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From the Foreground to the Background:

By Matthew Thomas and Emma Pacilli


Contents I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

VI.

VII.


Our Immediate Background and Personal Background


Schools 


Schools 


Presenters ď ˇ


DPC and Authorization 

   


Overview of the Education Systems in Japan and Korea


English Language 

“Despite spending huge amounts of money on English language education, Japan still lags well behind many other Asian countries in terms of the English ability of its citizens. If Japan wishes to be globally competitive with the likes of Korea, much less China and India, the English gap needs to be addressed.”

“English language education is still a battle in Korea. Most English classes in Korea are taught in Korean. The idea of an entire programme being taught in English at a national school is unheard of. “


Theoretical Interlude #1


The Escaping Graduates  

“It is our responsibility to prepare these students for going overseas. In a culture where getting in is all that matters, students going overseas are faced with tremendous difficulties as they are unprepared to face the challenges of the universities that they have the test scores to get into, but not the educational experience to succeed in the ways they are used to.”


Global Competitiveness 

“The only time I saw my vice principal visibly angry in two years of the authorization process was when a newspaper reporter suggested that because Japanese students had worked so hard during junior high school and high school that they could relax and play during university. Fears of being outcompeted keep my administration and board awake at night.” “Korea is looking at how they can maintain their position as a global economic power. There is tremendous concern about the lack of creative human resources in Korea. Many feel that the education system drives creativity out of the student.”


The Role of the Ministry of Education 

“All of our IB teachers are trained TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers. They have to be in order to teach in Kyoto Prefecture. This is the only required qualification, as all nonJapanese teachers are technically considered English teachers. Why else would they be teaching in Japan?”

“The rigidity of the Korean MEST makes it very difficult to implement the IB programme. It‟s like math with words.”


Other Local Factors   

 “Most Japanese universities „recognize‟ the IBDP, but still require students to pass the “center shiken” (centralized examination for university applicants which requires months of study). At the same time, they profess a desire to admit as many IB students as possible. Parents, and students, are understandably confused.” “Students are in school all day. Many go to Hagwons for another 7 hours after they finish their school day. They are consistently testing. CAS is such an amazing chance for these kids to develop their creative skills.”


Pioneering Status of Our Schools and Heads


The Educational Frontier  

“It is sometimes easy to forget while in the middle of day to day frustrations that we are pioneers in the area of international education. Our heads are visionaries and thought leaders. The systems that we put in place, if they prove effective, are the systems that will be imitated and followed.”


Big Brother is Watching Us 

“When we started this, my headmaster asked me if I was ready to become famous in Korean education. My response was „Famous or infamous?‟ There is so much riding on this monumental shift in Korea‟s education system; it is truly a moment in history.”


Theoretical Interlude #2


Theoretical Interlude #3


The Cultural Bridge

“Bridging the cultural divide of east and west is a full time job in an of itself. I find my self sometimes pondering how I ended up here, walking this double-edged sword.�


The Cultural Bridge 

  “The notion of the Third Culture Kid, or Third Culture Adult, is ever present in my day-to-day work. I truly look at my job as a manager, where I must be willing to put on any hat that is needed at all times. Did someone request a clean-up in isle 7?” “For my head, the transformation of the Japanese education is a multi-generational process. For my teachers, there is no time like the present. My job is at once to „take the wide view‟ and to “get results now.” My mind drifts to Andrew Marvell...”


Poetic Interlude #1


Stepping into Culture 

“I have come over time to a much fuller appreciation of the various pressures and sometimes conflicting imperatives that heads face.”


Nature of the Meeting of East vs. West in Our Schools


Immersion 

“The most important skill that a teacher needs to have in a national school is the ability to understand that many things will „not make sense.‟ Though we want to change and challenge education in these countries, we cannot expect the entire country to alter for us. What makes sense to us needs to be malleable.”


Cultural Acrobatics  

“One of my defining metaphors is that of the jellyfish, or plankton. „Although a few of the largest jellyfish are strong swimmers, jellyfish are subject to the oceans currents, tides and waves for their large-scale movements. Animals in the sea whose movements are determined by these oceans currents are called plankton.‟”

WikiAnswers “Is a jelly fish a plankton a nekton or a benthos?”


Poetic Interlude #2 Cutting Up an Ox

“Your method is faultless”!

Prince Wen Hui’s cook

“Method?” said the cook

Was cutting up an ox.

Laying aside his cleaver,

Out went a hand,

“What I follow is Tao

Down went a shoulder,

Beyond all methods!” (..)

He planted a foot,

He pressed a knee,

“There are spaces in the joints;

The ox fell apart

The blade is thin and keen:

With a whisper (...)

When this thinness Finds that space

“Good work!” the Prince exclaimed,

There is all the room you need!


Cultural Interlude #1 In Korea, there is an idea termed nunchi (눈치), which is described as the “subtle art of listening and gauging another’s mood.” The idea is that one should just KNOW!


“…other people, with their differences, can also be right.” 

“One of the first things I look for in a new candidate is metaphysical flexibility. If you come in the door with a settled view of how things “should” work, you effectively disqualify yourself for the position.”


“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 

  

“It is essential in national schools to have teachers who are willing to leave all of their preconceptions on how a school should run, how lessons should be taught, and how work duties should be carried out at the airport/door. This includes foreign teachers and domestic teachers.”


Theoretical Interlude #4


A Response to George Walker’s paper “East is East and West is West”


“East is East and West is West”


“East is East and West is West”


“East is East and West is West,” A Response to George Walker 

“Though the IB programme aims to be international, we must acknowledge the fact that it is inherently western in its operation. Therefore, the IBO needs to change how it supports schools, and needs to play a different role in overseeing the delivery of the programme within national schools that are rooted in an hierarchal structure.”


“East is East and West is West,” A Response to George Walker


East and West Meet in the form of the DPC 

“The only real qualification that we have to speak to you today is our intensive exposure on the front lines of this change . We come, humbly, with thick description in hand.”


Psychic Centrality of the DPC in the Early Stages of Building Programmes


A Job Description of a Different Kind 

“I am never Western enough anymore, and I will never be Korean enough. Yet, I am Emma enough, and that is what works.”

“Job description? I don‟t even have a contract. Perhaps my business card should simply read: „all things to all people.‟”


The Politics of Education 

“We need to understand that for our administrators and heads, the structural and organizational requirements of their national systems (the larger school bureaucracy, the local educational authorities, the local law, and the national educational authorities) are much more fully and consistently present than are the requirements of the IB.”

“It is unbelievably daunting at times. It is like being placed on a dance floor where you must perform the world‟s most complicated dance routine, without having ever been taught the steps.”


Structural Interlude #1


Has it only been…? 

“Three years in the crucible of carving an IB program in an East Asian national school, and I no longer what is inside and what is outside. Nor do I know what daylight looks like. But shapeshifter…that I can relate to.” “I never stop thinking „If I was a Korean…If I was a Westerner…‟ I cannot imagine my life without this constant pause anymore. I don‟t know how to go back to just thinking from one cultural point of view…is that living the mission statement and learner profile?”


Theoretical Interlude #5


Astrological Interlude #1

“It's usually a mistake to try to pin Geminis down to either one place or one idea.�


Psychic Centrality 

“If Matthew were to be hit by a bus tomorrow, we would expect that you would delay authorization, and we would expect that you would want to as well.” “They would simply be unable to be authorized without you at this point.”


It can get heavy…and boy did it get heavy. 

 “Anyone who has been in a position like this knows that someone in a focal point of this nature begins to be “projected on”--and the proliferating images that accumulate around him or her can begin to take on a life of their own.” “There were moments that I was convinced I was going crazy. Everyone wants something from you at all times. You never stop hearing your name in conversations, in more than one language. Notoriety is overrated.”


Pop Culture Moment #1

“The Accelerated Velocity of Terminological Inexactitude.” (Easy A)


School Within a School 

“As a shadow school, our imprint on earth waxes and wanes with the motions of heavenly bodies. Whatever the size of that shadow at a given moment, I sometimes pinch myself to check that all this responsibility, and all of these resources, are really being granted to me and my shadow program.”


Pop Culture Moment #2


Moving the Role of the DPC to the Background


Leading and Transmitting Change 

“For me personally, what was once primarily an intellectual and logistical exercise has needed to evolve into an emotional and political one. As the program has proved capable and successful in more and more areas, interest, anxiety, and envy has emerged from areas of the school previously completely unconcerned with IB.”


Leading and Transmitting Change ď ś

ď ś It is important to empower all the teachers, so that the DPC can begin to move to the background. Yet to do this, the DPC needs to lead by example as a pedagogical leader. I have found myself needing to extract myself from the copious layers of administration so that I can get down to the actual business of implementing and running the programme.


Feasibility 

I think at this early stage of change in the Korean education system, it will be virtually impossible for the DPC to take a more backseat role. This is also due to the relationship of the hierarchal structure, and also due to the nature of a “school within a school.”


Theoretical Interlude #6 “To have a conversion experience is nothing much. The real thing is to be able to keep on taking it seriously; to retain a sense of its plausibility.� Berger and Luckmann, p. 158


Feasibility and Eye to the Future

Sisyphus


Eye to the Future


In Conclusion… 


What Qualifies Someone to be a DPC in an Asian National School Something like a flexible principled ruthless relativism…?

Ummm….freak species…?


And Wither the Fate of that DPC?


Poetic Interlude #3 the process has a point of view although it lacks a plan it consecrates opinion of the group or of the man the process can be tampered with but one must take great pains to regard the ghouls that process fronts for ghouls weighted down with chains blood rites, human sacrifice, motions carried parliamentary procedures of every kind serve well to prettify men’s base designs but their rigidity may insult the mind so by all means make your end run around the process, subvert the stated order, bring fresh thinking but beware the ghouls of process which will claim their pound of flesh or better yet submit to process and to “the rules� establish your credentials and sanctify intent until you see that form is but an empty suit and process, when respected, can be bent


Image Credits             

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beatkueng/906534486/ http://blog.webshots.com/?p=1178 http://www.asiaarts.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=29472 http://blog.webshots.com/?p=1178 http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/b/big_brother_is_watching_you.asp http://wn.com/active_site http://www.greatunclebill.com/dmzpics.htm http://blog.webshots.com/?p=1174 http://currentphotographer.com/how-to-use-your-flash-outdoors-for-someinteresting-effects/ http://blog.webshots.com/?p=1174 http://www.freakingnews.com/Chameleon-Pictures-18678.asp http://www.myhealthguardian.com/health-files/out-of-reality http://www.flickr.com/photos/stand28/3293016200/ http://blog.webshots.com/?p=1178

    

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&biw=1010&bih=678&gbv=2&tbs=isch:1&sa=1&q =Sisyphus&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq http://coconutheadsets.com/2009/12/29/sisyphus-for-startups/ http://blog.webshots.com/?p=1178 http://codeforfood.org/2006/11/25/high-contrast-leaves/ http://giantelectric.blogspot.com/2010_03_01_archive.html http://www.clker.com/clipart-11317.html http://codeforfood.org/2006/11/25/high-contrast-leaves/


The End…

Thank You!


Day 1 Role of the Diploma Programme Coordinator in Asian National Schools