a design that satisfied a variety of educational needs. The design included furniture on wheels so students and teachers could reconfigure the space to respond to the various learning/dining requirements. The design addressed various seating styles and numbers that the space would cater for. It also called for features such as removable floor-to-ceiling whiteboards to replace traditional brick walls that could create both private spaces and spacious open areas when needed. The SWIS team then presented the design to the larger group for feedback.
Through a research-based understanding of current and emerging best practices, the SWIS team worked with the Harvard faculty and leading practitioners from around the world to envision how SWIS buildings can be better designed for playful learning in the coming decade and beyond. Returning from the LEFT program, the SWIS team used the principles learned to improve the renovation plan for the Early Years and Primary Library. In particular, SWIS was inspired by Dr. Rosan Bosch’s six design principles about connecting pedagogy and design.This principle conceptualizes the learning environment in terms such as a “Mountain Top”, “Cave”, “Campfire”, “Watering Hole” to describe configurations of the physical framework to direct the interaction and communication among the people in the space.
During this program of study, the SWIS team also presented features of SWIS’s facilities to architectures, educators and designers from around the world. The SWIS team also shared the design and implementation stories behind each project. Other educators were very impressed by SWIS’s achievements. The SWIS team was very proud of the feedback it received on the development of the SWIS-HAN Gallery. The gallery has been open for just over a year and has steadily played host to many events for students, staff and visiting artists. The space helps provide a warm and inviting environment to showcase creativity and visual communication. It is a meeting point for the community and an area to come together as a creative family. For the SWIS team, the program sessions not only served to provide a process for developing future space to support teaching and learning but also reaffirmed the path that SWIS has taken to provide environments that support 21st century teaching and learning. Designing for Playfulness
By adopting the theme of “The Ocean”, the SWIS Early Years and Primary Library encourages exploration and creativity within a playful educational setting, which incorporates choice, wonder and delight. The design of curved patterns and giant water waves on the ceiling contribute to sound absorption. The feature design of the underwater tunnel and cave serves to engage and motivate young learners’ imagination. The design creates a connected yet quiet space where the children can concentrate as they read and learn, or just hide for a quiet break. Students were very excited upon the completion of the renovation. At SWIS, we believe that space is a critical part of the learning process. Learning space greatly influences the learner, both psychologically and behaviorally. For this reason, SWIS will remain committed to creating learning spaces that entertain, foster interaction, as well as support the school’s culture, educational philosophies and curriculum. Special thanks to Daniel Legault, Tiffany Xia, Daniel DiGregorio, Lee Li and Clare Farrow
Children learn best in environments where different ways of learning are offered and both mind and body are activated. As Dr. Benjamin Spock said, “a child loves his play, not because it’s easy but because it’s hard.” During play, children are engaged, relaxed and challenged. Fall 2020 Issue 23
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DIVERSITY IN LEADERSHIP
Leading to Inspire - UNIS Hanoi’s Women Bosses
Left to Right: Amie Pollack (Board Chair), Glenda Baker (formerly UNIS Hanoi HS Deputy Principal), Megan Brazil (ES Principal), Emma Silva (Director of Advancement), Jane McGee (Head of School), Misty Shipley (Director of Finance and Operations), TK Ostrom (Director of Enrolment Management and Marketing), Nitasha Crishna (Lower Elementary Deputy Principal)
By Akofa Wallace, Communications Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
The Leadership Team at the United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) is calling for schools and industries to follow in their footsteps and ensure equal gender representation on their Leadership Teams.
At UNIS Hanoi, both the Head of School, Jane Mc Gee and the Board Chair, Dr Amie Pollack are women. Jane is part of a leadership team that is over 50 percent women. She serves alongside a Board that sees women occupying seven of the nine available positions. What may be considered groundbreaking to others in the education sector is seen as a natural evolution for a United Nations school long committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 5 - Gender Equality. The School believes this is a dynamic that better represents the world. Megan Brazil, UNIS Hanoi’s Elementary School Principal said, “Women make up 50 percent of the world’s population, it only stands to reason that we should be well represented in leadership positions.” Megan’s colleague, Emma Silva, Director of Advancement agrees and goes further to state that strong representation of women in leadership roles at the School is ‘essential to every child’s learning’. A former journalist and broadcast executive, Emma explained, “Diversity doesn’t just make for strong decision making with multiple perspectives, it also ensures that our young people grow up with what we model at our School as the ‘norm’. This is essential while they construct their view of the world, of what is possible and imagine their place in it.”
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However, the School’s clear commitment to gender equality remains an outlier in the field of education. “Having so many women leaders makes our school fairly unique” admits Nitasha Crishna, Deputy Principal of the Lower Elementary School. “In the four elementary schools I have worked in before, there would be the odd one or two women in leadership roles. At UNIS Hanoi, we’re in an enviable position.” Nitasha’s previous experiences mirror the experiences of her fellow female colleagues. TK Ostrom, UNIS Hanoi’s Director of Enrolment Management and Marketing and a former executive at the Bank of America, says, “There are more women working in schools mainly because it’s an environment that attracts nurturers, and women tend to be nurturers. However, and this is particularly true for international schools, men tend to take the seats at the table.” A look at the hard data from the Council of International Schools (CIS) supports this view. According to their figures, only 27 percent of CIS member schools are headed by women.The numbers are pitifully lower among schools considered to be ‘top tier’. UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School Jane McGee has worked in the international schools field for more than 25 years. She reveals that in that stretch of time, although she’s been ‘incredibly privileged to work with a number of women leaders’, she’s only worked for one female Head of School. The multicultural global society we are a part of, she says, is reason enough to amplify the mix and ensure UNIS Hanoi has the best people--men and women. Jane concedes that there are personal biases and work-life balance complexities to overcome for women more so than men. Add to the challenge for many, is the recruitment process itself, which Glenda Baker, UNIS Hanoi’s High School Deputy Principal believes in some ways could favor men. She explained “I have often wondered if we see more men in key leadership positions in international schools because the hiring and application process that schools typically follow plays more to some people’s strengths than others--gender aside. For example, I think a person has to have a pretty robust ego to go through the hiring process which includes ‘tests’ of leadership and several rounds of public vetting that schools follow when looking for a new head.There are lots of women (and men) who have the skills, capacity, and desire to take on leadership roles but may need a little support to overcome a lack of confidence.” Emma says perception and language heighten the barriers faced by women in the workplace. She shared, “Our choice of words speak volumes and often illustrate deep seated prejudice. Strong men are described as ‘change agents’ that ‘revolutionize’ programs and institutions, whereas women taking on similar roles can be seen as ‘strident’ or ‘single-minded’ with a touch of ‘bulldozer’ added to the mix of labels! Collaboration, perspective-seeking and compromise are often seen as weak, indecisive and lacking the very masculine ‘steel’ that is needed for tough decisions. It could certainly be noted that a little less steel and a bit more flexibility is exactly what the world needs right now.” Misty Shipley, UNIS Hanoi’s Director of Finance and Operations, heads up a large team made up primarily of men who are not used to a woman occupying what, to some, is considered a ‘man’s role’. She says she’s faced both age discrimination and gender discrimination during her career but she’s thankful she now works in an environment that values her skills and experience foremost. “At UNIS Hanoi, we’ve always hired the best people for the job; it so happens that many of those people are women” she stated.
At the Board Level Dr Amie Pollack stepped into the Board Chair role in 2018, after serving on the for three consecutive years. She says traditionally there are more women on educational boards compared to corporate boards because women tend to be more involved in education. However, men still hold the majority of board seats. She added, “The percentage of women on our Board is unusually high, and this is good for the School, as there is evidence that a diverse Board, offering different perspectives and approaches to leadership makes better decisions.” In the academic year 2016-2017, Amie chaired the Head of School Search Taskforce, which facilitated efforts that led to the appointment of Jane as UNIS Hanoi’s Head of School. Amie shared, “When we launched our search for a new Head of School, we made it clear to our recruitment consultants that we wanted to see qualified women candidates. This was important to us not only because it aligns with our values as a United Nations school, it’s also important because otherwise you’re only looking at 50 percent of the applicant pool, which means you’re missing out on qualified leaders.” Turning desire into reality, Amie confessed, proved challenging at times as the number of women applying for key leadership roles is still incredibly low. However, she revealed, “In our experience, the women candidates we did have were excellent.” To challenge the status quo, TK believes that women in positions of seniority have a responsibility to mentor women with potential and ‘groom them to take over’. And as someone with responsibility for recruitment, Megan is dedicated to doing her part in building a diverse team. She revealed, ”Gender representation is an important element of my team’s recruitment strategy, and something we frequently keep in mind.” Still much work to be done Glenda believes the existence of groups such as the Diversity Collaborative which aim to ensure more qualified educators from under-represented groups are considered for leadership roles is encouraging. Joining such a community, she says, helps build a wider understanding of some of the challenges people face in education leadership. Nitasha, who finds she’s often the only woman of color at the top, says there’s still much work to be done. She explained, “If you’re a woman striving for a leadership role, especially in a well-regarded and sought-after school, you start out pitted against a demographic of white men. For many women applying, that is still a pretty hard barrier to overcome.” Forging a future that’s equal Megan added, “If we truly wish to see the UN’s fifth Sustainable Development Goal realised, men and women must ensure we champion and encourage girls to find and use their voices from an early age, so that they become strong women who are willing and able to lead.” Jane McGee is confident that with passion, everything is possible and schools are the perfect environment to make a real impact. She said, “International schools can take a strong stand in ensuring diversity and gender balance are not just embraced and celebrated but are no longer considered unusual or something to even mention. There is the dream... and schools are our best shot at future fixing!”
Fall 2020 Issue 27
Resiliency Schmasiliency… When Is this Over?* By Dr. Jadis Blurton, The Harbour School, Hong Kong
This chart was sent to me by a friend who is a psychologist, and he did not know its original authorship. I loved it and include it here with apologies to the author for failing to appropriately credit him or her.
In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler identified five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As a psychologist, when I dealt with clients who were grieving, they often thought that there was a steady progression from stage to stage.You could see them contemplating, “Okay, I’m in the anger stage now and in two weeks I will move to bargaining, then a month or so in the depression stage and onward to acceptance!” I always had to explain that although it would seem as though these stages formed a nice predictable progression, just the opposite was the truth. Not only is the order variable but nobody is in only one stage at once or for any long period. People’s emotions ricochet from bargaining to denial to acceptance to anger to depression. The best that can be said is that people seem to progress from being “often” or “mostly” in one stage to being mostly in another. Although, as anyone who has grieved can tell you, often years later when one feels in the acceptance stage most of the time, it is possible to be suddenly triggered into another stage by a sudden occurrence either good or bad. So although I loved the chart above, my first thought was also that it gives the false impression that we all progress from the Fear Zone to the Learning Zone to the Growth Zone. We might think, “Well, here’s me recognizing that we are all doing our best which is in the Learning Zone, so pretty soon I’m going to be keeping a happy emotional state and spreading hope, which is in the Growth Zone.” Of course, whether or not we do most of the things in the Growth Zone may also reflect what we were like before we entered the COVID crisis. (I am reminded 28 EARCOS Triannual Journal
of Joan Collins’s famous quip that “after a certain age you get the face you deserve,” and my delight upon hearing it because I actually deserve to look like Jane Fonda.) Alas, not everyone is going to emerge from the experience of COVID19 and quarantine with all of those positive personality traits, especially if they didn’t have them in the first place. And, more importantly, most of us will find ourselves bouncing around from being empathetic one minute to snapping at our spouse the next, all in the same day if not the same minute. The chart is a way of thinking about the direction we want to go, not a map for getting there. And, unfortunately, we also have to look back at the stages of grieving, because we are all grieving. We have had small losses like the in-person Renaissance Faire or the school play, but we also have some huge losses such as dangers to family or friends and changes in our jobs or society at large that may never revert to what we thought of as normal. I am embarrassed to say that for me one of the biggest losses is the freedom to travel. And this grieving process is exacerbated by anxiety for others we know, for others we don’t know but have empathy for, and for ourselves. This virus is invisible, which makes it so much more scary — part of the reason the movie Arachnophobia was so terrifying is that the spiders were too small to easily see! So we need to acknowledge that these are not easy times, and we need to look back at the stages of grief and recognize them when we see them in ourselves or our family. Sometimes that will make us laugh.
When my mother died and I was devastated, I was on a flight back to the US and a four year old child was going up the aisle slapping seats. Now, I love kids and normally would have found a way to play with that little girl. Instead, I felt a moment of rage at her and her parents. Luckily, that made so little sense that I laughed out loud because it was such a clear example of the Kubler-Ross stage of anger. When you find yourself being unjustifiably angry or easily frustrated or weepy, give yourself a break and understand that what you are feeling is grief. I thought I might provide a few tips again, to help get through this next phase of what has turned out to be a worldwide time of challenge. 1. First of all, I can’t think of a single time in history or even in human evolution that large numbers of nuclear families were required to stay separately together inside the cave for long periods of time. It’s just not something we expected to do, evolved for or trained for. We are social beings. As much as we may love our family, spending all day every day with our kids or our spouse has the potential to be really challenging. From tantruming two-year olds to stubborn teens, too much closeness can be exhausting. Distance is built into our society for a reason and extended families exist to help provide respite to parents and to kids. (As an empathy exercise, by the way, when you are frustrated with your teenager, imagine being stuck within shouting distance of your own parents for months at a time when you were a teen.) So be patient with yourself and the others in the family. Take those extra breaths before reacting and remember that you are being asked to do something that has seriously never been part of the human experience. 2. Schools are trying to alleviate that stress as much as possible by providing classes all day just like a regular school day, but that still leaves much unstructured time after school. For Term 3, we are working on figuring out some fun virtual after school courses that will be free and that will allow kids to explore more of their “outside” interests. Hopefully those courses will involve being away from the screen as part of the activities. This will also provide more of a smorgasbord of interests so kids can explore their creativity and skills in different areas, which is something they would be doing either at school or through other entities if everything weren’t closed. But if you don’t find something that interests your child through our courses, look elsewhere online and create an after-school class of your own. (You can even take it with them. My granddaughter and I are taking a Coursera course in Anatomy.) 3. The most important thing you can give to your children is a healthy, sane, happy self. But the second most important thing you can give them is a healthy, sane, happy relationship with your spouse, especially if you are both in the same house.That means you actually have to spend time and effort nurturing your own mental health and that of your relationship. I usually tell couples that they should plan to spend at least three or four hours a week together — half an hour a night or two 2-hour date nights — and in Hong Kong I get the inevitable argument that that amount of time is simply not possible because people are too busy. So you’ve never had a better opportunity, and the stakes and challenges have never been higher. Spend a few scheduled hours a week playing cards, walking together, cooking, or whatever you like to do (no, sex doesn’t count) and while you are doing it — talk! Don’t talk about plans for the kids or the living room, don’t argue about important decisions. Just talk, like you did when you were dating. (If you were in The Matrix, would you take the red pill or the blue pill?) It is probably also good to talk to each other about the feelings you have because of the virus, but stay away from complaining about family issues. (Complain about those at a different time, but that doesn’t count towards your four hours.) And remember also to schedule time for yourself alone — read, meditate, take a bath, listen to music. Finding a place to isolate is difficult but not
impossible, and you cannot be your best self with your kids if you can’t remember who that self is. 4. For kids, taking a couple of weeks away from creating meaning is not the end of the world. But taking months off can be very debilitating and can lead to heightened anxiety and depression as well as lower selfesteem. Create opportunities for your kids to do good things — making a cake for someone less fortunate, sewing masks for people who need them, even creating holiday presents for other family members or helping another family member with a task. The feeling that comes from helping or being kind is very powerful and creates changes in the brain that actually rival and last longer than ice cream. When we think of what is missing from kids’ lives by not being in social situations at school, one of the most important is the sense of community and opportunities for kindness that exist there. So now you need to find opportunities for kindness at home: Have your three-year old read a story to the baby or the dog, have your seven-year old create a picture for the neighbor or make brownies for your family, introduce your teenagers to politics or activism, or encourage them to join online volunteer groups. An hour spent helping others is an hour feeling good about yourself. 5. Obviously, one of the big threats to kids’ development right now is in the area of social skills. Learning to read body language, understanding social norms, even getting a good joke are all things that we learn by being around others who are not necessarily part of our family unit. This is a good time to play online games with extended family or friends overseas (try jackbox.tv), but it’s also a good time to play board games with family members. Remember those? They have pieces that move around and things like dice to direct the moves. Or, if none of those are handy, try things like Pictionary or Charades. In other words, after you schedule time for yourself and time for parents together, also make sure to schedule some dedicated family time that doesn’t require a television screen. The world is changing as a result of this pandemic, and it is easy to see only catastrophe. It will affect us socially and economically and it may involve losses that we mourn. But it also creates new opportunities for change, and prepares us for the future. This is our first worldwide pandemic, but it probably won’t be our children’s last, so lessons learned this time around will help them in the future. We may change the way we work and play. We may re-envision healthcare or other societal challenges. We may appreciate each other more, remember our blessings better, and learn to operate with patience and ingenuity when confronted with unexpected trials. Like any major change, when we are at the other side of it we may find ourselves surprised at how much we have grown as a result and celebrate the new ways we have found to interact and support each other. This article also appeared on The Harbour School Medium website at https://medium.com/@THS_HK/resiliency-schmasiliency-when-is-this-overc866923cf5b1
Fall 2020 Issue 29
Virtual Learning Reflections – Adrian, Grade 5, International School of Busan This is a virtual learning experience piece that I’ve written. It has all my experiences about virtual learning. In my opinion virtual learning is very boring. The reason it’s boring is because all day long you’re at a screen or doing your work on your own. Another boring thing about virtual learning is that you can’t meet your friends. The best you can do is to meet them on google meet or zoom. But there is one benefit from virtual learning: you can wake up late as you don’t have to go on a bus and get your backpack ready and leave the house. One of the bigger problems with virtual learning is that you sit still a lot. Here are some tips for break times in virtual learning. One of the best places to go at break is to my garage so I can play around there. A good thing to do at lunch break is to take a long time making your lunch and then play for a long time. Those are all my tips for breaks. Mornings in virtual learning are different. A good thing about mornings at virtual learning is that you can wake up really late, plus you can create yourself a big breakfast. A bad thing about the morning in virtual learning is that it’s very hard to focus in class because sometimes when you wake up late it makes you feel really tired. A great thing about the mornings is that it’s really easy to prepare for school. So there are some good things, but I look forward to going back to school to play with my friends outside.
– Charlotte, Grade 5, International School of Busan Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, our school decided to close. However, we are still going to learn with a virtual learning environment, or VLE. I am going to share with you some of my experiences and opinions about virtual learning. One of the first observations that I had during my virtual lessons was that we got less time to spend moving around and going outside. We started virtual learning on Monday 24th February 2020. We were on the same schedule that we use at school. Most of our lessons were stuck on the screen and we had to always be back there. There wasn’t much of a way to get together without electronic devices because some of our classmates were out of town and in other countries. We hoped that we could get back to school soon, but then the Korean government extended virtual learning. We aren’t going to be back in school for a long time. Even if we wanted to go outside and play, we couldn’t really do it because of social distancing. So most of us were always indoors during break times. We should spend less time at our screens. Another observation that I would like to share is that we behave differently with virtual learning than we do if we were actually at school. If we were at school, we would have concentrated more on our work, spend less time talking about other things other than learning, and write down what we normally won’t say in person. For example, if we were at school, we wouldn’t talk about things at our homes or video games as much. At home, we have things like markers and toys that keep on distracting us from our work. We could also do other things on our de30 EARCOS Triannual Journal
vices such as playing games. We should try to avoid doing other things when we are learning. My final observation is that it’s harder to connect with friends and classmates. Most of us don’t really live close to our friends. Even if we do, we can’t go and visit. It’s different to actually see your friends than it is to talk to them virtually. If your friends were writing something down, you have to guess their tone. We also can’t connect and play like we usually do. Basically, the only way that we can connect with them is on the screen. Like I shared before, we already spend all day on the internet. I think it’s sad that we can’t play and connect with our friends. If we were at school, we could socialize more than we do at home with virtual learning. Even though virtual learning might be more comfortable because we’re at home, we can’t play like we do during break times. I wish there is a way that we can actually meet our friends. In conclusion, I have many observations that I have made during virtual learning. I think it is a long-enough experience, and I am looking forward to the time when we can come back to school.
– Jaiden, Grade 5, International School of Busan For the past 2 weeks, we’ve been using our computers to do virtual learning. Virtual learning is when you use an electronic device to learn at home. One thing I enjoyed the most about virtual learning is how you get to connect with your classmates through a screen. For me, it’s one thing when you can FaceTime your friends but a whole other level when you can see everyone’s faces at once. The one thing I miss the most during days off school is seeing my friends, so it’s a real breather when I can see them again, almost like we normally did. It also feels a bit weird to see my teachers in a cozy home environment instead of a classroom. It’s fun to interact with my classmates and teachers. By doing virtual learning, I think everybody learned to be a lot quieter and more patient. At first, a lot of people got carried away speaking about unrelated topics which distracted me a lot, but as the days went by it became a lot more tame. People began to focus more during class time and it was so much easier with a quiet chat. I realized how much quicker I get my own work done when everyone is quiet. It gets a bit too chaotic when 20 people begin talking all at once. It’s really fun experimenting with many different types of online applications for our school work. For example, we tried using Epic! and Sora for library time since we finished our reading books. Though we have websites and apps we use for homeroom activities, we mostly use Seesaw, Gmail, and Google Classroom. We also connect with Zoom, a video meeting application similar to Google Meets or Skype. A short list of what we would normally use in a virtual school day would be: Seesaw, Gmail, Zoom, Mathletics, Headsprout, and WordFlyers. It’s overwhelming at first, but once you get used to it, it’s a breeze handling your assignments. I personally think that virtual learning was a huge success. It helps us to explore more into how our computers can operate, and it distracts us from playing video games all day.
By Katina Grigoraskos, Wells International School email@example.com Wells Overview A branch of EverClever Education Group, Ltd., Wells offers an American and IB university-preparatory curriculum to children from kindergarten to high school. Comprising three campuses in central Bangkok ranging from nursery to Grade 12, it has expanded rapidly since its founding in 1999 and now serves approximately 1,000 students who represent over two dozen nationalities. Wells is licensed by the Thai Ministry of Education, has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 2009, and is a member of the International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT) and the East Asia Regional Council of Schools (EARCOS). Campus Opening: Wells International School,Yangon Wells International School is proud to announce the opening of its fourth campus in Yangon, Myanmar, scheduled to open in August 2020. Wells Yangon will embrace the strongly established philosophy and American school culture of the three Wells campuses in Bangkok, but it will also be integrating the local Myanmar culture through Myanmar culture and language classes. The teachers of Wells Yangon campus are all native English speakers and well-qualified educators, coming from various international backgrounds. In the first phase, the school will range from nursery until Grade 5, with plans for expansion with a middle and high school in the future.The first year, Wells Yangon will focus on its nursery, K1 & K2 classes, with applications for enrollment already being accepted. Similar to its sister schools, it will also aim to be a WASC-accredited and International Baccalaureate (IB) affiliated educational institution. The school facilities will include a swimming pool, gymnasium, 400-person capacity auditorium, as well as science and computer labs. The fa-
cilities will support our emphasis on learning both in the classroom and outside, offering sports programs, performing arts and co-curricular activities. The physical spaces reflect the school philosophy, mission and vision. Wells Philosophy At Wells, our aim is to change the world one student at a time. International schools are the optimal place for children to get a well-rounded education that will prepare them for success out in the world. As modernization brings new, multicultural complexity into life and business, international education becomes more crucial than ever. For a consistent and seamless educational experience, it is important to begin this international education from an early age. Throughout the entire curriculum – from kindergarten to high school – Wells prepares students for the challenges they will face at university and beyond, while helping them to adapt to an ever-changing world. We are proud to have alumni accepted into the world’s leading universities. Wells students have gone on to study at universities such as Caltech, which has been ranked as the best university in the world. Through the IB program, Wells encourages all our students to be principled thinkers. This means learning to be well-balanced, caring, openminded and, of course, knowledgeable. These are attributes we believe all children need in order to successfully progress through life and reach their highest potential. Together, these attributes create internationally minded students who are prepared and ready to face the world. Although we are an American international school, with over 50 nationalities represented across our campuses, we are proud of how diversity contributes to our success in international education. For more information about our Wells Yangon Campus, please visit our website at https://www.wis.ac/ Fall 2020 Issue 31
ACTION RESEARCH I
Ownership, Motivation, and Class Engagement: How does an environment that supports the satisfaction of the three psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness impact student motivation and class engagement? By Jared Pangier, Hokkaido International School Sapporo firstname.lastname@example.org Nurturing our students to be intrinsically motivated to better themselves throughout life is a goal I imagine most teachers in this day and age aspire toward achieving. In fact, as teachers, we are tasked to prepare students for college and career, or, in other words, to ready students to move into the world on their own with less support. Yet, maturity is a long road, and motivation is hard to pin down, with so many factors impacting why each person acts in various situations. Much research has been done on autonomy, purpose, sense of control, and responsibility as essential aspects of motivation, including Ryan & Deci’s Self-Determination Theory (2018), Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning (2008), Simon Sinek’s Start with Why (2011), and Stephen Covey’s “Maturity Continuum” (2004). Furthermore, research on the impact of motivation has been conducted within academic environments. A study at a medical school in the Netherlands took the six degrees of motivation (see figure 1) to calculate a student’s Relative Autonomous Motivation (RAM) measuring relationship to student academic performance (Kusurkar, 2013). More specific to the field of literacy, the importance of creating a classroom environment that makes space for pleasure reading and access to that pleasure reading seems crucial to develop lifelong readers (Krashen, 2018; Willingham, 2015).
The catalyst for my study was a desire to more effectively increase student ownership over learning while also finding the best way to create structure in a classroom model that provides a high degree of choice. Through my study, I hoped to glean insight into the following questions: What is motivation? How can I motivate others? What can I do to make a classroom environment where students take control of their learning, where they care as much about bettering themselves through education as I do? Study Design With those questions in mind, and based on my understanding of best motivational and literacy practices from my extensive literature review, this study examined the way one teacher instituted these ideas through two intentional language and literacy models and two unexpected models (due to COVID-19), with an additional comparison to a high-achieving AP Seminar classroom, where students were given an even higher degree of autonomy in planning the structure of their course. Through these models, I explored the efficacy of satisfying the three fundamental psychological needs to grow motivation and classroom engagement, following the flow found in the figure below:
Figure 2: Engagement Model to Illustrated the Motivational Significance of Autonomy Support, Structure, and Involvement; modified from Reeve, 2018
Figure 1: Self-Determination Continuum Showing Types of Motivation; modified from Reeve, 2018 Considering the research done in the field of motivation and literacy, as well as our responsibility as teachers to prepare students to become more independent lifelong learners, in the school year 2019-2020 I conducted a yearlong action research exploratory study examining the relationship between motivation, engagement, and academic success within a literacy-heavy and student-centered classroom environment. 32 EARCOS Triannual Journal
The study examined student perception of control, used to determine the students’ Relative Autonomous Motivation (RAM; see figure 1 above), along with their reported degree of competence and relatedness. Drawing from Ryan and Deci’s Self-Determination Theory (2018), which described the three psychological needs in motivation (autonomy, competence, and relatedness), my study compared student survey responses to two classroom Language and Literacy classroom models; 1) Model A: Autonomy Focused; 2) Model B: The Balanced Model (Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness), as well as an AP Capstone Seminar model where students were given a high degree of control over the design of the course. Naturally, the pandemic that swept through our
world in the second semester of the school year impacted my study, with much of semester 2 instruction conducted either online or in a mixed format of online learners and masked, socially distanced students. Despite that, I was able to gather insightful information, both quantitatively and qualitatively, in response to my research question: How does an environment that supports the satisfaction of the three psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness impact student motivation and class engagement? The Language and Literacy Classroom Looking at the Language and Literacy study group of 40 students we can see the following summarized quantitative results: Perceived Control over Learning
Self-Direction High Value
General Reading Motivation (Positive RAM)
Book Selection Motivation (Positive RAM)
SSR Focus Motivation (Positive RAM)
Met reading target 2018-2019
Predicted to meet reading target 2019-2020
% of language and literacy study participants who met the speaking target
Argument writing competence
% of language and literacy study participants who met the writing target
Classroom Relationships Helpful
Table 1: Sense of Control, Motivation, Engagement, and Academic Achieve-
ment Comparison These results show a study group with a majority demonstrating a positive sense of control, self-direction, confidence, competence, relatedness, and academic achievement in both speaking and writing. Yet, the RAM scores did not all result in a majority of study participants demonstrating positive relative autonomous motivation.
While the results above are positive in terms of a sense of control, quantitatively, no broader correlation can be seen between a sense of control, motivation (RAM, competence, relatedness), or classroom performance. Looking at groups clustered together by degrees of sense of control did not reveal any correlation either.Yet, the qualitative voices of the students did indicate a degree of motivation toward taking ownership over learning. In the full 183-page study, diverse views are provided with a small sample here where students provided an example of a perceived sense of control: 1. I used to never have control when I read in class. But now I know lots of good books that I can’t stop reading. The quietness in the class and a lot of other students having control, gain my control when I read. 2. I was able to balance out the workload throughout the semester. That didn’t mean I did work consistently, but I did most of the work when I didn’t have other responsibilities. 3. When writing or brainstorming, I feel like I have the most control of my learning because I get “in the zone” in a sense. I can really concentrate and pump out content for writing assignments. 4. I have control whenever I write a script. I use my control to learn the structure and the best way to grab people’s attention. 5. The assignments we receive are very flexible in time, as in we can pick and decide which assignments we would like to do first on our own. Plus, instead of having everything as flexible, by adding certain assignments with a strict schedule like OUR SCHOOL Reads helps out on not stressing over too much on creating your own schedule. So it works like a base of the assignments. These voices show the value of making time for reading within the class, as well as the importance of establishing an environment where students have control over their learning (autonomy), guidance (structure to assist with competence), and the ability to turn to each other for help and perspective (relatedness). In comparing the two language and literacy classroom models, the final results indicated a preference for the balanced Model B. However, the results may be conflated due to the changed delivery of instruction resulting from our school’s response to COVID-19. Autonomy-focused vs. Autonomy Lite Comparing Semester 1 and 2, which model helped you grow your language and literacy skills more? 40 responses
Looking specifically at a perceived sense of control reveals a study group that is positively in control as a majority:: On average, to what degree do you feel in control of your learning in this class? 400 responses
Figure 2: Model A or Model B?
Moving beyond a required classroom to one where students opt-in and sign a contract of commitment, requiring completion of a summer assignment, we can briefly examine the AP Seminar study group to see how a sense of control and motivation may have impacted engagement and performance. Fall 2020 Issue 33
Continued from page 33 The AP Capstone Seminar Classroom Looking at the AP Seminar study group of nine students showed an even more in-control and engaged group of students. On average, to what degree do you feel in control of your learning class? 9 responses
Figure 4: Covey’s “The Maturity Continuum”; modified from Covey, 2004
These results show nine students who feel positively in control of their learning. Unlike the language and literacy study group, these students did not engage in multiple classroom models but just one, which was based on a contract of commitment and the students’ own choice to opt into this AP class. In addition to having a high sense of control, the study showed very high performance by all nine of these students. Yet, the measures for motivation, once again, did not reveal any correlation between sense of control and motivation itself. Still, much was gained from the voices of the students in response to the study survey questions. Here is one student perspective that shows a student who grew, throughout the course, into a self-directed learner who could also perform well: Student Voice: A lot of my improvement of certain skills in this class came in times where I directed myself. In these times, I would force myself to sit and get the work done. If I didn’t do this, I would not have learned much to help me improve. An example would be the IWA essay. Despite getting a poor grade on my first practice submission, it was that second attempt where I forced myself to reevaluate and write the best essay I could, even though I felt hopeless for a while. The support which has helped me gain this sort of control was (1) the briefing my teacher gave me after my first submission and (2) the material itself which challenged and bred my improvement. A big part of the sense of control comes from the teacher’s well-distanced stance away from the students. The teacher does not tell us how to reach our end-goal, instead, he guides us carefully as to not take the control away from us. Final Insights All in all, this study showed the value of creating an environment that provides opportunities for students to satisfy their psychological needs in motivation. Although no quantitative correlation was shown, the students’ written responses indicated evident growth in ownership. Through the various classroom models, students began to take control of their learning, moving from dependent teacher-controlled students to students who can and want to learn independently and interdependently, progressing along Covey’s Maturity Continuum (figure 4).
Creating and adjusting our classroom environments to honor students’ agency is just as important as it was last school year, and this need will never go away. Each individual is different.Yet, our psychological needs in motivation remain the same. At the end of the day, we all seek greater autonomy, competency, and relatedness. Knowing that, as teachers, it is important to implement an attitude of the Japanese idea kaizen, striving to continuously improve a classroom and school environment that values the individual needs, inspiring more students to become driven, lifelong learners. As Simon Sinek says, “If we get the environment right...the result will be an entire group of self-motivated people” (2017). Isn’t that something we all want? Imagine how that could change our future world? Want Access to the Full Study? If you would like a copy of this study in full, please simply send me an email. email@example.com References
Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. Frankl, V. E. (2008). Man’s Search For Meaning. London, Great Britain: Rider. Krashen, S. (2018). The Conduit Hypothesis: How Reading Leads to Academic Competence. Language Magazine, 0–6. Retrieved from http://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articles/2018_the_conduit_hypothesis.pdf Kusurkar, R. A., Ten Cate, Th. J., Vos, C. M. P., P. Westers, & Croiset, G. (2013, March 1). How Motivation Affects Academic Performance: A Structural Equation Modelling Analysis. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22354335/ Pink, D. H. (2011). Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us. Edinburgh, Great Britain: Canongate Books. Reeve, J. (2018). Understanding Motivation and Emotion. Hoboken, NJ, United States: Wiley. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2018). Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development, and Wellness (1st ed.). New York, New York: The Guilford Press. Sinek, S. (2011). Start with why. London, Great Britain: Portfolio Penguin. Sinek, S. (2017). Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t (Reprint, Revised ed.). New York, United States: Penguin Random House. Willingham, D. T. (2015). For the Love of Reading: Engaging Students in a Lifelong Pursuit. American Educator, (Spring), 4–13. Retrieved from https://www.aft.org/sites/ default/files/ae_spring2015.pdf
34 EARCOS Triannual Journal
ACTION RESEARCH II
Student Motivation in Completing Formative Work By Gray Macklin, High School Vice Principal and Sunwoo Lee, 10th grade student. Seoul International School Rationale Formative assessments and assignments were constructed for the definite purposes of guiding students through the learning process and preparing students to demonstrate what they have learned. Such materials will only be beneficial if students take it seriously as practice. Moreover, summative work is not intended to rank students based on grades, but to serve as motivation for students to learn the topics completely. Students often value more efficient methods of obtaining a higher grade, such as simply memorizing class notes word-by-word, than focusing strictly on learning and skill improvement regardless of the grade. Students will not feel a different sense of accomplishment when they learn the material to get a better outcome compared to when they acquire test-taking skills to perform well. The focus of this research began with this student authorâ€™s research for a viewpoint piece in the school paper linking effort in daily participation in PE class and performance on graded fitness tests. The viewpoint expressed was in response to students who wanted to get the maximum grade outcome with the bare minimum input. We realized that this lack of motivation is not only the case for PE, but also for other subjects and wondered what we could learn about student motivation academic practice. A deeper understanding of student motivation to complete formative work could be used as a starting point to practices that promote student investment in formative work. Introduction Formative assessment has been an increasingly important component of education reform over the past several decades. Recently the emphasis has been specifically on the role of formative assessment in assigning student grades. While most definitions of formative assessment emphasize their role in informing teacher and student understanding of progress toward a specific academic goal, those that include a reference to grades often note that formative work is ungraded. This is due in large part to the entrance of non-achievement factors like promptness and neatness finding their way into grades, effectively clouding or blurring what the final grade actually means in terms of learning (Marzano, 2000 & Guskey, 2007). Popham (2008) advocated for the development of learning progressions that incorporated both formative and summative assessment; there is consensus that students require multiple opportunities to improve (Crockett & Churches, 2017). There is also consensus that the emphasis on corrective feedback is the primary value of formative assessment (Frey & Fischer, 2011) The challenge comes when teachers are expected to use multiple data points to determine an accurate grade (Marzano, 2006) but are also expected to exclude all formative work from the list of that data. While Marzano (2000) addresses the under-reporting of the most current ability when formative work is scored in an average, Greenstein (2010) notes that some scoring of formative assessment allows for teachers to indicate learning among students who struggle with more traditional forms of assessment. Standards based grading may solve many of these complications
and is strongly supported by Marzano, Guskey, Schimmer, and others, but that does not solve the problem for schools that are on traditional scales (0-100, 4.0, etc.). There is extensive literature on the importance of formative work and on best assessment practices, but there is little field work on motivating high performing students in Asia to complete formative work that is ungraded. Methodology For this study the authors chose a mixed methods approach that employed both survey responses and focus group discussion. The survey was designed by first having conversations with students about their thinking about formative work. This was done by the student author so that students would feel more comfortable in talking about school as well as identify familiar language that could be used in the survey. Once the survey questions were written they were reviewed by high school faculty for feedback. The finalized survey was sent via Google forms to student email accounts and left open for 10 days. During the response window, two additional emails were sent to students thanking students for their participation and reminding them that their input was valuable in shifting how the school administration and faculty approach formative work. From the responses, the authors then identified key questions that required more detailed explanation to carry out in small focus group discussions. The small groups were intended to be made up of 6 randomly selected students from each grade level, balanced for gender representation. Normally these would have been held during a lunch period, but due to the school closure these were held in Google Meet sessions hosted by the student author and observed by the faculty author. Only two students agreed to an additional online interview, which was to be expected considering the amount of time students have been spending in e-learning classrooms. The conclusions and recommendations came from a synthesis of survey responses and discussion responses. Data: Of the possible 290 respondents, 115 students submitted responses to the survey. Sent to students in grades 9 to 11, 39.1%, 31.3%, and 29.6% of responses came from those grades respectively representing a good balance of representation across the different grades surveyed. 54.8% of the respondents were female and 45.2% were male, also indicating that the responses represent a balance between genders. 56.5% of the respondents identified as having moderately high to high motivation to complete formative work with the remaining 43.5% identifying as having moderate to low motivation. The lowest response was 2.6% of students identified as having low motivation. The first substantive question regarding the subject area students had the most difficulty finding motivation to complete revealed that 66% of students identified English and Math with 34.8% and 31.3% respectively. There was a significant drop-off with Science, World Language, and Fall 2020 Issue 35
Continued from page 35. Performing/Fine Arts recording similar responses at 9.6% for Science and World Language and 11.3% for Performing/Fine Arts. Social Studies had the lowest response rate at 3.5%. In the second substantive question regarding the reason behind the lack of motivation, 50% of the students responding indicated other distractions and procrastination as impacting their motivation. Feedback, performance, and long school days returned similar response levels with the formative work remaining ungraded as the lowest factor impacting their motivation. The question regarding student understanding of formative work’s purpose showed that nearly 65% of students responding understand the purpose of formative work to inform. 45% indicated that formative work is to inform students about what they need to study, with approximately 19% indicating that the purpose of formative work was primarily to inform teachers about what needs more instruction. Approximately 18% of the students identified formative work as a means of teaching effective study or learning techniques. The two lowest responses identified formative work as either busy work or hurdles to clear for a retake. The final substantive question asked students what if anything would improve their motivation to complete formative work. Students’ top 3 responses were clear connections between formative assessment and summative evaluations, prizes or rewards, and personal goals with 40%, 23%, and 18% respectively. Of the provided options, the lowest responses were for student access to class completion data and grading. There were a number of additional options left in the other category, often indicating that grading combined with another option would be effective. Conclusions: From this brief survey of students, it is clear, at least in the context of the school where the survey was completed, that formative school work is in competition with other things demanding our students’ attention. In the follow-up interviews the word procrastination was revealed to be somewhat problematic since the students identified being busy with other things but not necessarily procrastinating or feeling unmotivated to do formative work. The students responding to the survey distinguished between procrastination and a lack of motivation to prioritize the completion of formative work. Despite not completing a detailed statistical analysis of the responses, there was no clear correlation in this by grade level or gender. Likewise, the subject areas where students had the most difficulty finding the motivation to complete formative work was spread evenly across the grade levels and genders indicating that these responses were more general to student experiences than driven by a specific course. The clear limitation here is that the roughly 30% of the students who would make time to respond to a survey may not be indicative of the majority of students. However, with the school closure, the original plan of having students complete the survey in class was altered to sending it to students working at home. It is unlikely that the remaining students would have selected responses so different from those who responded that the data showed something completely different, instead likely either showing some correlations between self-reported motivation levels and other responses or a wider range of experience. In terms of the subject areas where students found the most difficulty in finding motivation to complete work, there was a clear concentra36 EARCOS Triannual Journal
tion of responses in English and Math that would have been difficult to overcome with additional respondents. The students at our school have the most difficulty finding motivation in those 2 areas. More students to interview would have maybe provided more insight into specifically why students overwhelmingly selected those areas, but one likely possibility revealed during interviews seems to be the amount of effort to complete the work versus the perceived reward or guaranteed benefit from the work. The interviews also pointed to some conflict within the data as well since students mentioned qualifying for retakes as reason to do formative work and our math department requires all formative work to be completed in order to do retakes. From a school perspective, the most interesting responses were about student understanding of the formative work’s purpose and ways to improve motivation to complete formative work. That the students were able to identify that formative work is designed to inform teachers or students in the learning process is a good indication that teachers are effectively communicating the purpose of the work and that the assignments themselves often support that message. Similarly, students indicated that clear connections between formative assessment and summative evaluation would have the strongest impact on improving student motivation. This reinforces the conclusion drawn from the interviews that a strong reason for having the most difficulty in finding motivation is the differential between the effort necessary to complete formative work and its perceived value in succeeding on summative evaluations. Implications Because this study was done by a student and a school administrator, this section will be done in two parts representing the different perspectives. Student Notably from the survey, we discovered that most (60%) students had a clear understanding of the purpose of formative work, which did not translate into motivation to complete it. Students’ perception of paucity of continuity between the current formative work and summative tests and the absence of reward for complete work were the most frequent explanations. For example, the formatives the Math department assigned were not graded, not discussed, and students have reported that they do not see a direct correlation with the summative test. Contrarily, formatives in the Science and World Language had a high correlation with the summatives; endeavoring formative work clearly led to better outcome on the summative test which is a reward in itself. Increase in the direct connection between the formatives and summatives and strengthening the connection between formative and summative in the learning process could drive the students who had considered formative work as a “waste of time” to prioritize differently and not seek another reward. Comparing the responses on the subject area students identified as having the most difficulty finding motivation to complete (between Math (31.3%) and Science (9.6%)), we realized increasing in-class activities could serve as an enhancer for more motivation. In science classes, formative work commonly included pre-lab research and lab reports. Complete formative work was essential to participate during class in which lecture and lab sessions were effectively coordinated. On the other hand, students showed a lack of understanding between formative work and summative work in math classes. Work at home did not directly translate into an immediate outcome in class, therefore, for students to feel motivated, the sense of accomplishment needs to be tangible rather than theoretical. By increasing participatory activities
based on complete formative work and flipping the lectures to feedback and review discussions, students may feel more inclined to come in prepared. Lastly, from the focus group interview, we observed a notion that the incongruity between the time required to complete formative work and the significance in its contribution to the summative test or the final outcome across the subjects was a source of discouragement. Students provided one example in the English department. The time required to finish an annotation assignment was larger than the time required to study for the rhetorical devices. However, both were weighed equally in terms of grades. Required amount of time investment needs to be translated proportionally into how much the work is weighed in the gradebook. If adequate credit matching the time invested could be given, regardless of the forms, students will be able to see that their work was acknowledged. Administrator Students expect their work to mean something. While we would all love to see an intrinsic love of learning to be the prevailing source of meaning, it is unreasonable to expect students to achieve this level of thinking when considering their age and the fact that they are required to take courses across such a broad range of subjects. A student with an intrinsic curiosity in science may struggle to appreciate a Victorian novel. Schools need to accept that some degree of extrinsic motivation is not only reasonable, but natural. By design, grades embody the extrinsic motivation associated with school. With the existing research on the subject, the problem is not deciding whether or not something should be graded, but how to produce grades. Grading as a reward/punishment structure may motivate students to achieve, but that structure may sacrifice an appreciation of the learning process, not to mention any hope of loving to learn. The results of this limited study seems to provide a hopeful pathway forward that accepts the extrinsic motivator of grades while emphasizing the learning process. School faculty should not only work to develop formative work that establishes a clear link between practice and evaluation, but also take the time to explain the link between the two. Our dual perspectives of adults and educators may lead us to believe this to be more self-evident than it is to our students. This implication may be inferred from the fact that students were able to identify the purpose of formative work in theory(to inform rather than keep them busy), but reported difficulty in completing work they did not see as having a
clear purpose in terms of their performance. Teachers who are struggling to get students to take formative work seriously may need to dedicate more time to explaining the purpose of the work and ensure its relevance on the summative evaluation as well as adjust expectations on performance outcomes. Just as in coaching, when a student is able to employ something from practice in a live, unrehearsed situation they immediately value and internalize the lesson. In some respects, students must be able to accurately identify and evaluate the ungraded formative work’s value in their performance on the graded evaluation. It is also important to manage student expectations surrounding the benefit of practice in formative work. Students often see a guaranteed result as the purpose of practice. A clear link is not the same as doing the same thing in formative work and summative evaluation. Especially in skill development, time and patience are essential. Maintaining student motivation through setbacks is an art and one well worth developing. Without specific attention paid to student motivation throughout the process, students who may not do as well as expected on a couple of evaluations may conclude the subject is not for them, despite feeling an intrinsic interest or passion for the subject. This research indicates that students who are working really hard and fail to see progress will lose interest in the practice. This indicates a couple of things. The first is that feedback must be constructive and emphasize what needs to be done for improvement. Formative work strictly for completion will have a demotivating impact on students. This is not a new conclusion and appears throughout existing research on the subject. The second is that there must be a balance between manageable, genuinely challenging evaluation tasks. The existing research on “a moderate level of challenge” seems particularly relevant here. Maintaining a reasonable distance between the time/effort formative work requires and the success that students achieve will improve student motivation to complete formative work. Ultimately, if faculty make an effort to link learning standards, formative assessment, and summative evaluation as well as communicate how their work will both inform the instruction and the learning, students will be more willing to complete ungraded work in a way that is more consistent with its intended purpose. This appears to be a reasonable middle ground to the extremes of using grades as a system of reward and punishment on one end and a naive reliance on purely intrinsic motivation to learn for the sake of learning on the other.
E-Connect Stay in touch with many current ideas and trends in education at EARCOS Connect Blog. Welcome to EARCOS E-Connect.Teachers, counselors, and administrators are extremely busy people.You don’t always have time to search for articles, blogs, videos, and books that will educate and enhance your practice.This blog will offer links to relevant educational discussions, articles, book reviews, and videos that you may find informative and useful. http://earcos-connect.tumblr.com/
Fall 2020 Issue 37
Enjoying Classroom Management . . . really! By Laurie Sullivan, Shanghai SMIC Private School After 29 years in teaching, I know that I can set boundaries for what I will and will not accept within my classroom walls. Love and Logic® has been part of my path to enjoying classroom management. This joy is available to all educators so that we not only survive a full career as teachers but thrive in our own classrooms! It is possible to remain calm and rule the room pleasantly. Interested? To begin with we must recognize that the only person we ever have control of is ourselves. Thus, the language we must use in speaking to students begins with what WE will do and sounds like this: “I listen to students who speak in a calm voice.” The statement simply describes what we will do. Furthermore, we can tell students if they make poor choices we will do “something.” How intriguing is that? What will the “something” be? That is for the teacher to ponder, elicit the help of other professionals, and deliver in due time. In this way the teacher remains calm. Once when a high school junior refused to put his phone in the assigned caddy, I simply said, “Oh, that’s sad. I will have to do something about that” and carried on with instruction. Later, I wrote up the defiance as a referral and the student received the school discipline of in-school suspension for defying authority. The rumor mill worked effectively; everyone placed his or her phone in the caddy from then on. My reaction was dispassionate, and the learning was not interrupted. I was pleasant and in control. Love and Logic’s ® delayed consequences is the technique here; it allows the teacher to remain calm knowing that there is time later to customize a consequence for the student. To make teaching “fun and rewarding instead of stressful and chaotic . . . [helping] adults achieve healthy relationships with children,” Love and Logic® has, in its forty years, been devoted to a practical and researchedbased, “whole child philosophy” (Love and Logic, 2019). It provides researched methods of action to make the dream of a calm and pleasant learning environment come true. This philosophy is grounded in two rules: #1 – “Adults set firm limits in loving ways without anger, lecture, threats, or repeated warnings” (Love and Logic 2019). Using authentic empathy in the moment and delaying consequences makes it possible to create a plan that works best for the individual student. This creates a demeanor of calm within the teacher and, perhaps a mischievous grin, when plotting appropriate consequences. 38 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Rule #2: “When children misbehave and cause problems, adults hand these problems back in loving ways.” (Love and Logic 2019) For example, Reggie was the proverbial class clown who seemed to be unable to exercise any self-control which, of course, affected the entire class. After telling Reggie, a high school freshman, privately, that I had decided to help him since he seemed unable to help himself, I put his desk in my doorway, so he could see and hear only me. After two days in the doorway, he decided he could rejoin the class without causing any distraction. Teachers owe students who are interested in learning a positive environment. This mandates that behavior be handled quickly and efficiently. Teachers owe students who interrupt the learning a positive environment in which to correct their own poor choices and join the class as an active participant. Reggie most likely always knew how to stop his nonsense, but he never chose to do so until he was placed in his particular unpleasant situation: isolation from his comedic audience. Setting a firm limit without emotion (Rule #1) and handing Reggie back the responsibility for his own behavior (Rule #2) is the idea. I gave Reggie the opportunity to learn without causing problems to the rest of the group. Had the doorway not been successful Love and Logic’s recovery plan would have been my next step. Recovery provides a pre-arranged physical space for students to relocate until they are able to return to the learning. Using pre-meditated empathetic statements, a teacher can deliver delayed consequences that are personalized to each situation, ruling the room in a calm and pleasant manner. Employing this philosophy has kept me joyfully in the high school classroom for over 29 years loving my students dearly and demanding excellence from them at the same time. Join me! *For more information about Love and Logic, you can subscribe to its weekly emails at www.loveandlogic.com and/or contact Independent Facilitator, Laurie Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org Reference Love and Logic. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.loveandlogic. com/a/info/how-to-create-a-love-and-logic-classroom
Kahon ng Karunungan, Bridging Two Worlds through Educational Equity By Razel Suansing, International School Manila email@example.com Our school field gleams, its fibers glittering under the radiant sun. The area was the centerpiece of an almost antithetical image that lay in front of me. A sea of tightly packed zinc roofing sheets barely connected to disintegrating cement houses enveloped the field. A wall separated the two worlds so deeply intertwined; each side with no glimpse of how the other half lives. During my short breaks from IB work, I would walk to the floor to ceiling windows of our library and remind myself of the realities that lie beyond. This vision served as a microcosm for educational inequity in the Philippines. As I learned about the writings of Shakespeare, De Beauvoir, Angelou, most of my countrymen did not even learn the basic tenets of English grammar. This was a sobering thought. As my education bestowed more opportunities upon me to learn about the deeprooted issues that most plague Filipino society-Islamic insurgencies, the drug trade epidemics, poverty--I found that most of these issues are caused by educational inequity. Thus, I learned that to counter these issues sustainably and effectively, one must work to create an educated youth. When Kahon ng Karunungan (from Tagalog, meaning “Knowledge in a Box”) was established in October 2018, our focus was to provide individual self-learning kits that simulated the Department of Education’s curriculum. Students affected by a natural disaster or conflict used these to pursue their education while the schools were closed. Prior to receiving the EARCOS grant, we provided 500 students in Malagnat National High School, destroyed by landslides, with our self-learning kits. The EARCOS grant funded our second outreach for the Taal Volcano eruption victims. We connected with the local government units as we believed that they recognized the schools that were most in need.They led us to Venancio Elementary School, the school with the closest proximity to Taal that still remained. We yearned to act swiftly, but PHILVOCS still raised Alert Level 4 in Taal; the possibility of a complete eruption was possible. That resulted in a two-week delay in our response. On February 22, 2020, we were finally able to go to Venancio Elementary School. The once bril-
liant, neon buildings attempted to peer through the mound of ash that had taken away their luminance. Nicole, a 6th-grade student, lamented how the trees had lost their life, stripped of infant leaves.The principal Ms. Navarro, or affectionately called by her students as “Mommy Elsie,” had told us her stories of panic. “Never in my lifetime had I thought that our village would experience this. It was an impending reality we had turned a blind eye to. A blanket of ash just fell upon the whole city. It was unimaginable.” I was especially sympathetic about the internal conflict between her two roles. With tears in her eyes, she told us this story. “I had to send my husband and children to the evacuation trucks, hoping they would reach the centers safely. I felt that I was failing my children. But who would take care of the school? I am also the mother of hundreds of children.” Even in our distribution, not only did Taal’s legacy live in a sea of children wearing face masks but in the hidden sorrow in their faces. Ms. Navarro also stated that the kids lost their innate gratitude; they lost the usual “thank you smiles” they showed every visitor. The trauma still haunted them weeks later. However, stories of hope still triumphed over sorrow. Angela said that she wanted to be a teacher to help students in their times of need like her teachers. Jester said that he wanted to be a volcanologist to improve warning systems and support the people in his region.
During this trip, we were able to provide 1,000 kits to the school through the EARCOS Community Service Grant. It is these stories that drive KnK to pursue our mission in every area of the Philippines we can reach. KnK is aware of the need for sustainable change. The beneficiaries we have chosen are in urgent need of supplies. Our kits are meant to fill the gap between the time of devastation to formal schooling. I am aware, however, that our current mandate is resource-intensive. Though we intend to have three more outreach trips this year, we are now revising our mandate to address educational inequity through more sustainable solutions. This year, we aim to reform the workbook to be inclusive of math, science, and social science. We are currently collaborating with DepEd teachers to make this more effective. We are also exploring technological platforms (applications and text messaging) that help us conduct selflearning for more students. Finally, we are starting a publication that elucidates stories and issues of educational inequity in the Philippines.
A grade 1 student smiles after receiving her KnK kit.
Grade 3 students walk back to class after receiving their KnK kits.
KnK’s journey towards bridging the gap between the quality of education in the most remote areas of the Philippines and the most excellent schools in its city center is only beginning. Driven by the stories of hope like we have heard in Venancio and generous benefactors like EARCOS, we aim to make these two worlds more intertwined, burst the bubble, and not only have a glimpse but an immersion into how the other half lives. We are compelled to ensure that our countrymen will not only learn the basic tenets of grammar but explore the most profound truths of life as educational equity opens the doors to a new world. Fall 2020 Issue 39
THE RICHARD T. KRAJCZAR ANNUAL HUMANITARIAN AWARD
The HUG Project Thailand By Christopher Bell HS Technology Coordinator and Librarian International School Bangkok (ISB) It’s hard to find anything we can call normal in this world right now. We are all working through changes that will undoubtedly reshape the way we do things. However, one thing that won’t change is EARCOS’ support for those who work with children all over the world in their efforts to make life a little better for children. Unfortunately, the Annual Teachers’ Conference was canceled due to COVID-19. It was with heavy hearts that we informed The HUG Project we would not be able to provide the donation from the charity fund because the conference had been canceled. Khun Boom,The HUG Project leader, was gracious and understanding. This was to be the third year that the EARCOS Teachers’ Conference had committed to contributing the charity funds to this grassroots organization. ‘The HUG Project Thailand is preventing, protecting, and restoring children from sexual abuse and human trafficking.’ With our annual contributions we have seen this remarkable organization grow and increase their ability to make a difference. Undaunted by this let down, Khun Boom, her staff, and Christopher Bell, member of the EARCOS Teacher Conference Board, decided to apply for the newly formed Richard Krajczar Humanitarian Award for 2020. This annual award is given in recognition of EARCOS’ longest serving Executive Director, Dr. Richard T. Krajczar. Dr. K was passionate about supporting those who provided sustenance and care for the less fortunate was one of his most endearing traits. It was with great surprise that in early June, Dr. Edward Greene, Executive Director at EARCOS, notified The HUG Project that they would receive this year’s award! Khun Boom wrote back, “I was in tears getting this email.Thank you all of you so much for the Award. Thank you Khun Christopher so much for always supporting our team and the Thai children and helping us to put the proposal together. I am so grateful for you guys and our team commits to support children/students in Thailand and we have a plan to grow our network assisting international school partners in Thailand to develop child protection policy, training and case management mechanism.” While we all struggle to make things happen in the new COVID era, EARCOS’s financial support has continued to allow the HUG Project to continue working to protect, prevent, and restore children throughout Thailand. It is with great pride that the EARCOS family continues to support the HUGProject in their efforts. 40 EARCOS Triannual Journal
With EARCOS and the support of others, the HUG Project was able to increase their impact with: • New Child Advocacy Center in Chiang Mai • The creation of a HUG Counseling Room, with on site counselors, who help provide the many victims which HUG supports which includes spaces for the young children to experience ‘play therapy’. • Working with the support of the Royal Thai Police and TICAC (Thailand Internet Crimes Against Children), HUG has already assisted 108 children in 23 cases. HUG Organizes their efforts to support victims of human trafficking into 3 domains: Prevention, Protection, and Restoration. Highlights from 2019-2020: PREVENTION: • Online Safety training at 8 schools and 3 foundations with a total of 1136 student participants. • Students were provided with a mechanism for reporting threats and some reported concerns immediately that were then investigated. • Installing internet filtering software at partner schools. • In 2 days at 1 school, our internet filters blocked 338 pornographic websites and 637 file sharing sites. • 41 Trafficking Prevention events for university students and local communities. • After school activities for at-risk youth including instruction in English, art therapy, sports, science, music, martial arts, self-care, self-development, and personal safety. PROTECTION • Supporting police efforts in 54 cases. • Assisting 36 young survivors involved in 33 cases. • Preparing 4 child victims for court proceedings. • Conducting 4 sessions to train 162 individuals in how to conduct victim-centric investigations. • Providing countless (100+) online and phone consultations with victims and their family members. • Accompanying Thai police and prosecutors on a visit to Interpol and Facebook in Singapore to gain tools and training for online investigations. RESTORATION • Providing 256 individual counseling sessions. • Conducting 114 home visits. • Supplying ongoing victim support through many programs and services such as Care Bags, short-term and long-term shelter/placement, educational support (homeschooling, scholarships), financial support, and small business funding. For more information visit the following website below: HUG Project, https://www.hugproject.org To Donate to HUG Project - https://www.hugproject.org/donate/#donationsoptions Richard T. Krajczar Humanitarian Award - https://www.earcos.org/
GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AWARD
Rescuing Wisdom to sell eco-friendly recyclable masks during COVID 19 with all the proceeds going back to fund the activities of the organisation and the Government of India via Tihar Jail, the largest prison in Southeast Asia, to help the elderly inmates find a home after their release.
By Vivhan Rekhi The British School of New Delhi When the young and the old interact, there is tremendous potential for growth, insight and long-lasting bonds. Yet opportunities for these types of interactions are often limited. Meet Vivhan Rekhi, a student of The British School, New Delhi, who is working to create such opportunities. At the age of 15, Vivhan founded Rescuing Wisdom, a social service initiative that advocates for elderly responsibility. To date, Rescuing Wisdom has raised over INR 1.5 million through crowdfunding and via sponsors to benefit a range of old age homes pan India. Vivhan’s first initiative was to purchase a rescue vehicle for Guru Vishram Vridh Ashram (GVVA), an old age home in Delhi. The fundraiser saw immense traction with him reaching 250% of his goal. Therefore, Vivhan was able to buy a fully equipped ambulance for GVVA, as well as donate various medical supplies and equipment and air conditioners to other old age homes to combat the blistering heat of the city. In order to understand the status of old age homes in India and their requirements, Vivhan carried out surveys to build Rescuing Wisdom’s database to plan future campaigns, based on the findings. He also authored a book of short stories, titled “The Knife’s Edge”, and used the proceeds of this book to continue to fund Rescuing Wisdom’s initiatives, which is on the shelves of various large bookstores including Barnes & Nobles. Rescuing Wisdom, at its heart, is a collaborative enterprise. To expand its reach, Vivhan has partnered with Feed the Need to organise a Satsang and regular langar at old age homes; Venu Eye Institute and Research Center to sponsor eye camps, cataract surgeries, and glasses for the elderly; the National Center on Elder Abuse (USA), to spread the message about saying No to Elder Abuse; Saregama India Pvt Ltd to supply Saregama Carvaan’s to old age homes, to aid them with the recreational activities that the residents so dearly crave; For. India 2020
Some initiatives by Rescuing Wisdom include their “Adopt an Elderly” sponsorship programme, through which people can sponsor an elderly person’s care for different periods based on the package selected, and a “Buddy Programme”, in which school-aged children volunteer at the old age homes, reinforcing the idea of respecting one’s elders. Rescuing Wisdom’s product line, “Wicks of Life”, retails candles and other crafts made by the residents and gives back the majority of the profit to the old age home. Another aspect of Rescuing Wisdom’s social entrepreneurship is their new scheme, in light of COVID 19, wherein volunteers buy essentials and pay utility bills on behalf of elderly residents, to reduce the risk of senior citizens contracting the virus. In response to COVID 19, Rescuing Wisdom also helped increase the capacity of old age homes, so that they can take in more elderly residents, as well as, pay for the added cost of sanitisation and specialised medical equipment such as PPE Kits. Recently, Rescuing Wisdom has launched a sustainable urban planning project, known as “The Urban Village Project”. Here, Vivhan is taking insight from urban planning to help old age homes plan the layout for new residential complexes in which the residents can live comfortably while abiding by social distancing measures. The urban village plans include ample outdoor space, an organic garden, and socially distanced living quarters.Vivhan, through Rescuing Wisdom, is also researching cost-efficient and sustainable building materials, and forms of alternative energy such as solar and biogas for the new complexes in the old age homes. He has used his insights from his mentorship with a professor from Cambridge University and an internship with a think tank in Germany, to facilitate this project further. His first Urban Village Project site is in SHEOWS old age home in Garhmukteshwar, India. In light of COVID 19, the organisation faced increasing reluctance from corporations to help fund this project. As a result, Vivhan withdrew from Cornell University’s Pre College and utilised the refunded fees to further this project. For his work, Vivhan has been awarded the Diana Roll of Honour Award, Duke of Edinburgh IAYP Silver Level (currently on track to receive Gold), and Pramerica Spirit of Community Award. He has also won The EARCOS Global Citizenship Award and Grant. He has been nominated for The Ashoka Changemakers Award (awaiting decision) and Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Bal Puraskar (awaiting decision), India’s highest civilian honourfor people under the age of 18. Vivhan has also been named one of the Top 10 Changemakers of India by The Better India, as well as been featured numerous times in media outlets including NewsX, FICCI YFLO, The Patriot, The CSR Journal, and The Dailyhunt. In addition to expanding Rescuing Wisdom’s ongoing projects, Vivhan has various plans in the pipeline. Being a finance and business enthusiast, he is leveraging his experience with finance internships and summer programs to develop a training course for employees of banks and large financial firms, to aid them in identifying Financial Elder Abuse. Vivhan’s work and continued commitment to the cause show that when the young advocate for the old, incredible feats truly can be achieved.
Fall 2020 Issue 41
GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AWARD
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” - the journey of Plastic Free NIST bers towards ‘practicing what we preach’, we are proud to have successfully removed singleused plastics from our campus, and that the NIST cafeteria outlets provide paper straws and biodegradable cups made from cassava as sustainable alternatives. We continue to explore possibilities to add even more eco friendly options such as rice straws. Plastic Free NIST maintains a significant presence in our school community, along with many other student-led service groups and social enterprises.
By Kenshin Ueoka, NIST International School Plastic, though it is treated like disposable trash, is made of non-renewable fossil fuels to be versatile, moisture resistant, durable, flexible, and relatively inexpensive. This incredible material enabled the growth of many areas in our society from construction, industry, packaging for transport, and pharmaceutical and medical applications. However, single-use plastic undermines the potential of this resource as the average plastic is only used for 12 minutes on average while it lasts for several centuries. The benefits provided by the convenient and sanitary nature of plastic do not offset the environmental impact to justify wasting it as disposable plastic. Isn’t it such a waste of precious resources to simply throw it away and let it photodegrade into microplastics that cruise along ocean currents for centuries until it enters the food web? In early middle school, we saw images of where our conveniently disposed plastics might end up in - the beautiful ocean - suffocating and starving marine species. We explored the statistics and research on the impacts of plastic pollution on the environment and human health. We learned that it is a problem requiring urgent and creative solutions. Yet, plastics seemed to still be everywhere on campus as we were so used to their existence in our daily lives. We realized that immediate actions needed to be taken. Therefore, we spearheaded the movement to eliminate plastics in our school community as a team of driven middle schoolers putting our learning into real actions. After formal meetings and discussions with the school leadership team and community mem42 EARCOS Triannual Journal
As its name suggests, the Plastic Free NIST service group has aimed to eliminate the consumption of single-use plastic products since 2015. Our first projects focused on promoting alternatives to plastic items so that reducing environmental impact and raising awareness was possible without compromising the convenience of our community members. One of our main projects includes partnering and supporting a bamboo straw social enterprise, Bamboo Lao. Bamboo Lao works with and empowers villagers in a rural village in Laos, with their deep breadth of local knowledge and skills transforming beautiful bamboo plants into sustainable alternatives for plastic straws. As of today, we’ve sold 6,500 straws, which could be reused 100 to 150 times.Through this, we are able to work towards our global goals of reducing plastic pollution and supporting developing communities at the same time. In this way, we can achieve environmental sustainability interconnected with the wellbeing and job opportunities of local communities. At first, our goal was to achieve a ‘Plastic Free NIST’. However, as we developed our understanding of the various systems surrounding this issue, our focus grew. We wanted to transform our relationship with scarce natural resources from a linear ‘produce, consume, dispose of, forget’ process to a more circular model that enables waste products to re-enter the system to be recycled and upcycled into new and improved products. ‘Precious Plastic’ is a global initiative that was started in 2012 by Dave Hakkens. He released
designs of plastic upcycling machines online for free and people around the world are already setting up collection points and recycling spaces. After researching various options, we chose to purchase the machines from a company in Austria called ‘plasticpreneur’ for its high quality and safety standards. Plastic Free NIST is joining this initiative, and our “Precious Plastic NIST” project will positively impact the learning environment towards sustainability. As NIST is closely working with a network of service-focused and passionate international schools in Thailand, this project can inspire and empower other students to initiate similar projects, allowing impact to radiate towards the greater community.
An element of this project involves setting up a plastic collection center in our school. In working towards this, we also partnered with the sustainability team at Indorama Ventures, a petrochemical company that is willing to accept certain types of plastic waste from schools and companies in Bangkok for recycling. We contacted various schools nearby and companies to join in the project. While PET plastic bottles go to Indorama Ventures, other types of plastic such as PP, HDPE, and LDPE will be upcycled by the machines at NIST. Through a collaborative and creative approach, we can begin to reengineer the plastic waste management flow in our Bangkok community to shift out of our toxic relationship with single-use disposable plastic. Image resources PreciousPlasticBasicMachines,preciousplastic.com/ solutions/machines/basic.html. “The Lifecycle of Plastics.” WWF, www.wwf.org.au/ news/blogs/the-lifecycle-of-plastics#gs.d503ya
GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP AWARD
Generation Education Period Team
Generation. Education. Period By Brooke Cohen United World College of South East Asia
in Singapore, nobody bought them. We realized we were inadvertently distributing a product that we, ourselves, wouldn’t even use.
Can you imagine if girls at your school missed one week of their education every month? In many communities, period poverty causes just that. Period poverty, the inability to afford safe and sanitary menstrual products, plagues millions of women around the world. Menstruating women who are unable to afford menstrual products face one of two consequences: using unsanitary alternative menstrual products to enable them to attend school/work or skipping school/work to avoid using unsanitary alternatives.
After months of research, we partnered with Freedom Cups, a local Singaporean business enterprise. Freedom Cups sells menstrual cups with a “buy-one-give-one” model: for every menstrual cup bought, one is donated to a woman living in period poverty. As menstrual cups can be reused for up to 15 years, menstrual cups are a sustainable solution for women who lack the disposable income needed to purchase menstrual products. They are also a cost-efficient and an environmentally-friendly solution for women around the world. We have since introduced Freedom Cups at our school shop.
In 2015, I learned about period poverty after hearing a teacher speak about it in class. She spoke to us about the alternatives many women use in Asia and Africa: old rags, ash, mud, and coconut husks. I couldn’t understand why this was the first time I heard about this issue. At school and from many family and friends I had learned about many global issues such as climate change, food insecurity, and discrimination. However, period poverty-- an issue affecting the education and health of women around the world-- was widely being ignored. That’s when some friends and I set up Generation Education Period. We spent our lunchtimes sewing reusable sanitary pads to be distributed to women in Cambodia. However, after six months we had not created a single reusable pad that was worthy of being distributed. After an overseas school trip, we realized our partner organization in Cambodia could make one reusable pad in 15 minutes and provide employment opportunities for local women. Sure, we felt empowered raising money and sending funds to provide women with sanitary products, but after a few years we saw the faults in our solution. Since menstruation is taboo in those communities, drying reusable pads in the open was humiliating for the women using them.This prevented women from ever re-using the product. Moreover, when we tried selling reusable sanitary pads at our school community
After interviewing the founders of Empowering Women of Nepal (EWN), we found that many Nepalese women in their community in Pokhara, Nepal could not afford sanitary products. We spoke with them about menstrual cups, and they are excited to introduce them to their community. At our school, we have sold forty menstrual cups to students, teachers, and parents. Through the buy-one-give-one business model, we have forty cups to distribute to women in Nepal. We are also creating menstrual health and hygiene courses for the Nepalese schoolgirls receiving our menstrual cups. We are excited that EARCOS granted US$500 to purchase an additional fifty menstrual cups. This will help support fifty women in Nepal menstruate safely and continue going to school and work for the next 15 years. This year we are also introducing menstrual cups in our sister campus, UWCSEA Dover. We plan to reach out to UWC campuses around the globe to expand our impact. By doing so, we will encourage international schools to support women living in period poverty and also introduce a more sustainable practice.
Fall 2020 Issue 43
Canggu Community School By Ben Voborsky, Primary Principal Canggu Community School (CCS) welcomes the new 2020-2021 year by increasing their footprint with a new Primary campus, providing students with more space and enhanced sports facilities. The campus was designed to support CCS core values: Learning, Respect, Engagement, and Balance.
The Primary campus has transitioned from a 700 m2 plot to a 1500 m2 facility just across the river from the previous Primary school. The new Primary campus and sports facilities are connected by two bridges to the Secondary Campus. The substantial difference in added space has provided a great opportunity to make use of the landscape by adding outdoor facilities including a half Olympic sized swimming pool, sports field, numerous outside seating areas which are shaded by the incredible flora surrounding the campus and allow for all classrooms to extend into outside learning spaces. This will help in navigating COVID-19 physical distancing requirements while providing hands-on learning opportunities, fresh air and the numerous benefits associated with having access to nature.
Joglo structures have been used throughout the CCS campus as a homage to Indonesia’s unique traditional architecture, while also being aesthetically respectful to the island. Joglo is the architectural vernacular for Javanese structure, originally built for aristocrats where the height and type of roof reflected the social and economic status. Nowadays, Joglos have been used throughout Indonesia as modular homes for their natural aesthetics and resilience in lasting through tropical weather and earthquakes.The teak wooden columns are strong and reliable material that mix well with modern construction. The most impressive structure lies in the heart of the campus. The canteen sits perched on a hill as a circular-plan joglo that offers a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Traditionally, the canteen can be compared to a Pendopo building where social gatherings typically take place in the open pavilion of a Javanese home. The campus is surrounded by flora and fauna that is native to Indonesia. Each unique plant on the primary grounds is labelled with an informative tag for students to learn and identify the nature surrounding them. The majestic Beringin tree is situated between the two entrances as a protective guardian of the campus. The aromatic tropical herb plant, Pandan grows wildly outside the Early Years classrooms, distinguished by its long, slender and spiky bright green leaves. The sacred Pule tree stands tall next to the football pitch, traditionally used as the wood carved into Barong Masks. Jepun trees line the pathways offering their fragrant frangipani flowers which are commonly used in Balinese ceremonies. The newest addition is the vegetable garden where students will take part in the complete journey from planting to fruition. Globally, we have arrived at a stage where becoming more efficient with our resources has become absolutely necessary in order to strive towards sustainable economic growth. The ethos of Zero Waste is already practiced in several cities, households, events and numerous companies. Rethink, Reuse, Reduce and Recycle are the 4 R’s that embody this concept and have been applied to the construction process at CCS. By using Joglo architecture, heavy and dense structures made out of concrete have been reduced drastically and have the benefit and option of being reassembled and reused. An addi-
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tional effort considered in the design phase to reduce CCS’s carbon footprint is by reducing the need for cooling spaces with air- conditioning. In order to maintain the natural airflow throughout the campus and minimise invasive construction, the campus was designed to fit the original land shape.
The Primary and Early Years buildings have been designed with large floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and numerous windows to be able to open up the classroom and take in the natural light and breeze. A contributing factor to maintaining cooling air temperatures is the use of wood for its high insulation properties and can even help to regulate humidity levels. Reuse and recycle has been addressed in the reuse of materials from the old campus such as the wooden door and window frames, metal structures, window glass and playground set. Additionally, instead of throwing away the wooden scaffolding, it was recycled into building the canteen tables. To be proactive and considerate of Bali’s monsoon season, biopore infiltration holes have been strategically placed throughout the campus to prevent flooding and increase groundwater reserves. The term ‘biopore’ refers to small tunnels that are formed in the soil by the activity of underground organisms such as worms, movement of roots, termites and other soil fauna. An added benefit of replicating this concept is that it reduces the forming of puddles during the rainy season, ultimately reducing the risk of mosquito breeding. After two years of planning and development, the Primary Campus is ready for the Melaspas ceremony and opening its doors to students. The ritual of a Melaspas ceremony in the Balinese Hindu religion is to cleanse and purify new objects, to bless the space with peace for new occupants.
Remote Final Assessments adopted by 8 Shanghai International Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak By Kawai Liu, MS Math Teacher and Grade 8 Team Leader Shanghai SMIC Private School – International Background During COVID-19 outbreak, schools worldwide were suspended at various stages in 2020. In Shanghai, schools were closed since February until June. Teachers were urged to fit themselves into the positions to deliver their classes online. Because of the “rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world”, foreign nationals were blocked out of China until now. This blocked a portion of international school students from going back to campus.Towards the middle of June, we faced another challenge. How to arrange the final exams so some students could be assessed at home? How to ensure fairness? How to eliminate technical issues? Literature Reviews Guidelines from different associations about the remote assessments were available since March. Scholars also provided ideas on how to hold a remote exam (Crosby, 2020; Liberman, 2020; Zayapragassarazan, 2020). Their approaches could be summarized as followed: 1. Postpone the exams. 2. Convert the final exams into project-based assessments. 3. Hold the final exam online, either proctored or non-proctored. 4. Cancel the exam and determine the final grades by other assessments. However, we have no prior experience in delivering remote assessments. We concern mostly about academic integrity fairness, system stability and also securities. Scholars found that “students scored significantly lower on proctored (online) exams”. They suggested that cheating could be a reason. (Daffin & Jones, 2018) This article reports the approaches adopted by the Shanghai international schools for their final exams in June 2020. The scope of this article is only the 16 listed international schools in Shanghai. Methods Information from the 16 schools was gathered firstly by official emails, followed by personal relations to my previous students and colleagues. Survey requests were also sent out by Facebook and Instagram at last. Until July, I successfully gathered information from 8 schools. Findings Two schools converted their exams into project-based assessments. “Many of them were not exams. For example, our math exam was a trigonometry project,” introduced by Andy, “for English, it was a literary analysis and an argumentative essay.” Jeff elaborated, “The majority of teachers, like myself, allowed open book during the exam. They were not considered “final exams” but were more of assessments.” Five schools held their exams as normal, with the option of taking the exams at home. 3 of these schools held non-proctored remote exams. These schools tried to enhance fairness by limiting the time allowed. “The time limit was the same as the on-campus students. Also, some of the questions were changed for online students,” Hera introduced. Also, “in our school, the exams had a period of around two days to complete for the students in different time zones.” Chelsey further ex-
plained. 2 schools held proctored exams for students at home. Shannon introduced that during the exams the proctors monitored the exam progresses by Zoom meeting. Students showed the entire desk and their hands by their web-cams. Because of the inexperience of holding remote exams, some minor technical issues were reported like system instability and submission problems. Nevertheless, these issues were foreseeable that teachers had alternate plans for these students in most of the cases. One school cancelled the final exams and used other assessments throughout the school year to determine students’ yearly grades. This could be understood as adopting Zayapragassarazan’s (2020) viewpoint that “the validity and reliability of such unsupervised online exams can be improved by increasing the number of tests instead of conducting one single exam for evaluation.” No schools were reported to adopt commercial remote proctoring services like ProctorU and Software Secure. This may due to the budget issue. Also, no schools were reported to use a code-of-conduct or honor statement for the exam, which adds nearly no cost but is proven to be helpful regarding reducing misconduct behaviors in exams (Daffin & Jones, 2018). Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the academic agenda of teachers and students. We have made great efforts on confronting the pandemic and maintained students learning to the greatest extent. In Shanghai, the pandemic is nearly under controlled and the normal school days are expected after the summer in 2020.Temporarily adopted approaches for the learning and assessment progress are hopefully not needed any more. Nevertheless, it is always beneficial to summarize the actions we have taken for future reference. Through literature review, I read a few articles recording the stories during the school suspension in the 2009 Swine-Flu (H1N1) outbreak. I found that many approaches have been outdated since the rapid technology development. I am thinking how thankful it would be if the readers find my article completely outdated when they look for information to cope with an emergency because that means these disruptions are not happening in the next 10 or 20 years. References Crosby, L. M. S. W., Shantel, D., Penny, B., & Thomas, M. A. T. (2020). Teaching through Collective Trauma in the Era of COVID-19: Trauma-informed Practices for Middle Level Learners. Middle Grades Review, 6(2), 5. Daffin Jr, L. W., & Jones, A. A. (2018). Comparing Student Performance on Proctored and Non-Proctored Exams in Online Psychology Courses. Online Learning, 22(1), 131-145. Liberman, J., Levin, V., Luna-Bazaldua, D., & Harnisch, M. (2020). Highstakes school exams during COVID-19 (Coronavirus): What is the best approach?. Blogs del Banco Mundial.
Fall 2020 Issue 45
Seoul Foreign School Wins International Architecture Award determine the optimal configuration of exterior sun shades to allow natural light into the classrooms without excessive glare. “The design of the High School building has allowed us to transform the student learning experience at Seoul Foreign School,” said Colm Flanagan, Head of School. “Not only has it created collaborative spaces and flexible classrooms to give our Grade 9-12 students new ways to pursue academic and creative excellence, but it is a beautiful and bright environment in which our whole community can gather, work and socialize.” “We were excited to have the opportunity to work with Seoul Foreign School on a building that truly supports and advances their vibrant culture of learning and collaboration,” said Peter Schubert, Design Partner at Ennead Architects. “This is a very environmentally expressive building, one that prioritizes wellness, daylight, natural materials, and the links between the built and natural world. We looked to the balance between openness and privacy that is typical of traditional Korean architecture as we designed a space that draws the landscape into the building and draws the classroom into the landscape through multiple outdoor learning areas.”
By Liz Allen, Director of Communications and Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org Seoul, South Korea:The Seoul Foreign School (SFS) High School has been honored with an International Architecture Award.The school and the building’s architects, Ennead Architects, have been recognized by the 2020 Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design with an International Distinguished Building, Landscape Architecture, and Urbanism Award. Since 2004, The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, together with The European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and Metropolitan Arts Press, Ltd., have organized The International Architecture Awards to honor “the best, significant new buildings, landscape architecture, and planning projects designed and/or built around the world’s leading architects, landscape architects, and urban planners practicing nationally and internationally.” As a winner of the program, the project will be included in the 2020 book: Global Design + Urbanism XX: New International Architecture. The SFS High School provides students with an environment that combines the college and high school experiences. To facilitate this, the building was designed to incorporate “third spaces” for learning and collaboration that are neither the classroom nor the home in the university proven tradition to support learning both within and outside the classroom. The classrooms themselves were designed in collaboration with faculty and administration to be the ideal size and proportion, and also flexible enough to support a variety of teaching styles and desk configurations. The walls in the classroom can be used as both writable and projectable surfaces, further increasing flexibility. Solar analyses were conducted to 46 EARCOS Triannual Journal
Seoul Foreign School (SFS), an international independent school in Seoul, South Korea, was established in 1912. Home to more than 1450 students, SFS provides both International Baccalaureate (IB) and the English National Curriculum to its pupils ranging in age from 2-18 years. www.seoulforeign.org Ennead Architects is an internationally-acclaimed, New York-based studio with offices in New York City and Shanghai. Renowned for its innovative educational, cultural, scientific and civic building designs that authentically express the progressive missions of their institutions and enhance the vitality of the public realm, Ennead is a leader in the design world. The recipient of the prestigious Smithsonian Institution-Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, the AIA NY Medal of Honor, and the National AIA Firm Award, as well as numerous design awards for individual buildings, Ennead has a body of work that is diverse in typology, scale and location, but rooted in a deeply-held conviction that the most compelling architectural expressions echo our society and culture and enhance the life of our cities. www.ennead.com
Elementary School Art Celebration “Red-Eyed Tree Frog” Artist: Azariah Ramappa, Grade 3 School: Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Medium: Colored Pencil Caption: I learned how to use light and dark colors to create the bumpy texture and I learned how to blend colors together in this drawing of a frog.
“Bird of Paradise” Artist: David Oh, Grade 2 School: Bandung Alliance Intercultural School Medium: Oil Pastel Caption: I learned how to blend light colors into dark colors and how to draw a bird of paradise flower.
“Art From Around The World: African Inspired Masks” Artist: Winnie Tsao, Grade 5 School: Taipei Dominican International School Medium: Symmetrical Collage with a (4 techniques) watercolor background. “Pop Art Self-Portraits” Artist: Montserrat Cases Valencia, Grade 4 School: Taipei Dominican International School Medium: Markers and colored pencils. Fall 2020 Issue 47
Elementary School Art Celebration
International Christian School Hong Kong Artist: Zoe Zhang, Grade 3 Medium: Color pencil “Apple” Artist: Jasmine Wan, Grade 4 School: International Christian School Hong Kong Medium: Color Pencil
“Elephant” Artist: Lin Htet Ko, Grade 5 School: International School of Myanmar Medium: Watercolor “Flower “ Artist: “Jin Jin” Aye Myintzu Aung, Grade 4 School: International School of Myanmar Medium: Oil Pastel 48 EARCOS Triannual Journal
“Autumn Leaves” Artist: Taerin Chun, Grade 4 School: Concordia International School Hanoi
“Love Boldly” Artist: Minkang Lee, Grade 5 School: Concordia International School Hanoi
Submit an Article to The EARCOS Journal As you can see from our previous issues, we have moved to more of a magazine format with regular features. We invite you to share the great things going on at your school with the other schools in the EARCOS region. Deadline for the following ET Journal Issues Winter Issue - December 1, 2020 Spring Issue - April 1, 2021 Fall Issue - September 1, 2021
What can be Contributed?
Here are some of the features in the Winter issue: Faces of EARCOS – Promotions, retirements, honors, etc. Campus Development – New building plans, under construction, just completed. Curriculum Initiatives – New and exciting adoption efforts, and creative teacher ideas. Green and Sustainable – Related to campus development and/or curriculum. Service Learning Projects Action Research Reports - Summaries of approved action research projects Student Art – We will highlight ES art in Fall issue, MS art in Winter issue, and HS art in Spring issue.
Student Writing – Original short stories, poetry, scholarly writing. Here are the requirements in submitting your article 1. Submit in MS Word format only (500+ Words) 2. Font style Times New Roman, size 12 and double spaced 3. Photos in JPEG format with caption 4. Photo resolution atleast 300dpi 5. Follow APA Reference Format - APA is an ‘author/date’ system, so your in-text reference for all formats (book, journal article, web document) consists of the author(s) surname and year of publication. visit Getting started in APA Referencing
We want to make sure submitted articles are not in violation of copyright laws. We highly encourage original articles. When you send an articles to our ET Journal, we will make sure you get the proper credit by displaying your name, title, school, and email in the article. if you would like to submit an article please email Bill Oldread at email@example.com OR Edzel Drilo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall 2020 Issue 49