Gi GLOBAL INSIGHTS
FRESH INSIGHTS ON ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE TO INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
THE EDUCATIONAL COLLABORATIVE FOR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS WWW.ECIS.ORG
EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD. NELSON MANDELA
Issue 7 | 11/18
Copyright 2018 www.ecis.org | Twitter: @ecischools
02 04 08 12 17 21
Kevin J Ruth | Chief Executive, ECIS
The College Board
St. John’s International School
Life as a Young Muslim girl
Suzanne O´Reilly: Interview with Nour Makholf
Honouring Student Voice Lorraine Kellum
21st Century Learning Anne Fischer
31 34 37 39 44 47
Community & Identity Development Jeremy House
Research-Informed Practice Karen Taylor
Learning by Problem Solving Robert Barnett
Elevating Students’ Learning
Linda Lanis | Víctor González | Delinka Fabiny
Collaborative Learning Goes to Mars David Clapp
Out of Context: Teaching Teachers Matt Nink & Sarah Andersen
Bringing Music & Maths Alive
Personalised Learning with Big Data
Student-Driven Service as Action
The Whole Child is the Whole Point
What makes a qualification international?
Lynda Thompson | Francesco Banchini
Cover image: Marcia De Wolf, St. John’s International School, Waterloo, Belgium
The Educational Collaborative for International Schools. ECI Schools t/a ECIS is a Company Limited by Guarantee in England (No. 08109626), and a Registered Charity in England and Wales (No. 1150171). VAT Number GB 160 9238 11.
KEVIN J RUTH Chief Executive, ECIS
e are pleased to share the current issue of Global Insights, with its focus on community, in the myriad ways our schools express it.
The articles represent a rich tapestry of what defines us as a membership organisation – indeed, a membership community. I invite you to linger over its contents, giving pause to your own programmes and where you might find opportunity to bring further expression the notion of community. Often it is our own students who help us to see how our schools are already rich and vibrant communities; successive generations continue to encounter profound moments of learning about themselves and the world through the ways in which we weave our community tapestries. In this issue, you can read one young girl’s perspective on how her school helps her to understand her own religious faith better, in the context of other faiths. In keeping with the notion of learning about themselves and the world, we read about yet another student whose work is around gender bias. We encounter the power of students in yet a third article that shows how service learning in a community can be a creative act vis-à-vis extracurricular offerings and programming. Finally, we have thought pieces here to engage us as a readership community in conversations about experiential education and research-informed practice. I am deeply fortunate to be able to meet so many passionate educators in a variety of cultural and educational contexts when I visit schools; I’ve learnt that these conversations are ubiquitous and not germane to one type of school only. That learning serves as a powerful reminder of the signature strength of our ECIS community: its diversity.
Our schools are full of curious professionals who are willing to seek out opportunities to be challenged. Strong communities enable that to happen. So, here’s to strong communities and the professionals that bring them to life daily for children and colleagues alike! Toward better things, always.
Changing conversations about accreditation ACE isn’t about jargon; it’s about nourishing conversations about learning and making them meaningful. Dr. Richard Harrold, Accreditation Officer, ACS Schools
SEE WHERE ISS CAN TAKE YOU AND YOUR SCHOOL Since 1955, International Schools Services (ISS) has met the diverse needs of schools, including recruiting the world’s best educators, providing professional learning opportunities, sourcing essential supplies, stewarding school foundations, and founding and managing student-centered, future-oriented schools.
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GETTING AHEAD (AND ABROAD)
OF THE UNIVERSITY COMPETITION
The College Board
fter applying to the University of Oxford in
Now a freshman at Oxford with his nerve-wracking
England, Henry Wendorf, like other final year
university application days behind him, Henry credits
secondary school students at Switzerland’s
hard work, discipline, and his Advanced Placement (AP)
International School of Zug and Luzern, waited anxiously
courses with getting into his dream school.
each day for a reply. When his peers began receiving their university admission letters from around the world and
Get with the AP Programme
his hadn’t arrived yet, the anxiety reached an all-time
The AP Programme is an innovative secondary school
suite that includes university-level courses and exams. From arts to sciences to humanities, each AP course is
“As I stressed at the lunch table, I asked my mom to
designed to connect directly to a wide variety of university
check the mailbox,” Henry recalled. “When she sent back
majors and careers. Any secondary school can add AP
a screenshot of my acceptance, I shouted ‘YES!’ loud
courses to enhance its curriculum, and students can use
enough that the whole school probably heard me.”
their AP scores for global admissions - and often to gain university credit (without even being in university yet).
“The idea that AP scores could be used as university credits
University Board recently introduced an AP Capstone
was enticing,” says Miranda Zhang, also a University of
programme that includes AP Seminar and AP Research
Oxford student and AP grad originally from Guangzhou,
courses to train and encourage independent thinkers,
China. “I chose the AP programme because I liked that all
skilled writers, university-level researchers and effective
courses would be taught in English by qualified teachers,
collaborators. Students typically take AP Seminar in
providing an interactive environment to practise and
the equivalent to U.S. grades 10 or 11, followed by AP
improve English. I wanted to be around like-minded
Research.“Being in an AP programme is a privilege
students with similar goals.”
many students don’t have,” says Zhang. “I would tell new students to get the most out of it by working hard – and
Because of her combined AP and SAT exam scores at
don’t be afraid to try new subjects. Your university self
her secondary school in China, Zhang even received an
will thank you in the future!”
unconditional offer from Oxford upon admission, which she says made her life much easier than those of A-Level
Catering to Schools and Students
students, who had to wait for their exam results in August
When the University Board approached the Colegio Nueva
to see if they met Oxford’s conditions or not. Zhang says
Granada (CNG) in Bogotá, Colombia four years ago about
she was pleasantly surprised to have the opportunity to
piloting an AP Capstone, the school was intrigued by the
study subjects like psychology, literature and art history,
programme’s structure and focus. With 1,775 students
and that her AP courses helped her decide what she
from 47 different countries, CNG knew that many of them
wanted to major in at Oxford.
would choose to go to international universities and also likely pursue advanced degrees.
In order to maximise the benefits of enrolling in AP
courses, the University Board helps secondary school
“We needed to strengthen our course offerings in research
students identify their potential for success in these
and writing, both vitally important academic skill sets for
courses. Based on students’ SAT and PSAT-related
our students,” says Dr. Eric H. Habegger, CNG’s School
assessment scores, The College Board’s AP Potential tool
suggests AP Courses to students who are likely to receive a
the AP Programme’s research protocols and seminar
3 or higher on AP exams. The tool is designed to increase
methodology strongly reflected what many students
access to AP and to ensure that no student who has the
would need, while also allowing them to pursue their
chance of succeeding in AP is overlooked.
passions through authentic project-based experiences,
for the past eight years. “We believed that
which would open many doors for them post-secondary school.”
As a complement to discipline-specific AP courses, the
For many students, an AP Seminar course can replace an
externally-validated learning experiences like AP courses
elective class in the last year in secondary school, which
is particularly suited to humanities students (like Zhang).
“Over the past eight years, we have seen more of our
When students move into AP Research for year two, the
students attend US and overseas universities and fewer
course can supplant a Grade 12 English course, allowing
remain in Colombia,” says Dr. Habegger. “The shift has
greater flexibility in academic schedule and choices. This
been quite dramatic, from approximately 23% attending
is how the AP Capstone Programme is designed, to cater
the US eight years ago to 51% this past year. Among
to a broad range of students with an even broader range of
several factors leading to this shift, we believe that our AP
interests, and equip each and every one of them with the
programme and a near doubling of student participation
skills necessary to not only gain admission to their dream
have resulted in our graduates receiving significantly
university, but to thrive once they’re there.
increased scholarship monies. Those totals over the past
four years alone have gone from around $1 million in
“We have seen broadened interest with more students
scholarships and grants to now over $4 million annually.”
captivated by the programme and fully grasping the importance of taking a research/writing course such
As anyone with a university degree reading this can
as AP Capstone prior to entering university,” says Dr.
remember, the university application process is far from
Habegger. “They have also heard from our graduates
user friendly – and inconsistent from country to country.
that AP absolutely helped facilitate their entry into highly
Unspoken quirks and cultural norms involved with the
competitive institutions and prepared them for first-year
application process assume international applicants
understand them all. Common measures like AP courses and exams help serve as passports between systems.
Keeping up with Academic Global Mobility In 2017, more than 2.7 million students in 150 countries
“If not for my extraordinary university counselor, I would
took over 4.9 million AP exams. They sent their scores to
not have understood the huge differences between what
more than 4,000 universities in more than 60 countries.
a UK university wants in a personal statement and what
Those are some big numbers.
a US university wants in an application essay,” says Wendorf.
And the numbers are getting bigger – and broader. Trends show that more and more university-bound
Through working with his counselor and sharing his
students are interested in attending universities abroad,
experiences with like-minded students, Wendorf says
and so secondary schools must cater to what international
he was able to confidently navigate the intimidating
universities look for in student applications by providing
international university application process. And from
And once they – or any student - have been admitted to their dream school, there are still just a few more barriers to overcome. “At Oxford, I’ve found English food doesn’t live up to the tacos or brisket I had growing up in Texas, but what does?” quips Wendorf. “That said, everything else has surpassed my expectations: I am challenged, forced to grow and Oxford feels like home.” Dr. Habegger says the AP programme fosters true friendships between teachers and students, and he loves to keep in touch with AP graduates that have gone on to international universities. When recent alumni return for summer vacation, his team invites them in to speak with Grade 11 students about their experiences abroad. “During those conversations, they always mention how valuable their AP courses were in preparing them for university-level courses and the rigorous university study load,” he says. “They also mention how much they miss the relationships they had with their teachers. They look back at their time here at school and realise how much the teachers cared about them not only as students but also as
an admissions perspective, taking AP courses showed
universities that Wendorf could handle rigorous first-year coursework. “Making
The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit
organisation that connects students to university success
admission is not just about getting high grades or
and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was
marks,” says Andrew Arida, Director of Undergraduate
created to expand access to higher education. Today, the
Admissions at The University of British Columbia in
membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the
Canada. “It’s about demonstrating that you can challenge
world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated
yourself academically. The AP Capstone course shows
to promoting excellence and equity in education.
that you’re learning how to learn, independently defining and pursing your own academic interests.”
Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition
Preparing For The Future
to university through programmes and services in
“Students who complete the AP Capstone programme are
university readiness and university success — including
far better prepared and fully ready to engage in all types
the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Programme®.
of research at the university level,” says Dr. Habegger.
The organisation also serves the education community
“Many first-year university students lack a strong
through research and advocacy on behalf of students,
background in taking rigorous research courses before
educators, and schools.
entering their undergraduate programmes. [Our AP graduates] mentioned their AP Capstone experience as
For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org
one of the most important courses they took in secondary school.”
COHESION BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH THE CELEBRATION OF DIVERSITY St. Johnâ€™s International School Waterloo, Belgium
community is an every day effort when your student body hails from more than 50 countries”, says Mrs. Cate Cooke, the Assistant Principal at St. John’s responsible for student life in grades 6 through 12. “How do we celebrate their cultures within our value system?” she asks. “How do we have conversations without diluting anyone’s beliefs?” The goal is to strike the proper balance. The key to building the community is to keep talking. “We have a St. John’s feel, and it’s really hard to describe,” says Mrs. Cooke, who has been associated with St. John’s for 20 years as a parent, coach, teacher and administrator. “We talk to each other through our three values. That is what defines us.”
“We can’t assume that just saying something once means
Those values are familiar to St. John’s students, teachers,
have to have other ways of helping them to learn and to
the students have understood us,” Mrs. Cooke adds. “We know”
administrators, and parents. But that doesn’t mean that understanding them should be taken for granted, Mrs. Cooke stresses.
Those values extend inextricably into the classrooms
Integrity: the courage to be true to ourselves, to each
followed by the school since 1978.
through the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme
other, and to our world.
“It’s not just a curriculum that we teach and they regurgitate at the end,” Mrs. Cooke stresses. “We
Respect: the appreciation of diversity amongst peoples,
encourage and need students to have conversations with
languages, cultures, and beliefs.
Companionship: the gentleness to befriend and strength to accompany.
One example is a Theory of Knowledge class for grade 11
“You can’t just expect people to come in to St. John’s and
know what you know?
and 12 students, which asks the question: How do you
appreciate and internalise the values we have,” Mrs.
“Children are expected to have different and divergent
Cooke says. “We have to explicitly talk about and teach them.”
views,” Mrs. Cooke states. “We try to help them
Those lessons start with the teachers, as they are instructed
and violent place if we don’t respect those perspectives.”
understand that the world would be a very dangerous
about the vision, mission and values at St. John’s.
In public speaking and debate courses, for example,
Students in grades six through 12 are exposed to those
students in grades six through 12 learn the techniques
ideas during orientation. Those lessons are followed up
of debating topics.. They can disagree, but they must be
regularly in advisory sessions, expanding into discussions
respectful and learn the other perspective. “It’s OK to
on meaningful services, ethical and responsible decision-
challenge, to challenge assumptions and to be critical of
making, social awareness, self-management, personal
the information they find,” she says. “Our teachers expect
and social well-being and healthy relationships.
students to challenge and to ask if there is another way to do things.”
Students are encouraged to have those conversations with each other, inside and outside the classroom. She recounted a cultural misunderstanding between two students which was resolved by having the students get together to discuss their perspectives. “They both left with a better understanding of each other,” Mrs. Cooke recalls. “Sometimes it’s just sitting down to try and understand each other’s values and perceptions.” Celebrating diversity can be as straightforward as St. John’s annual International Festival celebration. The parade of students and parents, the booths featuring different foods and cultures are fantastic ways to display the diversity that is St. John’s. “It’s such a wonderful day,” she says. “Literally, you walk around the gym and you are walking around the world.” But that isn’t enough to create the community that St. John’s seeks to build with and for its students. That spirit needs to be carried throughout each day, each classroom. The effort is fed through teachers and administrators reading
information, opening up to new ideas and bringing them into the classrooms and their daily interactions with students – and their parents. “We need to be always challenging ourselves and looking to be better,” Mrs. Cooke notes, including herself. “I am confident we are doing things well, but I need to be open to doing a better job. That means encouraging feedback, a lot of feedback.”
St. John’s International School is an IB international school located in Waterloo, Belgium, and a member of the Inspired Education Group.
PROTECTING THE STUDENTS IN OUR CARE ECIS CHILD PROTECTION CERTIFICATION Protecting the children in our care is our most important job; learning itself depends on a child feeling safe. ECIS Child Protection Certificates set the benchmark for quality training for international schools. ECIS Child Protection Certificates are designed for three distinct audiences, enabling your school to meet compliance standards for accreditation or inspections for:
Support staff Teachers and leaders NOW AVAILABLE IN ARABIC
Governors and owners
CERTIFICATION IS FREE ACROSS ALL ECIS MEMBERSHIP PACKAGES Certificates each retail at Â£40
NOW AVAILABLE IN MANDARIN
For further details: www.ecis.org/learning
NEASC, and MSA recognise completion of the ECIS Child Protection Certificate as evidence of alignment with accreditation standards around child protection, health, and safety.
LIFE AS A YOUNG MUSLIM GIRL Interview with Nour Makhlof By Suzanne OÂ´Reilly Copenhagen International School
our is new to CIS and delighted to be in an
We are all different in our own ways whether it’s our
environment which is open-minded to all races
religion, colour, intelligence or beauty, which is amazing.
and religions. Nour happily shares her story
But those differences should not make a difference in how
with us here.
we see others because in the end we are all humans who deserve to be treated equally, so let’s make that happen!
Can you describe your life as a young Muslim girl in 2018?
I have always been interested in religion, like learning about other religions while also sharing some things
Being a Muslim, in general, is a big responsibility since
about mine. At my old school we didn’t talk much about
you have to represent your religion in a good way because
religions; although it did come up a few times in class,
these days there are lots of people who are racist or don’t
some people were afraid, or not confident enough, to
accept Muslims. But being in an international school
talk about their religions; they said it makes them feel
makes it somehow easier because of all the other students
uncomfortable, so we didn’t dig deep into that topic.
who also have different religions, beliefs, cultures, and
While here in CIS I realised that students are more open
traditions. In this school, you are freer to be yourself and
and speak freely about their religion, culture, traditions,
people accept you very easily for who you are and don’t
and family, which is great.
judge you by your religion, which is amazing considering there are lots of other schools which make it hard to show
I also love knowing more about other religions since
who you are and your religion because you could be afraid
religion is a huge part of our life now (even if you don’t
that people won’t accept you or welcome you.
have a religion or do not believe in anything, it’s still something big in your life). I think it’s important to at
Wearing the hijab to me means to represent my religion
least have a basic knowledge about different religions so
without being afraid of others and it lets people know that
that it’s easier to understand people and also to make sure
I am Muslim and that I am proud of it. To other people,
not to offend them in any way. When I saw the hallway
it might have a different meaning such as covering your
display I was so happy to know that students in CIS had
beauty because the hijab protects you, and makes people
the opportunity to study about religions. I loved all of the
respect you more since you are covering your hair, which
makes up a big part of beauty, and people will start to look at your personality rather than your looks as these days
Being a Muslim isn’t just what you wear but also what you
people think too much about body image and how others
eat; there are two strictly forbidden things that are called
Haraam, which means forbidden in Arabic, that Muslims should avoid eating or drinking: pork and alcohol. Pork
The Quran is an Islamic book that teaches us about
is mainly forbidden because we believe that pigs are not
Islam and how to behave, it also tells the stories of the
clean animals, and Allah forbade us from eating it, alcohol
prophets. And yes the Quran also talks about Jesus, as
is mainly forbidden because when you drink you can
well as Moses, since we believe in the same God as the
get out of control and drunk, so while being drunk you
Christians and Jews, the only difference is that the Quran
might do more Haraam things. The way you act is also a
has exactly the same text and words ever since it was
huge part of being a Muslim, like in many religions lying,
written and not a single word has been changed; the Bible
stealing, swearing and so on are forbidden and they are
and the Torah’s text and writings have been changed over
important part of the religion too.
time by humankind, we believe the reason why the Quran was actually written was because the earlier texts and
I love being recognised as a Muslim and that is mainly
writings have been changed and Allah (God) sent the last
because I love my religion and Islam is actually a very
text-writing down and said it should not ever be changed
nice, peaceful religion, but there are people out there who
since it’s perfect the way it is.
are representing it in a bad way so I always like to show that Islam is good and make sure people recognise that I am a Muslim.
IGNITION! THE 2019 ECIS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE REGISTER TODAY AND LEARN MORE: WWW.ECIS.ORG/EVENTS
EXPONENTIAL LEARNING LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE APRIL 24-27 2019|LISBON
THE BUSY PLATFORM WITH LOTS OF SPACE...
Welcome to ECIS Connect. With ECIS Connect, you’ll discover a busy platform at your fingertips, with lots of space for you to connect, learn, and grow as a professional. Whether you are already working with the international education sector, interested in global education, or just starting your teaching career, Connect is your international community. • • •
Grow your personal network by connecting with fellow practitioners from around the world Share knowledge and resources by joining groups that reflect your areas of interest Help others by offering to provide advice, or mentor someone who is looking to grow and advance in their practice
And so much more! Join ECIS today and become part of ECIS Connect, it’s your international education platform.
THE ECIS MIDDLE LEADER CERTIFICATE DIRECTION FOR YOUR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Teacher leaders are crucial partners in facilitating school change that has a direct and meaningful impact on student learning. The middle leader certificate programme translates quality research around teacher leadership into a credible professional pathway. The programme identifies and nurtures the skills and behaviours needed to be an effective teacher leader who influences their school community. Through our courses and certificate, as a middle leader you can develop the skills and deepen your knowledge to become an effective catalyst of school-wide change.
THE CULTURE OF LEADERSHIP
IN COLLABORATION WITH AGIS (THE ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
24-25 JANUARY 2019 | HANNOVER This core module focuses on the unique and crucial aspect of effective operation of international teacher leadership at the middle level. During the course, participants explore critical aspects of the middle leader role, enhancing understandings, developing knowledge and building and practising skills aimed at strengthening their effectiveness as middle leaders. Participants leave the course with clear plans to assist them in the practical and effective application of their learning.
DESIGNING ADULT LEARNING
IN COLLABORATION WITH AGIS (THE ASSOCIATION OF GERMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS
26-27 JANUARY 2019 | HANNOVER The course dives deeply into effective facilitation strategies, adult learning theory, leading dynamic and productive professional learning communities, differentiated professional learning models, and tools for expanding your professional learning network.
THE CULTURE OF LEADERSHIP 15-16 MARCH 2019 | SAIGON This core module focuses on the unique and crucial aspect of effective operation of international teacher leadership at the middle level. During the course, participants explore critical aspects of the middle leader role, enhancing understandings, developing knowledge and building and practising skills aimed at strengthening their effectiveness as middle leaders. Participants leave the course with clear plans to assist them in the practical and effective application of their learning.
CURRICULAR DESIGN AND LEADERSHIP 22-23 MARCH 2019 | DOHA In this two-day course, these questions are explored: --Why is a guaranteed and viable curriculum fundamental and how as a leader, can you ensure its central role with your team? --What role do middle leaders play in supporting the curricular vision of the school and ensuring curricular alignment? --What strategies and tools can middle leaders practice to facilitate curriculum development and review? At the centre of teacher leadership is a commitment and desire to improve student learning.
Additional courses planned for 2019. To learn more about our courses, or to host a course, visit: www.ecis.org/learning
HONOURING STUDENT VOICE Lorraine Kellum Teacher of EAL & MUN Franconian International School
n a sunny, Wednesday afternoon, a Grade 9 student named Sonia* stood before one international school’s entire teaching staff to
speak about the dangers of gender blindness in schools. “A
friend of mine doesn’t quite know if she’s male or female or not, and her switching back and forth is actually angering her classmates. They say that she needs to make a decision. And blatantly call her by pronouns she doesn’t want to be called. This is an example,” proclaimed Sonia, “of why we need to learn about non-binary gender…I hope that we can continue to make school a safe place for everyone.”
Gender Today Although UNESCO’s call for an Education for All aimed to ensure that for every child, “respect for identity, integrity and participation rights, and freedom from all forms of violence” is realised, the language, textbook and story content, testing tools, seating, roles, and the general organisation of and within our classrooms continue to reflect some gender-based bias. In a majority of schools today, most books feature
vs. girls” teams or sit our students in “girl-boy-girl-boy”
heroes, geniuses, leaders, and lead characters who are
order, reinforcing ideas of functional difference and
male. Similarly, while research has clearly shown that
competition among ourselves.
our use of the seemingly generic male pronoun “he” or suffix “man” will most often be interpreted to refer to a
Following our school years, these unconscious school
male individual, many ideas and stories presented in
choices translate into real disparate outcomes. According
schools are still expressed using these terms.
to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index, as of 2016, Western Europe and North America
Research also asserts that homophobic bullying, a
continue to experience a gender disparity of at least 25
form of exclusion and gender-based discrimination,
percent. Only five countries out of 144 surveyed have been
in schools is not only rampant, but poses a real threat
able to close their remaining gender gaps by 80 percent
today. Stonewall has found that although LGBT based
or more since 2006: Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden,
bullying and homophobic language has decreased across
the UK since 2012, two in five transgender identifying youth have attempted suicide. UNESCO cites that the
While those countries have managed to improve
threat to LGBTQ indentifying young people is sure to be
felt by not just the victims alone, but that the perpetrators,
bystanders, and our learning institutions as a whole are
empowerment for the most part, nations such as
sure to be impacted.
Germany, the UK, and the US have slipped behind in gender disparity rankings by 8, 11, and 22 places,
And we as teachers are usually completely unaware of our
respectively. Gender stereotyping in schools undermines
own implicit bias and actions. Studies have shown that
learning and opportunity for everyone.
boys today continue to receive the most attention from their teachers in school, irrespective if that attention is positive or negative. Many of us still construct “boys
as they hold so much gravity and form the backbone of who we are as humans and how we view and treat others,” said one Grade 11 student. One teacher also noted, “Students were very engaged and learned a lot! It was amazing how topics were prepared and carried out and discussed by students.” Students had spent the day leading topics around transgender and non-binary gender visibility, men’s place in the abortion debate, their experiences connecting with adolescent girls in Kenya, women in politics, genderrelated suicide, women’s labor in sweatshops, sexual harassment, and so much more. What students had engaged in here was clearly service as action: they had identified the problems they wanted to tackle, conducted the research, volunteered a platform, and had helped one another to grow personally and civically. But what about the impact of these student service activities on the teachers? In the moments leading up to and following the event, school leaders and staff finally felt somewhat prepared
around gender. Prior to that, talk of “gender” beyond
A Conference-Style Event
departmental or friendship lines was virtually non-
A professional development (PD) opportunity, Sonia’s
existent at the school.
speech was the first follow-up to one school’s response
As the gender forum team
discovered, teacher readiness to engage in a critical topic
to society’s current state of affairs. The Franconian
like gender could have been the direct result of student
International School (the FIS) offered to hold its first-
voice throughout the conference event.
ever Gender in the 21st Century Conference which aimed to mobilise teachers, students, and school leaders around
questions of gender.
For years now, international organisations like the United Nations have been reminding us that every child has
Despite the potential hurdles, the FIS teachers and
a right to a rich educational experience. But if we truly
students dived right in. The school kicked off its first
hope to eliminate the negative impacts of exclusion and
largely student-led conference-style event. Just under
stereotyping as they relate to the right of every child to
half of the conference facilitators were students grades
fully access the curriculum, we might have to commit to
seven through twelve, and in the end, the event proved to
enlisting the help of the very community we serve: our
be an important service learning opportunity that would
offer students the platform to professionally present their work as well as would continue to normalise their own
When teachers were asked what they found particularly
engagement within their school community.
engaging about the conference follow-up PD led by Sonia, forty-four percent stated that her speech made all
Service as Action
of the difference. 65 percent of respondents stated that
The school feedback data revealed an overwhelmingly
the opportunity helped them to further consider their
positive response to the conference event. “I feel that this
actions around gender in the classroom, and 50 percent of
was a really positive event. I felt very empowered at the
responses revealed a clear need for more and more open
end, as I feel that these issues are simply not addressed
within school or the workplace, yet they are so important
At the heart of international mindedness in schools is our
bringing of student experience to the fore. While gender mainstreaming, the inclusion and normalising of gender
American Psychological Association. (1991). Avoiding
and sexual minority identities throughout all areas of
heterosexual bias in language (Vol. 46). Burlington, VT:
social life can be done through staff trainings, equity-
University of Vermont.
based policy changes, and community service activities, the FIS experience of working directly with their student
Ang, M., & Kellum, L. (2018, January 19). 1st “gender
body brought to light the undeniable need for ongoing
in the 21st century conference” at the FIS. Retrieved
learner voice and action when working to create a better
and more peaceful world.
*names have been changed to respect individuals’
Atthill, C., & Jha, J. (2009). The gender-responsive
school: An action guide. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.
About the Author
Barnes, E., & Carlile, A. (2018). How to transform your school into an LGBT+ friendly place: A practical guide for nursery, primary, and secondary teachers. London & Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. IGLYO. (2015). Teacher’s guide to inclusive education. Retrieved from http://www.iglyo.com/wp-content/ uploads/2012/04/IGLYO-Teachers-Guide-to-InclusiveEducation2.pdf
Lorraine Kellum currently works as a teacher at the Franconian International School in Germany. She is
Stonewall. (2017). School report: The experiences of
dedicated to enhancing deep thinking and social inclusion
lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people in Britain’s
in schools with the use of social-emotional learning
schools in 2017. Retrieved from https://www.stonewall.
tools and frameworks. Thanks to her third-culture kid
background and her expertise in language acquisition and identity, Lorraine is uniquely suited to respond to the
Streitmatter, J. (1994). Toward gender equity in the
needs of a flourishing multicultural expat community and
classroom: everyday teachers’ beliefs and practices.
their children and families. She currently teaches English
Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
as an additional language (EAL), Global Perspectives, and MUN to K-12 learners throughout the school.
UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE). (2015). A guide for gender equality in teacher education policy and practices. Paris, IBE. Retrieved from http:// unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002316/231646e.pdf UNESCO. (2012). Education sector responses to homophobic bullying, booklet 8. Retrieved from http:// unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002164/216493e.pdf World Economic Forum. (2016). Global gender gap report: Rankings. Retrieved from http://reports. weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2016/rankings/
WHAT DOES 21ST CENTURY LEARNING EVEN LOOK LIKE? Anne Fischer Phorms Berlin Süd
ne evening after dinner, my husband started talking about his company’s journey towards becoming agile and their implementation of scrum in the workplace.
His explanation of creating a flexible, self-organising company where teams collaborated and innovated together made a lot of sense. However, I couldn’t help wonder if I as an educator was successfully preparing my students for this ‘modern’ world that my husband was talking about, about open working spaces, about taking initiative, about consistently reviewing and improving, about programming, about effective communication. I reflected on my teaching practices in the classroom as well as my effectiveness as a school leader to properly prepare my students for the future. What I concluded was that our school needed to do better in providing students with 21st century skills and competencies that they could apply to any job or situation that their future would bring them.
Student Self Reflection of Their Skills- Photo Courtesy of Daniel Wood
The problem for me was- what does 21st century learning
the list goes on and on. The modern workplace is adapting
even look like? For at least the past two decades in
at a rapid pace; jobs such as cloud engineers, app
education, there have been a lot of buzz words flying
developers, social media managers, content moderators
around- coding, AR, 1:1 devices, game-based learning,
and data scientists didn’t even exist 15 years ago (Moore,
virtual classrooms, OER, MOOCS, higher-order thinking,
2017). Yet, most schools are still utilising teaching
individualised, collaborative, differentiated instruction-
practices that were established hundreds of years ago and still worse, teachers are just now undergoing training that reflects the ‘new’ style of teaching. (Darling-Hammond, 2007) (eduScrum, 2012) It will take a while for the shift to start, but the problem is, we don’t have time to waste. I kept going back to that conversation on agility; on that iterative process towards making a product with the understanding that learning is an iterative journey as well. The more I dug into the topic, the more I liked what I saw. Then I came across eduScrum, a framework for adopting agile and scrum concepts in school. It is collaborative as well as iterative and engaging. Best of all it reflects the modern working world. I showed it to my colleague, Daniel Wood and we were sold; we were convinced that this methodology could be a start to introducing 21st century learning in the classroom. We decided to incorporate agile and scrum methods into our 5th grade classroom’s Project Based Learning this autumn. This was the first time we have ever attempted something like this in our school but we were looking
Students Working Agilely: Updating their Scrum Board- Picture Courtesy of Daniel Wood
forward to being the pioneers.
Another important question was knowing what skills
and competencies to look for when embarking on new teaching and learning methods. This is where the
Darling-Hammond, L. a. (2007). Preparing Teachers for
European Commission on Education and Training came
a Changing World: What Teachers Should Learn and
into play. Using their competencies and skills (European
Be Able to Do. New Jersey: Jossey-Bass.
Commission on Education and Training, 2018) as a benchmark allowed for consistency and a base from
eduScrum. (2012). Von eduScrum:
which our school could provide high quality teaching and
learning. Students’ skills were reflected upon and tested along the way, both by the learners themselves as well as
European Commission on Education and Training. (17.
the teaching team. In a seemingly short amount of time,
January 2018). European Commission on Education
Dan had turned his classroom into what he called ‘scrum
and Training: https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/
ninjas’- students who worked together, were self-reflective
and kept their eyes on the wider goal. The classroom
became collaborative and iterative, with each phase of the project being iterative and self-driven. Instead of that
Moore, E. (23. Oktobber 2017). Glassdoor: https://www.
traditional teacher who stands and lectures in the front,
Dan became the coach, the one who stands on the side
line and pushes his team towards the goal.
About the author
I had the opportunity to complete my Scrum Master training a few months ago and much of what I saw in Dan’s classroom in regards to the teaching as well as the learning (and the students’ self-driven learning and reflection for that matter) echoed a lot on what I experienced in my own training. It was at that point where I as a school leader became satisfied that we were on the right track in regards to 21st century learning. Satisfied that we were giving our students the skills and experiences they need to ‘survive’ in a modern world. Even though my school is on the right
Anne Fischer is the Assistant Principal and Curriculum
track, we are in no way yet finished. Implementing 21st
Coordinator at Phorms Berlin Süd in Germany. She has
century skills in primary school can be such a challenge,
an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA
especially when students are just starting out on their
from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She
academic journeys. But it is never too early to provide
has over a decade of experience working in international
students with the type of learning and skills they need for
and multilingual school environments.
the future. During the first term, we only had one grade
focus has been on Project Based Learning integration,
level implementing agile concepts, doing cross-curricular
balanced literacy in bilingual environments, supporting
projects and organising self-driven teams. The success
multilingual dyslexic students and integrating agile
of the project was a great way for other grade levels to
learning concepts into the school classroom. Her current
conceptualise how they can implement more 21st century
focus is on curriculum alignment and integration as
learning concepts into their classroom. So far, there has
well as professional development support for individual
been feedback from two other year groups expressing
schools and school communities. Originally from the
interest and I am looking forward to embarking on a
United States, she resides in Berlin with her husband and
project in the new term with them.
BRINGING MATHEMATICS & MUSIC ALIVE THROUGH INTERDISCIPLINARY LEARNING
Lynda Thompson Deputy Head (Pastoral) Greengates School, Mexico Francesco Banchini Educator, composer & performer
ur schools have a responsibility to prepare our young people for their futures. However, in a rapidly changing climate, in terms of technology
and social change, this is becoming increasingly challenging. Educationally our response has been to focus on the acquisition of skills which can be applied in a range of contexts, and one such way to concentrate this focus is through inter-disciplinary learning. The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP) highlights this importance of applying learning through different subject disciplines. ‘Interdisciplinary instruction
(aesthetic, social, analytical) and prepares them to solve
When exploring the Ancient Greeks, students made their
problems, create products or ask questions in ways that
own mono-chord instruments and used these to explore
go beyond single disciplinary perspectives’ (IBO, 2010).
how the frequencies change as the length of the string is altered. Although these were somewhat crude and results varied, there was great excitement to discover that as the length of the chord is halved, the frequency doubles. This doubling continues as an exponential function. Students were able to explore how the Greeks used different musical modes for different social purposes, and how these were associated with different emotions. We examined the relationship between the frequencies of notes which ‘sound good together’ (consonance) and those which do not (dissonance). Exploring the frequencies and wavelengths of notes was differentiated as we used lowest common multiples, as well as the transformation of sine
This inter-disciplinary unit (IDU) was born from a
graphs. Students discovered that for the C and G notes,
genuine desire to understand if there is a ‘reason’
for every 2 complete cycles for C, G completes 3, and thus
behind our reaction to music and if mathematics can
their wavelengths ‘meet’ frequently. These notes sound
prove useful in explaining that reason. As music and
consonant. In contrast C and F#, do not experience any
mathematics teachers, we sought to work with our
such synchronicity, and sound dissonant to our ears. The
students to understand why certain music makes us sad,
unit culminated in the students exploring a piece of music
while other music makes us want to party. Within our
and finding mathematical reasoning for our emotional
own backgrounds also existed the social anthropological
reaction to it.
interest to explore how different cultures have created music which provokes different emotional reactions.
As educators we have learnt both pragmatically and
We built an MYP IDU centred upon exploring to what
philosophically from this experience. On a pragmatic
extent our emotions can be described as mathematical.
level, we have had to invest significant amounts of time
This focused on pattern and repetition, used in a variety of
into the planning and preparation of this IDU. We spent
ways in both disciplines. Our aim as educators was to give
lesson time from both subjects and were able to team
the students an experience of using their understanding
teach many of these sessions. This gave the students a
and skills from two very different subject areas in a truly
very clear example of subject specialist teachers working
integrated and purposeful manner, drawing upon the
collaboratively to reach a common goal, using subject
heritage, both in terms of mathematics and music, of
knowledge from another discipline.
On a more philosophical level, students learnt an
thus gave responsibility and ownership to them. It also
important lesson in how skills and knowledge from
involved time and energy commitment from ourselves,
different subject disciplines can be used meaningfully
but has left us thirsty to explore the link between music
and maths more fully. In the words of Guns and Roses (in
traditions, we felt that students were able to connect their
the Greek Mixolydian form), ‘Where do we go, where do
understanding and experience to ancient civilisations. Our
we go now, where do we go ….. ’?
use of the Mayan, Greek and Arabic cultures ignited their
interest of these cultures and some students investigated different aspects of these civilisations. Throughout the unit, we frequently used examples of current songs to
Guns N’ Roses,1988. Sweet Child o’ Mine. In: Appetite for
illustrate different techniques and different modes.
destruction [Format CD]. Record label Geffen.
Students really enjoyed discovering that Lorde, Maroon 5, The Beatles and The Ramones all make use of different
IBO, 2010. Middle Years Programme MYP guide to
modes coming from the Greek and Arabic traditions.
interdisciplinary teaching and learning, IBO.
For example in the Greek Mixolydian mode we can find songs by Guns and Roses, Madonna, The Rolling Stones,
About the authors
Gorillaz, Coldplay, and Radiohead. We questioned whether this was a conscious decision. In terms of accomplishing the aims of inter-disciplinary learning, our students certainly used skills in transferable ways. They learnt how bringing together aspects of two different subject disciplines to one task, could deepen their understanding and ability to connect with and produce an outcome. As music forms a meaningful aspect
of all our students’ lives, through the modern music
educator, researcher, composer and performer, having
they share and listen to, students were automatically
implemented many innovations in international schools.
intrigued and interested to find a ‘reason’ as to why their
He has published many CDs, a book on historical musical
emotions respond as they do, why they like the music they
notation, and movie soundtracks. He plays freelance with
like? Given the absolute nature of mathematics, there
the Qatar and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras and holds
was a great attraction to use such an ‘objective’ tool to
an MA in Educational Leadership and Management
answer such a ‘subjective’ emotional reaction. One of the
(University of Bath) and a Certificate in Advanced
discussions which will stay with us was a discussion about
Educational Leadership (Harvard University).
how much our culture ‘trained’ our ears to find certain sounds consonant. We considered whether members of an isolated tribe, who only ever heard natural forest sounds and used their own musical instruments, would also have the same ideas about which notes sound consonant and dissonant. This led us to question if the very nature of consonance and dissonance is culturally specific. What are the implications of us living in a globally connected
Lynda Thompson is the Deputy Head (Pastoral) at
world where music is shared in every corner of the world
Greengates School in Mexico, having previously held
and certain music is ‘accepted’?
posts as DP Coordinator and Head of Mathematics. She has worked in both UK and international schools and
We feel that the process of developing and exploring an
recently completed her MA in International Education at
IDU between music and maths originated in a genuine
the University of Bath.
interest of our own, was meaningful for the students, and
PHORMS BERLIN SÜD|GERMANY www. berlin-sued.phorms.de | firstname.lastname@example.org
We aim to enrich the educational landscape with a high-quality English-German Immersion school. Working together with local authorities, local and international educational institutions and companies, we designed our establishments to reflect the needs of learners in the modern world.
OUR SCHOOL IN JUST FOUR WORDS Local school, global education.
ABITUR PASS RATE
A REALLY PROUD MOMENT FOR US Re-vamping our curriculum to be innovative and in line with 21st century learning concepts and skills. We are moving towards Project Based education and just launched our first public product in October.
AVERAGE CLASS SIZE
IT’S WHAT MAKES OUR SCHOOL DIFFERENT The variety! Students are exposed to an array of pedagogical and practical activities including learning music from a world renown opera singer, finding adventure in Berlin’s rich history, attending wilderness adventures, skiing in the Austrian Alps and conducting science fair experiments with the support of accomplished scientists. Our highly collaborative international educators help mentor for jobshadowing programmes and provide contemporary ideas for team teaching.
WE’RE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS As our school openend in 2008, we are looking forward to celebrating as our very first Phorms students (those who entered 1st grade in 2008) graduate in 2020. We are really excited for their future and are eager to see where it will take them.
Interested in featuring your school? Contact email@example.com
STUDENT-DRIVEN SERVICE AS ACTION LITTLE FEMINISTS MODEL
Susan Min The Franconian International School
ervice as Action is an important and critical
When initiatives come from students it demonstrates
focus for schools implementing the IB MYP
that, â€œ...when they care about the subject matter and
Programme as it directly connects to many school
have authenticated a need, students discover intrinsic
mission and vision statements. This element of the MYP
motivation,â€? (Kaye, 2013). Through Service as Action, as
aims to aid students in developing as global citizens
well as various other service learning programmes,
through thoughtful engagement in both local and global
students are able to make contributions to the world
communities (MYP, 2014).
around them. They create connections to issues that matter to them and thus are able to transfer skills learned
While Service as Action can take a variety of forms; such
throughout their lives to real experiences. When going
as being driven by the curriculum as a unit of inquiry,
through the Stages of Service Learning, students are able to
or a teacher led project that involves an entire class.
discover and investigate a need on a deeper level, develop
However, from a personal point of view, Service as Action
organisational and research skills through preparation,
manifesting itself through student driven initiative is a
build perspective through action, and reflection allows
true representation of the goals of international schools
for connection, an increase in self-awareness, as well
around the world, as well as student development towards
as developing plans for the future (Kaye, 2012). The
becoming civically engaged, global citizens.
creation of an extracurricular club, The Little Feminists, at the Franconian International School (FIS) is Service as Action at one of its finest points.
During the 2016-2017 school year Grade 6 Social Studies (pre MYP programme adoption) course at the FIS, we spent a portion of time at the end of the second semester investigating the social impacts of the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Small groups of students chose what social issue they wished to investigate in more depth to ultimately create a learning station for their peers. One group, consisting of four girls, chose to investigate the Women’s Suffrage
research process, these students developed thoughtful
their work in research journals and openly discussed their findings with me on a regular basis. It was through these conversations that they began to question current society and if the impact of Women’s Suffrage truly changed anything for women in the modern world. Once the class created and shared their learning
investigation they undertook, this group of girls came to me after class. They decided that they wanted to create a club for students to discuss feminism and gender inequality. They asked if I
In the following school year, The Little Feminists
would be their advisor. I was more than happy to comply.
continued to grow, involving up to 14 Middle School
Thus, The Little Feminists was born.
students, including both genders. The focus of the club became not only about raising awareness of feminism and
These students then articulated what the goals of their
other gender issues, but to also have monthly discussion
new club would be: to have more open discussions
groups during lunch, open to all students, to discuss
at school about feminism, raise awareness of issues
student chosen topics such as stereotypes and bullying.
facing women and girls, and to help their local or global
The Little Feminists also decided to connect with an NGO
community. During their first meeting the girls wrote an
located in Nairobi, Kenya named IECE and worked to
action plan for their first few projects as well as decided they wanted to bring more students into the club.
make connections with girls in the education section of
Slowly, over the next few weeks, the club grew from four
with a group of students from IECE, sharing letters and
their programme. The Little Feminists became pen-pals videos in order for each group to understand each other’s
to seven students (all female at this point). They began
worlds better. They also worked to help raise money for
speaking during Middle School assemblies about their
IECE’s scholarship fund for education. A final action the
goals and initiatives as well as created booths at school
club took part in was the school wide Gender Conference
sponsored events in order to spread the word and raise
in which they presented their continuing project with
awareness. These actions and events are evidence of their
IECE to their student and teacher community and
curiosity, engagement, and various other aspects of the
discussed why this type of interaction--a means to learn
IB Learner Profile. These students were also engaging
and understand people different from ourselves-- is
with global issues in a real and localized way, making this
needed between young adults around the globe.
endeavor an authentic and student led experience.
The club is now in its third year at the FIS and is going
strong. The group’s participation rate is consistently around 12 students (approximately 15% of the Middle
Billig, S. H. (2002). Support for k-12 service learning
School population) and meets weekly. This year’s goals
practice: A brief review of the research. Educational
focus on continuing to develop the monthly discussion
Horizons, 80(4), 184-189.
groups as well as prepare a session at our school’s Culture Conference 2019.
Furco, A., & Root, S. (2010). Research demonstrates the value of service learning. The Phi Delta Kappan
The Little Feminists encourages the school community
International, 91(5), 16-20.
to engage with current affairs and to continually develop as global citizens.
Students actively participating are
Kaye, C. B. (2012, January). Why service matters.
using their planning, action, and reflection skills in a
Retrieved from http://www.cbkassociates.com/
progressive and continuous basis. As one Grade 8 student
recently observed during a club meeting, “Look what
we’ve built. Our club has grown and is doing things. I’m so proud!” This statement demonstrates many of the
Kaye, C. B. (2013, June). The five stages of service
goals, not only of the MYP, but of progressive education:
learning. Retrieved from http://www.cbkassociates.
students taking initiative to develop service learning
projects that are authentic, engaging, and tackling the
issues students care about. These student led initiatives are successfully using the inquiry process to develop
International Baccalaureate Organisation (UK) Ltd.
projects in school communities in organic and localised
(2014). MYP: From principles to practice. United
ways thus demonstrating the interest, need, and meaning
behind Service as Action programmes. Programmes that are tied with strong teaching and curriculum continually strive to meet the missions and visions of international schools to encourage civically engaged, global citizens.
About the author
Susan Min is the Service as Action Coordinator and an MYP Individuals & Societies teacher. She has an interest in progressive and inquiry based education as well as using Service Learning as a means to explore these pedagogies. She also enjoys working with the Model United Nations club to help students continue to investigate global issues as well as develop research and communication skills. Her next project is to continue to develop her tech skills through the Apple Educator programme. firstname.lastname@example.org
VALUE DIMENSIONS OF COMMUNITY AND IDENTITY DEVELOPMENT
Jeremy House Head of Marketing, Strategy and Admissions St. Gilgen International School | Austria
n the next nine hundred and eighty words, I seek to traverse identity formation and value dimensions of culture to arrive safely at a challenge for the
So what makes a school community different from
future of school based community building. Though this
any other collection of persons who share a geographic
will necessitate intentional brevity and result in some
whereabouts or particular commonality?
incomplete arguments and open propositions, I hope it might catalyse our quiet and ongoing contemplation
It is that our commonality is such an incredibly privileged
around community building.
one, we work with young people in their most importantly formative years. Not formative in the sense that schools
The Oxford dictionary defines community as ‘a group
‘form’ something from nothing, or prepare students to be
of people living in the same place or having a particular
‘productive’ members of a society; rather, formative in
characteristic in common’. Based on these criteria,
the sense that the major developmental task of this stage
schools easily qualify.
of the lifespan is the construction of identity.
However, in considering a ‘school community’ one cannot
There is no more important task or understanding in
help but feel a little unsatisfied with this definition as it
education than this. We support young people as they
lacks a certain transcendental resonance, emphasis or
determine who they are, what they stand for, how they
want to be in the world, and by consequence… the future.
Those responsible for this task must have ways and means of dynamically assessing this community feel. For this task one could draw upon Hofstedeâ€™s value dimensions. Hofstede proposed six dimensions originally intended to look at national cultures, yet they can be applied equally well to understanding the cultural norms of a community or organisation such as an international school. These are (i) individualism, (ii) power distance, (iii) masculinity/ femininity, (iv) uncertainty avoidance, (v) indulgence/ restraint, and, (vi) long/short term orientation. As a brief introduction to the field of study, one can reason with a moderate confidence that: (i) Individualismâ€™s positive associations with freedom
Identity drives behavior, behavior drives performance.
and autonomy lead it to be beneficial for happiness and
This cannot be overstated when working with young
life satisfaction (perhaps with a collective safety net to
people and it is what makes school communities so vitally
guard against social isolation and loneliness). It is also
intuitive that more individually oriented communities are supportive of moratorium/experiential identity phases.
Identity theorists have identified four (sometimes more) stages of identity development which correlate
(ii) High power distance communities legitimise social
significantly to indicators of student wellbeing and
inequality and often lead to emotion characterised by
attainment. These are diffusion (the student is not
anger in community members, whereas lower power
actively experimenting with identity or significantly
distance communities encourage collaborative role
aware of identity construction), moratorium (the student
modeling through accessibility to school leaders. The
is actively experimenting with one or more identity
latter seems more conducive of identity exploration/
constructs), active achievement (the student has a
strong sense of their identity which has developed and consolidated through experimentation) and foreclosure
(iii) Extremely masculine cultures are associated with
(the student has a strong adopted sense of identity which
more frequent negative emptions, and lower social
has resulted without deep experimentation).
support due to increased competitiveness and aggression. However slightly masculine communities have typically
A very general summary of these categorisations sees
had positive effects on both happiness and life satisfaction.
active achievement and moratorium as most significantly related to positive student wellbeing and development.
(iv) Low uncertainty avoidance cultures encourage
Foreclosure is also positively associated with subjective
greater risk taking from community members, whereas
wellbeing, yet is less stable over time, whereas diffusion is
high uncertainty avoidance can lead to tighter social rules,
associated with poorer outcomes for students.
social control, greater anxiety and negative emotion. Low uncertainty avoidance cultures are likely support
Bearing this in mind, we can now begin to consider the type
identity exploration, where as high uncertainty avoidance
of community which may support identity development.
might lead to greater diffusion (non-experimentation) or
When we consider community in its most holistic sense
foreclosure (uncritical identity adoption).
(as encompassing of its deeper connotations), the task of the school leader may be analogised as that of the tribal
(v) Restraint verses indulgence is another worth deeper
elder. They are custodians of the values which shape the
contemplation as indulgence correlates positively with
interactions we call education and of the requirements for
life satisfaction and wellbeing. A school agenda of placing
participation in the common network we call community.
importance on reflexivity, being spontaneous and fun
makes sense in this regard. Jun, K-H. (2015). Re-exploration of subjective wellbeing (vi) Long term orientation presents an interesting
determinates: Full model approach with extended
conundrum for school leaders as the research outcomes
cross-contextual analysis. International Journal of
are counter intuitive. That is, long term orientation is
Wellbeing, 5(4), 17-59
generally negatively related with happiness and life satisfaction. This suggests that emphasising the short
Klimstra, T. Luyckx, K. Germeijs, V. Meeus, W.
term outcomes (such as a reflection on an identity
& Goossens, L. (2012). Traits and educational
exploration) equally or even greater than the longer term
identity formation in late adolescents: Longitudinal
outcomes (such as getting into a University) may be felt
associations and academic progress. Journal of Youth
positively by students.
and Adolescence, 41, 346-361
To come full circle, I have argued that communities
Mick, C. (2011). Introduction: Discourse and identity
must be understood in ways which support students’
in education. European Educational Research Journal,
wellbeing, and the positive and secure formation of
identity. I introduced Hofstead’s value dimensions as a lens for considering this and implore readers to question:
How does your community look through this lens? What
management: Effects on (of) identification, attitudes,
structures, written/unwritten and habitualised ways of
behavior and well-being. Frontiers in Psychology, 1-4
doing and being contribute to these community norms? And, in which ways can each be treated to support the
Langer-Osuna, J. & Nasir, N. (2016). Rehumanising
positive identity construction of our learners?
the’ other’: Race, culture, and identity in education research. Review of Research in Education, 40, 723-743
The best school communities have shared answers to these questions that have been designed and reinforced
Côté, J. (2005). Identity capital, social capital and
collaboratively and thoughtfully to maximise community
the wider benefits of learning: generating resources
value. The challenge for educational leaders now and in
facilitative of social cohesion. London Review of
the future lies in being sufficiently attuned to developing
Education, 3(3), 221-237
communities, through which… young people can be the best young people possible.
Meeus, W. (1996). Studies on identity development in adolescence: An overview of research and some new
About the author
data. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 25(5), 596-598
Jeremy is the Head of Marketing, Strategy and Admissions at St Gilgen International School, Austria. Currently studying a DEd (Positive Education) at UCL, he is committed to pushing Education toward its fullest potential by promulgating a research driven, positive, international education.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY RESEACH-INFORMED PRACTICE IN EDUCATION?
Karen Taylor, Director of Education Ecolint - International School of Geneva
n 2017, the International School of Geneva’s Institute of Learning and Teaching, in partnership with several
• learning is social and relational, not just in terms of
outside organisations, launched a series of initiatives
the relationship between student and teacher but in
whose ultimate purpose is to develop a space for dialogue
relation to the learning environment and the extent to
among researchers and classroom practitioners and
which it promotes discussion, collaboration and debate;
to create mechanisms to support research action in
• learning takes place best when it involves reflection,
international schools. In short, to promote Research
self-assessment and metacognitive awareness;
Informed Practice in Education (RIPE).
• motivation, readiness, and emotion all play a role in
Educators increasingly seek to base classroom practice on
• learning is enhanced when organised around essential
learning; a wide range of current research in education, cognitive
ideas and concepts of the disciplines;
psychology and neurobiology, all of which contribute
• learning takes place best in context;
to deeper understanding of how human beings acquire
• deep learning occurs when students can apply learning
and retain knowledge to make meaning of their world.
to new situations.
To recognise the complexity of learning and to develop one’s practice in response to it is no simple task. There is
All educators seek to ensure that each student reaches
a broad range of literature that seeks to define learning.
his or her learning potential, a particularly challenging
However, there appears to be general agreement on
undertaking given the wide range of abilities and linguistic
certain essential elements:
and cultural backgrounds that we find in our classrooms.
If we are to meet the needs of learners and respond to
the nature of learning itself, then research in education and other related disciplines should inform pedagogical
Collins, A., Brown, J. S. & Holum, A. (1991). Cognitive
practice. Yet the reverse is equally true; the wisdom and
apprenticeship: Making thinking visible. American
experience of practitioners should shape the work of
Educator, 15 (3), 6-11, 38-39.
researchers. Collins, Brown & Holum (1991) argued that “cognitive
About the author
strategies are central to integrating skills and knowledge in order to accomplish meaningful tasks. They are the organising principles of expertise.” The aim of RIPE is to bring university researchers and classroom practitioners together in a space that will allow us to build on this notion of making our thinking and learning visible as we engage in a shared experience of “cognitive apprenticeship.” Most important, the aim is to work together and to draw from our collective wisdom to create the best possible
Karen Taylor is Director of Education and of the Institute
conditions for student learning.
of Learning and Teaching at the International School of Geneva. Prior to moving to Switzerland in 2008, Dr.
In collaboration with Durham University, the University
Taylor taught at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington,
of Geneva, Evidence Based Education, Wellington
DC and in the Liberal Studies Degree programme at
University China and the Association of Genevan Private
Georgetown University where she earned her PhD in
Schools, The International School of Geneva’s Institute
history in 2000. Dr. Taylor’s research interests focus on
of Learning and Teaching has developed a four-day
the links between eighteenth-century French pedagogical
summer institute to develop research action projects in
writings and Enlightenment epistemology, International
Mindedness and Plurilingual Education.
1. Participants will be asked to bring with them the burning question at their school. 2. Over the course of 4 days, we will help participants make connections in order to develop the appropriate research action project that will allow them to address their question. 3. During the 2019-2020 academic year, we will provide access to an online forum for discussion and support. 4. Particularly innovative results will be published in a peer-reviewed research journal housed at the University of Geneva. The programme will include guest speakers, sessions on research methods (in French and in English), workshops on developing research action projects, in addition to time for community building, reflection, consultation
129 INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS PLANNED
UNDER CONSTRUCTION OR CONSTRUCTED & AWAITING LICENCE OR OTHER APPROVAL
37 36 13 12 8 7 54 4 3 aysia
DATA: ISC RESEARCH WWW.ISCRESEARCH.COM ISC Research Â© August 2018 UAE
LEARNING BY PROBLEM SOLVING A HANDS-ON APPROACH TO (MATHS) EDUCATION
Robert Barnett IB Maths Studies & Theory of Knowledge Leysin American School | Switzerland
“Would your students work hard in your class if they weren’t graded?”
But is this really how we want to motivate our students? I teach maths because I believe deeply that mathematics
offers humankind a powerful and beautiful way to
maths class designed explicitly for students “whose main
students learning them, and stressing over them, just for
interests lie outside the field of mathematics.” I teach
the sake of their GPAs?
t’s a question I ask myself often -- although, if I’m
understand the world. The skills and techniques I teach
honest, I probably don’t want to know the answer.
have been developed over centuries in order to make our
I’m a high-school maths teacher, and I teach an IB
lives easier, richer, and more interesting. Do I really want
wonderful students with a diverse range of passions, goals, and personalities, yet few would confess to an
I don’t. So this year, I’ve started doing something new.
earnest desire to learn maths. (For the most part, it’s
I’m no longer teaching students content explicitly, and
already been beaten out of them). What am I to do?
telling them to learn it for the test. Instead, I’m trying to find interesting problems that my students will want to
What I’ve always done is the same thing that teachers
solve -- regardless of their interest in maths -- and which
have done for years: I give grades. If students work hard,
will motivate them to learn the maths that the syllabus
they get good grades; if not, they don’t. It doesn’t matter
if maths interests them. As long as their transcripts do,
did so not to earn good grades, but to solve challenging
they’ll do what we tell them.
problems. I’m asking my students to do the same.
The thinkers who developed mathematics
This is an abstract idea -- let me make it concrete. I
“just in time” to accomplish a meaningful task sticks much
started my IB Maths Studies class this year by diving
better than learning done “just in case” it might be useful.
straight into one of the most challenging syllabus topics:
(I credit Simon Head from the International School
mathematical models. But I didn’t begin by giving out
of Dusseldorf, with giving me that brilliant insight.)
a syllabus, or by reviewing prior knowledge. Instead, I
suspect that our students will truly master the skills and
asked my students to identify populations they cared
content we want them to learn -- be it grammar, historical
about. They chose a variety: the populations of their
analysis, foreign language, coding or the laws of physics
home cities or countries, the populations of their favorite
-- when we give them tasks that inspire them to learn and
wild animals, the population of the world. Each student
apply those skills, and not just when we give them a test.
had a population of genuine interest. Then I asked: what
I’m certainly eager to see teachers in those other subjects
will this population look like in 50 years?
try, and to learn from them as they do.
My students didn’t know where to start -- which was a
So would my IB maths students really analyse their chosen
good thing! (If they did, they’d be in the wrong class.) But
populations if not for a grade? I don’t think all, or even
they had an interesting problem to solve, and they wanted
many, of them would. The population-change project has
to solve it. So I told them: a linear model might help.
plenty of room for improvement, as does the way I teach
“Well,” they asked, “what’s that?” The game was afoot.
it. A classroom culture takes time to build. But come
visit my classroom some time, and you’ll notice genuine For the next several weeks, it’s my students asking
student excitement about maths. Look at students’ final
the questions -- not me. They need the tools to model
reports, and you’ll see real conceptual understanding.
their changing populations, and I have those tools. In
Ask my students about what they’ve learned, and you’ll
predicting future population change, they’ll learn what
hear pride in their voices. I’ve got a long ways to go before
linear and exponential functions are, why they’re useful,
I’ll be able to give up on grades altogether, but I think I’ve
and how to represent them. And at the end of the unit,
made a promising start.
they didn’t just take a test. Instead, they each produced and presented a full-fledged mathematical report. On the
About the author
day the assignment was due, I told a student to format her report in a way that would make her proud to turn it in. She responded, “I already am.” My approach is far from perfect, and not nearly as idealistic in practice as it sounds on the page. As an IB teacher, I don’t think I’d be doing my job if I weren’t assessing my students with timed, IB-style tests. And yes, I still give grades, which students still continue to care about. Even so, I notice that the very tenor of my
Robert Barnett is a maths teacher at Leysin American
classroom has changed. I spend less time talking with
School in Switzerland, and is the co-founder and Chief
students about what they need to do to improve their
Operating Officer of The Modern Classrooms Project.
grades, and more about how they can answer questions
Prior to teaching internationally, he taught maths,
they really care about. Less time lecturing, and more time
entrepreneurship, and computer science in Washington,
answering questions. Less time pulling students along,
and more time pushing them to excel.
Education Week, The Washington Post, and Washington
He has previously written about education for
City Paper. A native of Washington, DC, he holds degrees Could an approach like this work for any class? I’m not
cum laude from both Princeton University (A.B.) and
sure. But I do know that students learn best, and enjoy
Harvard Law School (J.D.).
learning the most, when they’re engaged with projects and problems that matter to them, and that learning done
STUDENT LEARNING IN
THE WORLD LANGUAGE CLASS THREE PRACTICAL EXAMPLES
1 2 3
Linda Lanis International School of Florence
Víctor González International School of Bremen
Delinka Fabiny American International School of Budapest
CREATIVITY AND STORY WRITING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES: USING INPUT CARDS Linda Lanis. International School of Florence
n story writing, as part of a language learning process, there are several components that may have a significant impact in student production.
The competence of our student is surely important, motivation is essential, but there is another factor that is
Credits for character cards: www.midisegni.it Credits for linking word cards: www.maestrapam.wordpress.com
hardly mentioned: the capacity and the “comfort” when writing a story.
create and develop their hidden skills and their ability to build tales. Also important, guiding does not stop
Storytelling and story writing can be taught at every level,
creative students from writing a good story. The
but while “talking about a movie or a holiday” is perceived
question is, how to guide students in a way that we as
as useful, it is the process of writing a story where
teachers can be more facilitators rather than tutors,
characters are invented and developed, a good plot is
with an awareness of their background and abilities?
created, that can be perceived difficult, even if conducted in the mother tongue. We can only imagine how a student, especially a teenager, could feel uncomfortable.
What I usually propose to my intermediate students is a
The ugly truth is that sometimes we ask pupils to produce
is using the cards with linking words. Students receive
writing project based on input cards. One of the activities four cards with linking words to be used at the beginning
something they have not experienced or have been exposed
of each paragraph. This allows students to give their story
to before. Without this exposure, we then ask them to
a better and stronger structure. Any input given by a card
transfer their knowledge from their first to their second
helps students leave the comfort zone of practical daily
language. When learning a foreign language, especially
sentences and they are guided to the use of more complex
in more advanced levels, the learner is asked to cover
specific topics in which they may not feel comfortable. We are not talking about translating, of course, but about
About the author
specific skills and structures. It is important when we teach creative writing in a second language that we understand that not everyone is a writer or enjoys writing. However, there is no need to give up, as it is surely possible to develop these skills in a second language, even if we do not have the required abilities in our first language.
Linda has been working as an Italian Language teacher and facilitator at the International School of Florence,
Creative and story writing in a different language than
Italy, where she is the chair of the Modern Language
the mother tongue allows students to improve their
Department. She teaches all grades from Middle Years
vocabulary, their syntax and their use of rhetorical figures
to the Diploma programme. Linda has been a member
more than any other argumentative or instructional text.
of the ECIS World Languages Special Interest Group
The secret is in practicing and the key word is guiding.
since 2013. She is particularly interested in international
Guiding allows introverted or reluctant students to
communication and translation.
GAMIFY YOUR LANGUAGE CLASSROOM: MAKE YOUR OWN LANGUAGE MAZE! Víctor González. International School of Bremen
hat makes games so successful amongst children and adults? Why are we always so focused and engaged when we play a
game? Should we use games in the language classroom in order to improve our students learning skills? All these questions and more have made me push for the concept of gamification in my lessons with extremely positive results. The language maze is a fun concept that students
point A to point B. It is not allowed to follow the path
enjoy once they have learned the vocabulary of
of the game without reading the instructions. The first
giving directions in Spanish. The process is simple
student to finish wins.
and it only takes two or three lessons to complete it. These type of language games are very popular amongst
grades 6, 7 and 8. They ignite their imagination and
After learning how to give directions in Spanish, pupils
make them learn new words and expressions in Spanish.
have to draw a maze including roads, squares and
It keeps them motivated, connected with the task and
buildings with 10 instructions on how to get to a given
involved in the process of learning. Creativity should be
goal. The main character can be a famous hero, placed at
encouraged and embraced in language learning and other
the entrance of the maze, and they have to label 10 parts of
subjects in schools around the world. We just need to find
its body in Spanish. The goal can be a castle, a wonderful
ways to trigger it!
island or anything that entails positive feelings. Both
About the Author
items have to be labelled appropriately in Spanish as well.
Phase 2 It is time to colour the maze, add some obstacles like stones, walls, or trees on the paths and squares and roads, and colour some parts of the maze so that it is visually stunning. All the objects should also be labelled in Spanish and students have to name to their maze as well. Some examples: la puerta mágica, el muro, la plaza.
Based in Bremen, Victor has been teaching Modern Languages and IT for 20 years, conducting creative
workshops for language teachers at international level.
Pupils need to guide the player through a fixed set of
His interests lie in the fields of language curriculum and
instructions to reach his or her destination. The minimum
materials design through innovative digital tools. He
set of instructions is 10 but students are welcome to write
is an official International Baccalaureate® Language B
more directions in the target language if they wish to do so.
examiner since 2008 and he also teaches IT Competencies in Translation, Interpreting & Applied Languages at UOC
(Open University of Catalonia) since 2018. He is the Chair
It’s time to start playing. Students swap their project with
of the ECIS World Languages Special Interest Group.
a partner who has to follow the instructions to go from
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING – AUTHENTIC TASKS AND REAL LIFE Delinka Fabiny | French teacher American International School of Budapest
n the 21st century language learners are exposed to a wide array of opportunities that can develop all their skills. Technology has brought the world to the
fingertips of the learners. Over the years however, it became evident that exposing students to real life experiences not only motivates students, but also reinforces confidence while simultaneously developing all the skills. According to their own reflections when students face a real audience they will strive to achieve their best potential. The Senegal Project, in its seventh year at the American International School of Budapest, offers this opportunity.
We state in our schools that we want students to become global citizens, yet how often do we expose them to the
Students note the difference between writing an essay
real global world?
solely for the teacher to read – and grade, and the same task knowing that it is a letter to a pen pal. Involving all
The Secondary school students who travelled on a service-
students and the entire school community gives everyone
learning trip to the Senegalese village commented that the
ownership of the project. Fourth grade students write a
trip was the most impactful experience in their lives. They
postcard to a pen pal. In grades 6 and 7, the assessments
gained confidence communicating in French, but they
become a letter to the pen pal about their family, their
also learned to eat, to dance, and to laugh together with
favorite city, etc.
our hosts. They got to meet the children that the French classes sponsor to attend the school. In each division
Experiential learning can happen at all levels. It always
French classes “adopt” a child and raise the funds for the
starts with an awareness of the other, with the discovery
child to attend school.
of individuals who have different customs but who ultimately are so similar to us, as one student reflected
How do French classes raise the funds? They raise funds
when reading his pen pal’s answer, “We are far away but
through curricular connections with topics studied. For
we like the same things, like football”.
example, elementary students had a “crêpe” sale linked with the celebration of “La Chandeleur”, or Secondary
When students get a letter from their “friend” who lives in
school students organise a French lunch tied to the unit
a fishermen’s village in rural Senegal and attends a school
about eating habits.
where most children come from deprived families, they compare and contrast two realities. They develop not only
Connections are also made with other subjects, especially
their language skills but also empathy and intercultural
with social studies. Thanks to the personal input of the
students, topics do not remain confined to a few pages in a textbook, but come alive with actual reality.
deep and lasting. Students confronted with real people and real situations do not only react with their mind, but also with their heart. Experiential learning has the potential to elevate the learning, to improve all the skills, to open the heart, and also to enrich and to make us better individuals.
Bibliography Words and Actions: Teaching Languages Through the Lens of Social Justice, Cassandra Glynn, Pamela Wesely, and Beth Wassell Publisher: ACTFL,2014 Why Service Matters: Reflections by Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A. http://www.cbkassociates.com/wp- content/ uploads/2013/06/Why-Service-Matters-jan-2012.pdf
About the author
Delinka is currently teaching all levels of French at the American International School of Budapest. She has over 20 years of experience teaching the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme French B course, and is also an IB examiner. She has lead workshops for language teachers internationally. Delinkaâ€™s current interests include incorporating service learning in the language classes. Her other field of interest is literature in the language class from the beginner level to the IB DP Higher Level classes. She is a member of the ECIS World Languages Special Interest Group.
SPECIAL INTEREST EVENTS 2019
The connections are endless and the impact is always
MULTILINGUAL LEARNING IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
unity through MULTILINGUALISM GR
1-03 CH 0
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP
APRIL 15-18 2019
TOWARDS AN ACTIVE
COLLABORATIVE LEARNING GOES TO MARS David Clapp Head of Science St Georgeâ€™s British International School | Rome
ow do you get seventy seventeen year-olds to work together on an interdisciplinary science education project that will teach them team-
working skills, perseverance, and self-reflection all in ten hours? Welcome to the IBDP Group 4 Project – a compulsory component of every IBDP student’s path to their IB diploma and an interesting puzzle for their teachers! With changes afoot in the IB Diploma science courses, it was time for a change and so we teachers set ourselves a new challenge: a new-style science project! The previous style involved much arranging of precious lab time for investigations and venues for the subsequent science fairs. The carrot of grades for the project counting towards final diploma scores had been removed, students were now engaged with in-depth science projects as part of their normal science courses, and the old model just did not fit. Inspiration was needed, and it arrived in the form of the book, and then the film….”The Martian”. Andy Weir’s self-published first novel (he published via instalments on his website), “The Martian” tells a gripping tale of survival and resourcefulness in the most
Are you receiving me?
inhospitable of environments – the surface of Mars. The
First up is the communication problem – the Martian is
subsequent film brought this wonderful science fiction
about 200 million kilometres away, thought to be dead
(and almost fact) story of human ingenuity in the face
after a Martian storm, with no direct means of alerting
of incredible odds to worldwide attention. The tension
the world to his survival of the accident. We translated his
between Ground Control with its vast resources and
ingenious use of an old Mars lander into a “communication
experts, and the lone Martian with only his wits pitted
via flashlight” problem for our teams. After the initial
against the arid, airless and freezing Mars was just the
briefings, the student teams set about devising their own
nerve-wrenching hook we needed to catch the attention
morse-style digital codes in order to transmit their secret
of our 70 17yr-old would-be scientists!
message between school buildings and inform Mission Control of the Martian’s survival! Who will successfully
Our teachers and students worked on the idea of
transmit the message…?
emulating the response of both the marooned Martian and the Earth-bound NASA teams to the host of problems
Help, my hydrazine thermostat is broken!
they encounter in the attempt to “bring him home”!
Next the hydrazine thermostat problem. Communication
Imaginative scenarios were dreamt up and then wrestled
is very slow – letter by letter. The Martian must
with in an editing and rationalising period. Eventually
communicate the problem – broken thermostat. Ground
we hatched a planned sequence of problems to be solved
Control must transmit the solution – the engineering
by our own mini NASA teams with their own Martian to
fix. How to describe with minimal text the construction
rescue. Next, resource-making, a date, a venue, and we
of a complex component of the Martian’s water-creating
were ready for launch.
system? The student teams split, each half receiving the “component” to be described in minimal text. Messages are exchanged via runners between labs, and the teams must now reconstruct from scratch their minimal-text-
described component! The teams re-join for an exchange of constructions: whose will match the original? The revelations of curious resemblance, or not, of original to copy produce scenes of great hilarity!
Store Energy for the Martian Now we move on to more serious engineering – and energy storage: the teams need to devise a way to store energy from the Martians’ solar cells for use in the sunless Martian night. They are provided with construction resources (paper, tape, plastic bowls, water source) to make gravity stores (water up high). A competitive edge is brought in with measurements to judge the maximum energy storage capability of the teams’ water towers (weight x height!), and the inevitable wet moments when towers collapse!
Bring him home The final problem set concerns the 20 day trip across Mars to the rescue point: the teams must split to “solve” 3 planning problems – plan the route, plan the nutrition needed, and plan the psychological support. Maps, satellite photos, craters, space food information sheets and transcripts of the broken conversations between Mission Control and the Martian are provided. There are crater-obstacles to avoid, fuel to conserve, diet to stick to. The psychologists get involved when the communications
About the author
start revealing the disturbing traits in the Martian’s thinking after the months of isolation…. Is he cracking? Is his nerve finally breaking? So how do we talk to him to keep him in one piece? Mappers, nutrition experts and the psychologists come together to find out. So has the Martian got to the rescue point … or not …
The de-brief Well it was a fun, high-energy day. The sense of urgency, time constraints and wandering NASA assessors (white
David Clapp leads the Science Department at St George’s
coats and clipboards) force students to stay switched very
British International School Rome. He has a long career
much on, all day long. They work the problems, do the
in science education both in UK independent schools
maths and science it out all day long! And for students
and in European international schools. As well as life at
who are largely engaged with solo missions to gain their
the chalkboard, he has worked in school leadership for
own IB diplomas, a compulsory project in which your
international schools in Budapest, Hungary. David has
success relies on your team represents a refreshing break
particular professional interests in science education
from personal considerations into the ways of working
generally and student-led practical science in particular.
with others that may well form the majority of their
For more information about the Mars Project please
contact him at email@example.com
OUT OF CONTEXT
Teaching Teachers about Multiple Perspectives in The Dominican Republic
Matt Nink & Sarah Andersen Global Youth Leadership Institute
(Authors note: In July of 2018, Global Youth Leadership Institute partnered with Worldview at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to design a programme for 27 educators from North Carolina in the Dominican Republic. The programme was called “Legacy of Slavery and Comparative Education in the Modern Dominican Republic.” The programme was designed and facilitated by the authors. The names of all the participants have been changed to protect their privacy.)
lorence had never flown on a plane,
Pearl, Evan, and Diane had not traveled outside the USA. As they, and twenty-two other adults
came through customs into the reception area of Santo Domingo Airport, they were greeted by all five senses of the of Dominican Culture. Sounds of bachata music trickled out of the small coffee shop, competing for attention against the dull overhead announcements all in Spanish. Smells of fried plantains, rice and beans, and rich Dominican coffee wafted, reminding our stomachs of a pressing need. And the people - delightful in their swagexuded a certain Dominican confidence. All for fashion, a mother-daughter duo sauntered past, one wearing painted on pants and the other sporting mini high heels
We know they are on the brink of an 8 day transformative
and star studded sunglasses. Suave businessmen with silk
learning experience, and the nervous energy is flowing.
pocket squares strutted just as boldly as the hip young
This is the scene at the beginning of our recent Teacher
athletic Dominican man - both sporting hats. The clothes
Study Visit to the Dominican Republic in partnership with
did not wear them, quite the contrary. The humidity,
UNC World View. Participants are K-12 and community
registering a full 100%, offered a head-to-toe embrace,
university educators from throughout the state of North
a feeling that did not abate for the duration of our trip,
Carolina. The programme is designed to have them
despite the balmy 35 Celsius (90F).
experience the history, culture, education, and struggles of the modern day Dominican Republic.
1. And so it begins
As guides of this comparative educational experience,
Our organisation, Global Youth Leadership Institute, has
our own self-reflection is intended to model the learning
been running programmes for students and teachers in
we want to see. Coming to the Dominican Republic as
the US, Costa Rica, Panama, India, and the Dominican
outsiders, we landed on their native soil and more than ever
Republic since 2003 and there are many markers and
before, we can empathise with the disruption caused by the
signposts along the way of these journeys. On airport days
arrival of the Europeans. For us, we pondered questions
(first and last), everyone is under more stress and their
that framed our own entry into the Dominican Republic in
needs become physical—food, water, bathrooms. They
the summer of 2018.
cling to the security of the contents of their backpacks, and their familiar playlist of songs as they transition from
Who are our ancestors? How did they get to this continent?
their world into the unknown of a “programme,” a group
What is the legacy of slavery in the US and how does it affect
travel experience that has the elements of a field trip,
us in our classrooms and communities? How do we work
an immersion experience, a retreat and a professional
across lines of difference? How can we work towards racial
reconciliation in the US or other countries among divided
peoples? How can we balance male and female leadership
For us, our GYLI programmes fall under the umbrella
in our schools and communities? How can we teach and
of “Global Education” where experience and collected
learn through and with the body, so that our participants
learning are at the core of what we do. We also balance
understand at the deepest levels? How we can we provide
physical challenge, authentic conversations and reflection
context and history from multiple perspectives, so our
tools that educators can use in class or with their teams as
learners can form their own judgements and opinions?
soon as they return. Our trained facilitators incorporate targeted activities and tools to reach the specific goal of the
When teachers have an “out of context” experience they
programme. These tools include a variety of leadership and
see their roles as teachers and administrators from so
multicultural engagement activities: Leadership Styles
many perspectives: student, community member, parent,
Inventory, Introduction to Collaborative Leadership,
administrator. This layering of vantage points has them
5Cs of Awareness (Colour, Culture, Class, Character and
reflect on ways to communicate more effectively with
Context), Gender and Leadership, and many movement
different audiences. This can have key effects on the
and icebreaker games that get people talking and thinking.
classroom, in ways that we will address shortly. But
We also plan for urban, rural, organised and more open
before that, we need to define our key terms.
periods in our programmes with a constant focus on 3 aspects: team, content, and self. For the UNC Worldview
By Global Education we mean any “out of context”
Dominican Programme, we planned an 8 day path from
experience that can be local or global, but has a focus
Santo Domingo, to Jarabacoa, Santiago, and Cabarete.
on building relationships with team members, engaging with people, cultures, and practices that are not part of
We begin with history in the Colonial Zone, a 3 kilometre
our daily routine. Experiential Learning means learning
section of Santo Domingo that has many buildings dating
environments where the outcome is not predicted and
back to the 1500s. From there we trace the intertwined
is co-constructed among the learners.
Dominican and Haitian history right to present day.
Collected or Curated Learning means experiences where
The colonial zone offers itself to our imagination as we
the outcome is known and that the learners are being
walk the narrow streets of stucco buildings and picture
guided to particular learning outcomes. This can be a
ourselves in an earlier time period. Walking in the street,
museum, a lecture, or book reading where we know the
shopping and attending the Sunday night concert at the
story before we dive.
ruins of the San Francisco Monastery juxtapose with stops of collected learning (also known as museums): Casa Reales, Columbus House Museum, and the Museum
“I don’t think so,” responds Cassandra. “That was a powerful story of how we can take a stand,” offers Bruce. “I wish my students could see this and realise their own power,” says Cindy. We walk in a narrow line back to our hotel and I wondered when to jump into the conversation. It’s the facilitator’s tap dance of inching the conversation forward, without putting it out, or unduly directing it. “I’m not sure if you read the book before you got here, but if not, if you enjoyed that story in the museum, you will really enjoy In the Time of the Butterflies.” “How can people continue to live in a situation with that kind of dictator?” “How did he develop such a hatred of the Haitians? It seems like they’re the ones who do the hard work in this country.” Here, I jump in again—“Well, we may see some parallels with our own country and Mexico,” I offer. “Now I know how my immigrant students must feel.”
3. It’s Day Two and we turn onto our now familiar street of Dominican Resistance. We know that balancing these
to our hotel. Cindy notices a colmado that she missed
two types of learning: experience and collected, is one of
before—“I am just going to stop and get a Coke.” And
the keys to a successful programme.
Missy sees an overstuffed art shop and wants to ask the owner the story behind one of the pieces. The rest of the
Our last collection and one of the best in the country is
group lingers as we wait for these transactions. I have
the Leon Cultural Centre in Santiago that has an excellent
noticed these moments of waiting on a trip are times
collection of artefacts and a thoughtful design. This
when learning sinks in below the surface.
combination museum of anthropology and art tells the Dominican Story from the time of the ingenious Taino
Experiential vs. Collected Learning. One of the key things
all the way to the 2011 Dominican Team that climbed Mt.
we want teachers to reflect on in the DR is the distinction
between collected learning vs. experiential learning. Of course each has its own merit and place in our learning.
We wanted our teachers to notice the kind of learning they do on the street, in meeting and engaging with
As preparation for this trip, we asked participants to read
Dominican teachers, or in talking with the residents of the
“In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez, which
woman’s cooperative. These experiential aspects of the
chronicles the work of three Mirabal sisters to overthrow
programme offer a chance for teachers to put themselves
the dictator, Rafael Trujillo, in the early 1960s. The
in place of the learner and to move beyond their comfort
Museum of Dominican Resistance showcases these three
sisters. Exiting the museum, we cross a street, avoiding flows of strange liquids and littered plastic bottles, and it
To frame these collected learning environments we
is Stephanie who asks the question on everyone’s mind:
provide some history, and then debrief these collected
“Is it different for women now?”
experiences through reflection and debriefing techniques:
partner conversations, journaling, or small group discussions. These debriefs are critical to the learning, as they give the learners a chance to speak and listen their way into the story. During experiential learning environments, we ask participants to engage with people they meet in shops or in schools and to make sure they don’t take photos unless they also get their name, story, and permission. This helps teachers and educators create stronger, more intentional learning experiences and many teachers commented that these practices help them see with the eyes of their students. Once they have those perspectives, they begin to create ways to improve their own learning environments with everything from more orientation programmes, ESL for students and parents, and in some cases even make more use of the school building in the afternoons and evenings. “I never realised how lost my student might be in my classroom.” This was one teacher’s response to driving into the countryside on the day of the slave plantation tours. “Looking at all these signs in Spanish and trying
well as several reflection tools, such as Leadership Styles
to get context clues, and saying to myself where am I?
Inventory and 5Cs of Awareness. Our host María shared
What am I doing? I realised this is what my students
their story of women wanting to improve the economic
are doing in my classroom and they have no idea what
situation of their community and how a small grant from
is going on.”
the Canadian government helped to build their first cabins and create an eco-tourism lodge. Like other stops
in the DR, Sonido del Yaque shifted our perspective in large and small ways.
Everyone breathes. Without it, we literally wouldn’t be here. But how many of us actually take the time to
Case in point, one morning in Jarabacoa, Ron, one of
consciously breathe? To really focus on our breaths as
the teachers, was helping to wash tomatoes while we
we take air into our lungs and slowly exhale? As teachers,
prepared lunch. Modelling by doing, I filled a bowl with
we constantly give ourselves to our students, wanting
water so we wouldn’t leave the water running. Ron was
the best for them and pushing them to become better
astonished, ¨I never would have thought of that,¨ he
human beings. While enjoying the beautiful Dominican
said. ¨At home, I always leave the water running when
mountside in Sonido Del Yaque, our group of teachers
I wash my vegetables.¨ A simple act of conserving water.
had the opportunity to focus on their inner selves and
their breathing as they stretched their bodies in an early morning yoga class. The powerful, rhythmic song of the
Cabarete is a unique town in the Northern Coast of the
Yaque River centred their breath.
Dominican Republic. Originally a small fishing village, Sondio del Yaque is a woman’s cooperative situated
this town has since become one of the top places in the
between Jaraboca and Manabo, accessed by a steep walk
world to kitesurf.
down 300 steps into a beautiful river valley. We spent
village into a booming tourist town. The main road
two days at Sonido introducing yoga to the group, as
separating the resorts and temperature controlled hotels
Cabarete has turned from a quiet
from the true Dominican neighbourhoods marks the clear divide between two vastly different worlds. In one of these local neighbourhoods, where electricity is shut off every 6 hours and running water is not guaranteed, sits The Coral School, founded and run by Mariana. The youngest of 16 brothers and sisters, Mariana knew by the age of 9 she wanted to be a teacher. First teaching out of her parent´s small house, working her way through school and university, little by little accomplishing her dream of owning her own school. It was here in Coral where some of our teachers began brainstorming about how they can improve their schools and curriculums back home in North Carolina, taking initiative as modelled by Mariana.
6. Applying the learning back in North Carolina. “I never realised how lost my student might be...¨ - a continuous statement throughout the trip and even on our return. Once back in the States, Sarah went to visit Brian and Cindy, both principals at a middle and elementary school in Concord, North Carolina. Approximately 30% of the students at Brian´s school are Latino and many
About the authors
of them enter 6th grade unable to speak English. Brain realised how lost his new EAL students must feel during the first weeks of school. He made that connection while in a restaurant in Santo Domingo trying to figure out what to eat from the buffet and not being able to understand the written descriptions. Once home, Brian decided to make a change at his school. He established a new Translator position to help ESL
Matt Nink is the executive director of Global Youth
students understand their schedules, get to the right
Leadership Institute. He is an administrator and global
classes, and even translate during class. Cindy was equally
programme director at Lake Forest Academy, near
excited to share new developments in her school after
Chicago, Illinois, USA.
realising how frustrating it can be not understanding the language being spoken. Cindy opened a night school for parents of the EAL students where they can take English classes to feel more comfortable and get a better grasp of the language. These instances of applying the learning is the last and most important step of an Out of Context Experience.
Sarah Andersen is a Spanish Teacher and coach at
As Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery
Hampton Roads Academy in Newport, Virginia. She
consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having
has been a programme coordinator for Global Youth
new eyes.” Once we help teachers and educators put
Leadership Institute since 2017.
on new eyes, they find new ways to help and serve their communities.
SUPPORTING PERSONALISED LEARNING WITH BIG DATA Martin McKay CTO, Texthelp
Its collection and use needn’t be of a personal nature either, nor analysed to influence what we see or what we buy online (though it often is). Instead, educators are beginning to think of Big Data in an educational sense
and the possibilities it can offer to teaching.
n classrooms around the world, data is being used as a tool for true pedagogical insight and progress,
What if Big Data is repurposed and repackaged to serve
empowering teachers to understand where a student’s
attainment and instruction - to help struggling readers
learning is and how to target supports to get them to where
fully comprehend, or budding writers reach a little
they need to be. Though it can seem like a frightening
bit further in their work. Well, at Texthelp, data are
proposition in our age of instantly obtainable digital
beginning to do so in a big way (no pun intended).
information, the way in which data are disseminated and used has changed rapidly in a competitive landscape of
One of our own first-hand experiences so far has been
technological advancement. It’s had to adapt, and so have
through the continual development of our literacy
product, Read&Write, which now has over 17 million users worldwide. It’s a statistic we are proud of, but what
While it’s certainly not unreasonable now for the average
really counts is what it offers and how we improve the way
consumer to expect complete compliance when it comes
users engage with the software in their learning. Because
to personal information, it’s a trend largely unique to
of data, we’re able to see which tools within Read&Write
21st Century living - much like the tech that has opened
are the most popular because they offer the best support,
up teaching and learning in classrooms over the last 20
and spend time refining them. It also offers us an
years. But data, big or not, needn’t conjure up legislative
opportunity to see what we can do better in other areas to
boogeymen like GDPR or the Personal Data Privacy Act.
help teachers on the frontline when using our tools.
About the author
Martin McKay founded Texthelp in 1996 to help people with communication difficulties. What started as a company focused on people with profound Speech and Dexterity Disabilities has become a world-leading Education Technology company providing easy to use, and useful software tools that help everyone read, write and communicate with clarity in education, at work and in life. Over that time he has built, led and directed a team of engineers to deliver technology that is used by millions of people every day around the world. He regards himself as incredibly fortunate to work in a sector that has such a positive impact on society using technologies that are so fun and compelling to work with. Most importantly of all, Proactively, we have been working hard to connect
Martin and Texthelp believe that everyone is entitled to
Big Data and Personalised Learning in a way that’s
the best possible learning and language support on their
meaningful, practical, and widely available for teachers.
own personal journey – from literacy to life. Martin is
WriQ, our latest innovation, is our mission to develop a
currently serving in an advisory capacity on the Universal
tangible metric for writing and a management system that
Design for Learning council in the US.
allows educators to track progress, encouraging students to express their ideas and thoughts in written form. As WriQ gains more and more users, we’re able to create an enormous data set to robustly establish the WriQ score as a standardised norm for assessing writing. Ultimately,
At Texthelp, we believe that literacy is every student’s
it allows teachers to understand, improve and progress
passport to success. That’s why we’ve created a range
the written communication skills of their learners, while
of user-friendly support technologies to help learners
also taking away the manual time-consuming work
understand content and read and write fluently. Our
involved with scoring things like vocabulary, grammar,
leading assistive software is used by English Language
text maturity, and correct word sequences.
Learners (ELL) and special needs students, worldwide.
But actually getting students to a point where they are
Read&Write Family is a suite of literacy-focused software
confident to undertake and improve on their work in
which gives confidence to all students. It makes web
class is what Read&Write is fundamentally designed to
and computer files more accessible – from reading on-
do. It gives learners the tools to focus on and develop
screen text to helping students research, write and check
vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension. This, in
everyday written work.
turn, can help us to further establish key improvements
Windows, Mac, iPad and Android and in Google.
and areas to develop, immediately specific to teaching and learning - and it continues a trend of personalising
learning through data on a global scale.
The software is available on
THE WHOLE CHILD IS THE WHOLE POINT EMBEDDING A CULTURE OF ENRICHMENT THROUGH STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP AND COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION. Vanita Uppal OBE, Director British School New Delhi
uided by the dictum ‘the whole child is the whole point’, the creation of a robust enrichment programme was identified as a key strategic priority for The British School New Delhi. Given the nature of the
deeply connected school community, the endeavour was to make the school a community hub for the sixty or more nationalities, positively and proactively engaging all stakeholders. Research indicates that within the classroom and outside, the ‘one-size-fitsall’ approach is no longer applicable and there is need for a wider recognition of comprehensive student records, identifying varied skill sets. The value of an inclusive programme lies in its sustainability to provide opportunity and promote equity. Research also demonstrates that enrichment programs have the educational potential of providing opportunities for children and youth, to support their learning and development. There also exists an ongoing debate about the range of academic, social, and other types of knowledge and skills that young people will need to succeed in a global world.
with stakeholders concluded that a vertically aligned and integrated enrichment programme would definitely add value to student learning and further strengthen the engagement of our rich and culturally diverse community. A review of the existing provision provided substantive evidence of excellent practice and positive learning experience across a variety of disciplines and age groups. The initiative would help in integrating and streamlining enrichment opportunities. The foundation of the programme rests on the following
Most international schools offer enrichment as an “add
on” - a set of clubs or activities which are disjointed from
the mainstream curriculum. We wanted to go down a
interdisciplinary learning. This supports the school’s
different route. We wanted to deeply embed enrichment
vision and values and its commitment to nurture the
into all aspects of school life through the creation of a sustainable enrichment programme.
holistic development of every child.
Our programme provides students’ a range of learning
The programme itself has three layers. The first layer
embeds the programme into the curriculum as an
experiences and skills enhancement which enables
extended day for Primary students from Years 4-6, and
students to thrive, believe and succeed. Built within the
as Lesson 8 for Years 7-9 on Monday and Wednesday.
scheme were opportunities for authentic leadership, of
The pillars created across Primary to the Secondary
challenging one’s limits, of outreach, collaboration and
School provide vertical alignment and the linkages
independent learning etc. The programme is dynamic
to the pathway programme while enhancing teacher
and responsive and is built heavily on ongoing review and
engagement. Most significantly, this provides structure
evaluation from stakeholders and a focus Enrichment
to community outreach initiatives and enables external
group comprising of parents, students and leadership
partnerships with NGO’s, alumni, and thought leaders.
For layer two, we implemented it as a pathways
It is structured with distinctive layers, is vertically aligned with opportunities for upscaling of skills and recreation. The programme is aligned with the Round Square discovery framework, the IB ATL skills and the IB learner profile. It leads to the development of interdisciplinary skills, caters to a range of abilities and add value to student learning in a safe and happy environment. The expansion of our school and the new state of the art campus provided an opportunity to try and utilise a larger community base and the new learning spaces to support
programme after school. We introduced The British
the holistic development of every student in our care.
School Clubs, student led initiatives and activities for
We were looking to create a programme which would
community outreach. This segment remains extremely
be integrated with our teaching and learning provision,
popular because of the opportunities it offers students
be responsive to student needs, encourage parental
for innovation and creativity. The summer school and the
and community engagement, strengthen our outreach
annual school trips were also included under enrichment
initiatives, provide recreational and pathway options
to provide learning experiences as opportunities of
and build strong partnerships and linkages. Discussions
learning. The environment created was to support
Furthermore, Image 1 also displays a sharp increase in the
wellbeing and a holistic approach to education.
number of activities chosen and the number of students who have opted to enrol for enrichment programme.
The third layer included the evening programme for alumni and the community. As a place to destress and
The most significant impact of this initiative has been to
enjoy sports and cultural activities this layer was designed
provide a range of leadership and community outreach
to steward the school as a community hub.
opportunities for secondary school students in particular and the ownership by our staff who now happily share
We introduced processes to evaluate quality in learning
their passions with the rest of the community. It has truly
and introduced certification of activities to encourage
become a successful community initiative and one which
student achievement. With its alignment with the learner
we are very proud of.
profile, Round Square discovery framework, and the ATL
About the author
skills, the programme is integral to The British School system and replicable for other institutions.
An international educator for over 25 years, Ms Vanita Uppal OBE is the Director of The British School New Delhi and recipient of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in recognition of her services to British education in an international context. She is a member of Visiting Accreditation Teams for CIS (Council of International Schools) to accredit international schools globally, Analysis of student enrolment data over each term
a British Council ambassador, member of HMC
and parent feedback forms after each term allows us
(Headmasters & Headmistresses Conference, UK) an
to measure progression and interest. The numbers
IBEN educator and IB workshop leader and has served
demonstrate that numbers have grown over 54% over the
as Honorary Secretary to Friends of Round Square, South
first academic (Aug 2017-Aug 2018).
East Asia and the Gulf Region.
WHAT MAKES A QUALIFICATION INTERNATIONAL? HOW CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL GIVES THOUSANDS OF SCHOOLS THE CONFIDENCE TO TRY INTERNATIONAL CURRICULA AND DIVERSIFY PROGRAMMES.
Peter Monteath Regional Director (Europe) Cambridge International
hen people think of international qualifications, they often assume they are offered by international schools, teaching (mostly British) children in expatriate outposts. While once the case, we now see our curricula increasingly used in schools that serve the local population. Parents and school leaders
worldwide recognise the benefits of an international education; expanding horizons for learning, opening students to intra-cultural opportunities, supporting global mobility and encouraging multilingualism. Cambridge International works with over 10,000 schools in 160 countries, offering curricula and examinations to schools all over the world. But itâ€™s not just our reach that makes us international. A global outlook runs through all that we do, right down to the exams themselves.
A WORLD OF CHOICE
OVERCOMING OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES
Our schools represent a huge range of circumstances and
As the world becomes increasingly global, schools tell us
have a wide variety of needs. At Cambridge International,
that their students are excited and motivated to sit the
we offer more than 200 individual subjects and schools are
same examination as their peers in many other countries.
able to choose the subjects that suit their requirements.
The standard of Cambridge exams is the same no matter
We offer languages that UK boards cannot justify due to
where in the world they are taken, which means they
low entry numbers, such as Afrikaans, Bahasa Indonesian,
are trusted and valued by universities and employers
Dutch, Greek, Korean, Malay, Thai and Turkish.
Cambridge IGCSE is also available in subjects such as Enterprise, World Literature and Global Perspectives –
While students are measured against the same standards,
subjects that respond to interests and priorities of our
the question papers they sit are not identical. We vary
schools worldwide. We also reflect a global outlook where
them according to world time zones. If we didn’t do this,
a UK board might be more Anglo centric. For example,
we’d have to make all students take the exam at the same
our English Literature syllabuses reflect texts written in
time – with some students in exam halls in the middle of
English from all over the world – including Ireland, US
and other English-speaking countries. In some subjects, we have as many as seven exam papers
per year to allow for time zone variants – which gives
Schools within national systems can find themselves
schools seven sets of past papers per series as a resource!
reacting to sudden educational changes that come with
For us, it’s an operational necessity and shows our
changes of government or new education policies – as
commitment to exam security. We have to be confident
reflected in education press all over the world! Cambridge
that, for example, a student who sits the paper in New
qualifications are revised on a six-year cycle. Changes tend
Zealand can’t tweet answers to a friend in the UK.
to be evolutionary, not revolutionary, reflecting feedback from our schools, as well as the changing nature of the
These elements have made Cambridge International
subject as informed by subject specialists and universities.
accessible to a wide range of schools, including growing
Truly international curricula are independent of any one
numbers of state schools, either as part of a bilingual
national system, and therefore are removed from any
stream or alongside the national programme. The
accessibility, practicality and stability of Cambridge International gives schools worldwide the confidence
to try elements of international curricula to diversify their programmes and give their students access to
For many candidates, English isn’t their first language.
qualifications used all over the world.
Students taking our exams can expect questions to be written in plain English, avoiding use of the passive, and mindful of context. For example, it’s vital that the question must test the understanding of an area of chemistry, and not the understanding of the preamble to the question. Our question-setters will consider the reading load of a question and the accessibility of the words used. In addition, international language is used – for example, ‘a bag of crisps’ would become ‘a snack’ – and attention is
Peter Monteath, Regional Director (Europe) at
given to international and cultural sensitivities.
Cambridge Assessment International Education For more information, visit cambridgeinternational.org
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