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International School Aut | 2020 | Volume 22 | Issue 2

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The magazine for international educators

The essential role of Teaching Assistants School governance research | How can we teach global competence? | A renaissance in reading


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Ask students who come to study in your country if they felt that they had to leave their culture at the airport. Sadly, the answer is usually ‘Yes’. This should never happen. Richard Mast, page 25

in this issue... comment Conference provides food for thought, Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson

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features Leading learning through developing the capacity of teaching assistants, Celine McKinley 7 Addressing VUCA vulnerability through the role of teaching assistants, Catherine Ige and Helen Chatburn-Ojehomon 10 The elephant in the room? James Hatch 13 Preparing for futures unknown, Sally Burns 15 How international schools are governed, Richard Gaskell 17 Paddington – a postcolonial critical perspective, Ziad Azzam 19

curriculum, learning and teaching

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How do you measure character? Joss Williams 21 How can schools teach global competence? Christina Hinton 22 International schooling in China – the starting point, Richard Mast 25 A feasible approach to maximize professional development opportunities, Mary van der Heijden and Marianne Yong-Macdonald 27 CHILI – The impact of a shared vision on learners in an international community, Anthony Crewdson and Michelle Hall 30 Meaningfully connecting teacher actions and student learning goals within the IB classroom, Laura Gutmann, Pai-rou Chen and Raymond L Pecheone 33 Fostering learning communities with Mantle of the Expert, Louise Ryan 35

regulars Fifth Column: Risk taking, theory and practice, E T Ranger 38 Science Matters: Mining the ocean floor, Richard Harwood 39 Conferences 40 Alice in Education Land: Meeting The Red Queen, Chris Binge 41

people and places

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Exploring the wilderness of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic Nigel Bidgood and David Griffiths 44 Anglo-Swedish connections: the Mary Rose and the Vasa Beth Baxter, Tilly Goldman and Mimi de Trafford 49 Increasing educational opportunities in Africa, Keith Allen 51 International student-teacher experiences, Melina Knispel and Christina-Jennifer Kulle-Gutoskie 53

sponsored content Where have all the teachers gone?, Liz Free 55 A renaissance in reading ability, Dolores Elliot-Wilson 57 Accreditation helps educators and assures parents, Annette Bohling 61 How could Lean principles apply in schools?, Blake Purchase 64 What to consider when purchasing teaching and learning software, Kim Edwards 65 Full-time and part-time studies through the University of Bath, Mary Hayden 67 book reviews

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Education in China, by Janette Ryan, reviewed by Malcolm Pritchard 71 Offline, by Imran Rashid and Soren Kenner, reviewed by Finja Kruse 73


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Comment

Conference provides food for thought Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson introduce the themes that emerge in this new issue Though we did not set out to base this issue of International School around a specific focus, it happens that a number of contributions this time have picked up related themes. Several have been prompted by authors’ participation in the October 2019 conference of the Alliance for International Education, which provided food for thought across different contexts – not least for the impressive students of the ITEps (International Teacher Education for primary schools) programme who aspire to careers in international schooling. Linked, loosely perhaps, to the idea of preparing for teaching in international schools is the Enko Education project described by Keith Allen, which provides international education for students in Africa at affordable rates through recruiting and supporting almost exclusively local, rather than expatriate, teachers. Indeed the theme of international education provided by ‘local’ teachers also occurs, in a different context, in Richard Mast’s informative article relating to the rapid growth of international schools in China established in response to increasing demand from Chinese as well as expatriate students. Richard’s reminder of just some of the issues arising as growing numbers of Western teachers take up posts in a very different cultural context from that of their previous experience, interacting with not only Chinese students but also Chinese teachers, is timely and important. Local teachers are highlighted too in James Hatch’s challenge to international schools to reflect on the differential contracts often operating in many parts of the world across overseas-hire, local (but expatriate) hire, and local teachers. Is it time for the hierarchy to be re-thought?

The value of employing local personnel is raised in two articles which focus on the very positive contribution to be made in international schools by local Teaching Assistants, who provide stability when expatriate teachers move on, who understand the local context, and who will often welcome support in developing relevant skills and expertise. The empowering of Teaching Assistants described in very different cultural contexts by Catherine Ige and Helen Chatburn-Ojehomon in Nigeria, and Celine McKinley in Jakarta, remind us of the value to an international school of the resource available through other contributors than the often higher profile expatriate teachers and administrators. Indeed, are we looking – across all of these articles, relating to local teachers and local Teaching Assistants – at the answer to the question noted by Liz Free as to how the future demand for international school teachers predicted by ISC Research will be met? Are we seeing the beginning of a major shift away from the traditional expectation of most teachers in international schools having to be globally mobile expatriates? More contributions on this topic for future IS issues will be welcome! And in thinking ahead to the next issue, we will also welcome articles with a focus in some way on the complex issues arising from language teaching within international schools. Our deadline for receipt of articles is 1 February, and we look forward to hearing from budding (and, indeed, experienced) authors by that date. In the meantime, we hope you will enjoy reading the current issue as much as we have enjoyed compiling it!

We’d like to hear your thoughts on this and any other articles in this magazine Email: editor@is-mag.com

Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson Editors Jonathan Barnes Editorial Director James Rudge Production Director Alex Sharratt Managing Director For Editorial enquiries contact Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson Email: editor@is-mag.com Website: www.is-mag.com International School© is published by John Catt Educational Ltd, 15 Riduna Park, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1QT, UK Company registration 5762466

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No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted in any form or by any means. International School is an independent magazine. The views expressed in signed articles do not necessarily represent those of the magazine. The magazine cannot accept any responsibility for products and services advertised within it. International School© 2019 ISSN 1461-395

The following enquiries should be directed through John Catt Educational Ltd. Tel: 44 1394 389850 Advertising: Madeleine Anderson, manderson@johncatt.com Circulation: Sara Rogers, srogers@johncatt.com Accounts: accounts@johncatt.com Printed by Micropress Printers, Reydon, Suffolk.

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Features

Leading learning through developing the capacity of teaching assistants Celine McKinley shares the results of a course designed to enhance classroom contributions As a class teacher and newly appointed Year Team Leader at the British School Jakarta I was fortunate enough to take part in the International Leadership and Management Programme (ILMP), which is designed to offer professional development for practitioners and to improve student learning in schools. For the past few years, British School Jakarta has chosen to implement this bespoke ILMP course that includes coaching on specific leadership projects. The ILMP programmes are based on current research combined with evidence and collective experience. They have been designed to impact on learning by improving knowledge, skills and understanding of school leadership and management. The focus of school leadership should be learning, which is its core business. Autumn

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“School leadership is second only to classroom instruction among all school-related factors that contribute to what students learn at school. While evidence about leadership effects on student learning can be confusing to interpret, much of the existing research actually underestimates its effects. Total (direct and indirect) effects of leadership on student learning account for about one quarter of the total school effects”. (Leithwood, 2004)

Being new to the role of Year Team Leader, I was keen to lead a team in a positive way that enabled us to achieve improved outcomes in teaching and learning. With this at the forefront of my mind, I asked myself: ‘How effective is the

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Features current use of in-class support provided by teaching assistants?’ The answer to my question was that although it was already good, there was room for improvement; as Year Team Leader I was in a position to make those improvements happen. My aim was to create an environment where there was enhanced teamwork and communication in order to achieve improved progression in learning across the cohort of students in Year One. Having the pleasure of working with an enthusiastic team of Indonesian teaching assistants, I decided to complete a project that would have benefits for teachers, teaching assistants and students alike. With this in mind, I began to develop a system that focused on developing the capacity of Year One teaching assistants. The initial idea was to have well planned and resourced booster groups delivered by the teaching assistants, based on the needs of the cohort of Year One students. I began to achieve this by: Changing the timetable. As with any project there were inevitably some challenges and hurdles to overcome. What I found straight away was that the first challenge was the logistics of carrying out these sessions, while trying to maintain the routine and structure that the students were used to. We managed this by finding a time within the school week that didn’t disturb class teaching time and that allowed for each session to be run twice per week. Once the teaching assistants and students became used to this new system it began to run quite smoothly. Sense of community/teamwork. Within our setting we have one teacher and one teaching assistant per class. When each teaching assistant had decided on the area they would deliver they were then paired up with a teacher from another class within the year group, rather than with the teacher they normally worked with. This had a really positive effect within the year group as a whole, as an abundance of communication between teachers and teaching assistants across the whole year group led to strong collaboration and a real sense of teamwork. Changing teaching and learning expectations. Pairing up a teaching assistant with a teacher different from their class teacher was an effort to develop communication between the year group teachers and teaching assistants. As we had some new teachers and teaching assistants to the year group, this was an opportunity to develop communication across the year group rather than only between the teacher and teaching assistant who worked with them. The teachers then supported their partnered teaching assistant with the planning and delivery of sessions. This was innovative in that the teaching assistants were in charge of the delivery of their session rather than being directed by the class teacher, as would normally happen in class. Empowering the teaching assistants. Teaching assistants chose an area that they would like to focus on for their booster sessions with the students. This enabled the teaching assistants to have ownership of what they were delivering and to feel confident in their abilities to support the students with their learning. Steve Covey (2008) suggests that building trust and respect has a significant impact on culture and climate, which definitely became evident throughout this project. This then led to opportunities for teaching assistants to demonstrate their skills to the Primary Leadership Team, thereby gaining the opportunity to apply for and gain their higher level teaching assistant qualifications within our school setting. Autumn

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The successes achieved during this project completely surpassed my initial intentions or expectations. There were noteworthy improvements as well as clear progression in student learning; the teaching assistants became empowered, and showcased their ability to develop their roles as educators. The increased communication proved to be invaluable across the year group. There is no doubt that what emerged at the end of this venture was extremely rewarding for all involved. Comments made by different teaching assistants included the following:

“I feel I have developed my skills in planning and how to teach Maths Mastery. It is very different from supporting other groups. I have to find different ways of teaching when the children find the lessons a little bit tricky.” “This booster group gave me more challenges to develop my skills in teaching as an educator. I am very happy to have had this opportunity.” “Planning in this way with the support of a teacher has made me feel more confident in my abilities to deliver the lesson.” Following on from this project, and after having presented my findings to the Primary Leadership Team, the school is continuing to move forward with upskilling the teaching assistants not only within the year group they are assigned to, but also across key stages, which will provide all teaching assistants with a broad area of skills enabling them to hold positions in any year group throughout the school. We believe in providing opportunities for local staff to develop and share their skills in an effort to create a positive working environment with teams of enthusiastic teaching assistants within an international school setting. Some of these opportunities have also included the teaching assistants attending and presenting at a Job Alike Workshop event in Kota Kinabalu. As educators, we have a responsibility to support the students in our care in the best way possible: something that teachers and teaching assistants feel equally passionate about at British School Jakarta. References Covey S (2008) The speed of trust. One thing that changes everything. London: Simon and Schuster Leithwood K (2004) How Leadership Influences Student Learning. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Celine McKinley is Year 1 Leader and Class Teacher at British School Jakarta Email: celine_mckinley@bsj.sch.id

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Features

Addressing VUCA vulnerability through the role of teaching assistants Catherine Ige and Helen Chatburn-Ojehomon offer an African perspective

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the school culture and pastoral roles that TAs have, when effectiveness is not measured by efficiency and control but by human development and participation (Cameron & Quinn, 2011: 53), these roles of the TA are important and essential. While expatriate teachers in international schools come and go, TAs often provide continuity for schools and stability for students. Long-serving host country national TAs help maintain school culture and history, though there is oftentimes a barrier in organizational advancement for host country national TAs working in African international schools. We work at the only authorized International Baccalaureate Spring |

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While Think Tanks such as the Education Endowment Fund claim that Teaching Assistants (TAs) are a high-cost, lowimpact intervention in schools (EEF, 2017), evidence of the overall impact of TAs on learning and teaching is currently lacking. Mansaray (2006) argues that ‘[T]he TA role is a form of boundary work, which involves bridging, mediating, and transgressing many of the hierarchical, symbolic, cultural and pedagogic status boundaries (eg teacher-pupil, home-school, etc) reproduced within schools’ (p 171). Although some approaches to education, especially those that emphasize efficiency and productivity, might not recognize as important

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Features (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) school in Nigeria, Ibadan International School. It is our experience that TAs have always played in important role in our school, and that TAs are essential members of many African international school communities. Recognizing the role of the TA in an international school is an action that promotes social justice. In Nigeria, a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – or ‘VUCA’ – terrain has been characteristic of the environment in which we have worked since our Pre-K to 12, not-for-profit private international school was established in 2003. Our environment experienced even more VUCA turbulence from the mid-2010s when several key events directly impacted operations at our school. These turbulent events included: • the rise of the terrorist group Boko Haram, which began to threaten schools directly, as evidenced by the kidnapping of the Chibok Girls, • the steep downturn of the Nigerian economy which led to financial sanctions and made it difficult to access foreign currency, • several workers strikes which closed schools for weeks at a time, and • the Ebola crisis which killed thousands across West Africa leading to mass school closures. These events forced us to re-evaluate our approach to strategic planning, as the practices common in other international schools became increasingly out of reach in

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our VUCA environment. In particular, attempting to recruit teachers internationally drained our resources. As the VUCA environment unfolded, we experienced candidate dropout, abrupt resignations, and job abandonment. To us, the most important qualities for PYP teachers have always been intercultural understanding, knowledge of inquirybased pedagogy, and enough broad-based knowledge to understand and develop transdisciplinary learning experiences in the classroom. Internationally-hired teachers always had these requisite professional skills and capabilities. Their open-mindedness about coming to work in Nigeria often manifested itself in high intercultural intelligence, and their presence had the added benefit of increasing the diversity of the school. Like many other international schools in Africa, we experienced pressure from our parent body to hire expatriate teachers, who often symbolize internationalism and are seen as bringing in modernized teaching and learning techniques in their teacher’s bags. While we often questioned such blind confidence in expatriate teachers, and recognized it as a form of racism, we understood the pressure we experienced. As we acclimatized to our VUCA reality, however, our eyes were opened to our TAs as a solution to the instability we were facing. Hiring TAs as teachers meant less initial training because the TAs were already familiar with the PYP’s inquirybased, transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, and recruitment could be achieved from within the school community. This led to recruitment strategies for TA positions which ensured that all newly-hired TAs had minimum qualifications of a teaching degree and an area of specialty

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Features

or experience, which also helped to diversify the professional skill set of our staff as a whole. By 2017, 27% of our PYP teachers were previously TAs at Ibadan International School, and by 2019 that number has increased to 44%. Our new TA hiring practice has transformed the TA role at our school into an apprenticeship. This has required teachers to take on the role of mentor for their TAs and build leadership as an organizational quality throughout the school. While we felt this was a positive shift, these additional expectations were not embraced by all teachers, and additional professional development and support were needed to ensure the teachers were equipped to accept more leadership in their roles. Initially, we also experienced push-back from parents who needed a great deal of reassurance to understand that host country nationals were just as equipped as expatriate teachers to be IB PYP school teachers. We saw this as an opportunity to promote social justice in education and break down some of the stereotypes of who and what an international school teacher might be or might look like. The school’s new approach promotes the understanding that teaching and learning is a shared responsibility of all members of the school community, in line with the ‘developmental’ and constructivist approach which has been described as a characteristic of transformative or positive school culture (Firestone & Louis, 1999: 305), and which is also in line with the philosophy of the IB PYP (IBO, 2009, 2017). What we have discovered is that in our ‘VUCA vulnerability’, with strong leadership we have been able to open the door to international teaching for many of our strong host country national TAs. This has built our organizational capacity, protected us from future VUCA shocks, promoted social justice in education, and changed the face of who can be an authentic PYP teacher in our community.

By 2017, 27% of our PYP teachers were previously TAs at Ibadan International School, and by 2019 that number has increased to 44%. References Cameron K S & Quinn R E (2011) Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework. John Wiley & Sons. Education Endowment Foundation (2017) Teaching and Learning Toolkit. Retrieved from https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/resources/ teaching-learning-toolkit/ Firestone W A & Louis K S (1999) Schools as cultures. In Murphy J & Louis K S (eds) Handbook of Research on Educational Administration, 2nd Ed. [pp 297-322] IBO (2017) Primary Years Programme. Retrieved from www.ibo.org/ programmes/primary-years-programme/ IBO (2009) Making the PYP Happen: a curriculum framework for international primary education. Cardiff: IBO Mansaray Ayo A (2006). Liminality and in/exclusion: exploring the work of teaching assistants. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 14(2): 171-187

Catherine M Ige is Head of School, and Helen Chatburn-Ojehomon is Deputy Head of School and PYP Coordinator, at the Ibadan International School, Nigeria. Email: mail@ibadaninternationalschool.com Spring |

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Features

The elephant in the room? James Hatch believes it’s time to lay to rest outdated and no-longer-digestible practices In October 2019 I attended the Alliance for International Education (AIE) conference, hosted on this occasion by the International School of Geneva. If you care deeply about the mission, ethos and trajectory of international schools and international education, then this is the conference for you. Filled with people committed to the ideals of international education, it is a conference that both within and without vibrantly discusses the opportunities and challenges facing international education. At the heart of this year’s discussion was enabling social justice as a core international school value. Demographic changes, increased competition and accreditation expectations ensured such a topic resonated and challenged all. From the group discussion to lunchroom chatter the conference vibrated with a cacophony of ideas. Autumn

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However, one of the most fascinating conversations took place daily at the lunch table and even during coffee breaks. It circled around the discord between international schools identifying justice as a cornerstone yet enabling and reinforcing inequality via teachers’ contracts. Traditionally teachers have often been invisible players in international schools. The literature on them was sparse and, when available, it presented them as deliverers of curriculum and international mindedness. However, thanks to the work of researchers such as Tristan Bunnell, Margaret Halicioglu, Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson, a light has been shone into the precarious nature of the role of the international teacher; a precarity on the rise with the expansion of an unregulated field. The topic of teachers’ contracts is not new, but perhaps

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Traditionally teachers have often been invisible players in international schools. The literature on them was sparse and, when available, it presented them as deliverers of curriculum and international mindedness.

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purchases a dwelling they should lose their housing and flight home allowance. While I am not aware of such a proposal having been implemented, the suggestion is that of a colonialist and reflects a mindset that international schools should be leaders in eradicating. Clearly, such discrepancies do not place international schools in a positive light, and have largely gone undiscussed as international schools often operate outside of local educational jurisdiction. This ‘do as I say, not as I do’ approach is at odds with the missions of the majority of international schools, which claim to be proponents of justice and equality. The need for consistency between stated mission and actual practice is of the utmost importance in the coming years, if international schools are to be considered legitimate. However, all is not lost. I believe the time is here for us as a community to rally around what we know and believe to be ethical. The collective movement to define what is an international school, combined with a rapidly expanding demand for teachers, offers the potential to lay to rest outdated and no longer digestible practices. If we are indeed to live our missions, we must start with how we treat those we ask to embody them for our students and the local community. The elephant in the room is moving. If we truly view ourselves as a viable alternative to a globalist, instrumentalist and potentially exploitative marketplace, then the time is right to reconsider the choices we are currently making: to live our mission and create a better world for all, including those we employ. Conrad Hughes’ opening remarks at the AIE conference in relation to the challenges Artificial Intelligence may pose to workforces is equally relevant to the current contract situations in international schools. Hughes stated that ‘It doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose to make a different decision’. I agree; we can choose to be better. James Hatch is Coordinator of Religious Studies and IB Diploma Coordinator at Seisen International School, Tokyo. Email: james.m.hatch@bath.edu Spring |

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the time is now right for a collective movement within international schools to align their stated missions with the lived lives of their faculty. As many will know, there are often three types of contract offered to teachers at international schools. For the sake of brevity these are summarised below in broad terms. By no means all forms and formats are included here, but academic literature and personal experience suggest them to be accurate. Type 1 is offered to locals, who are locally trained teachers. These contracts include a salary which is often, but not always, on par with their international colleagues. Also included are holidays and medical coverage. Type 2 is for non-locals, who usually have a teaching certificate from their native governing body. Traditionally these were often the spouses of someone sent overseas by their employer. As such, they did not always receive all the benefits of Type 1 contracts as it was assumed their supporting spouse would carry medical insurance. Additionally, they may or may not have collected some of the benefits that Type 3 teachers receive. Type 3 is for overseas hired teachers. In the past, such teachers were hired at overseas recruiting fairs, although the recent trend has been to engage them via online interviews as the overseas fair is increasingly less utilised. Type 3 contracts may include the same package as Type 1, but also typically include a substantial housing allowance, a moving-in benefit and flights home either every year or every two years. It is not unheard of for a teacher who was hired locally to end their contract, fly to a fair, only to be rehired on an overseas contract by the school from which they had just resigned. On the one hand, this situation suggests that there is an economic, globalist agenda at play that exploits the local resources at a lower price than their similarly qualified international colleague. Moreover, as the latest report from ISC Research indicates, over 80% of teachers in international schools are female, thereby suggesting the potential for a historically grounded gender bias in the outdated practices of such schools. Recently, in some regions, it is being proposed that if a Type 3 teacher marries a local and

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Features

Preparing for futures unknown Sally Burns considers which qualities we need to encourage in young learners ‘Knowledge is changing so fast that we cannot give young people what they will need to know because we do not know what it will be’ (Guy Claxton) This well-known quote in many ways sums up the challenges faced by education today. From a personal point of view, it is what inspired us to rework and relaunch Values and Visions. At the October 2019 conference of the Alliance for International Education (AIE) hosted by the International School of Geneva, Dr Simona Popa of the UNESCO International Bureau of Education talked of ‘preparation for the unknowns’, the ‘fastchanging context’ and ‘an unknown future’ or, as UNESCO says, ‘futures’. Dr Conrad Hughes considers such issues in more depth in his most recent book, where he speaks of ‘international organisations such as UNESCO and UNICEF grappling with challenges and problems at an international scale’ (Hughes, 2018). Attempts have been made to address these challenges. The twenty-first century competencies are a case in point, summarised as the four Cs: collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. In another initiative, in partnership with UNESCO, the International School of Geneva’s La Grande Boissière campus has devised the Universal Learning Programme (https://sites.google.com/ecolint.ch/ulp/home) which highlights seven competencies: lifelong learning, self-agency, interacting with others, interactively using diverse tools and resources, interacting with the world, multi-literateness and transdisciplinarity. They advocate teaching for deep understanding, assessing competencies and creating social impact, as noted in Dr Hughes’ keynote address to the AIE conference. In my opinion the clearly-defined competencies and the above approach are a major step in the right direction, and should definitely be at the heart of the curriculum, although they are not enough. We at Values & Visions (V&V) believe young people need inner strength to help them find meaning and purpose in the volatile world in which we live and into which they will step when they leave school. Let me elaborate on this. beautiful chaotic fast-paced volatile consumerist fragile uncertain changing exciting unpredictable

Figure 1: Today’s world is … Autumn

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Using a V&V activity called ‘Today’s World is…’. I have asked a number of educators to brainstorm words to describe today’s world. Some of the words that have come up are shown in Figure 1. I then go on to ask: ‘If you could give your child one gift or quality to engage actively with this world, what would it be?’ Countless teachers, governors and parents have been asked this over the years. Some of their responses are shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: One gift or quality In one whole-school workshop on globalmindedness, we clustered the qualities that emerged and came up with nine which we then prioritised, with ‘empathy’ coming out on top to become the focus of the semester’s work, threaded through curricular and extra-curricular activities. What we are coming back to here are values. But whose values? In his AIE keynote address, Conrad Hughes discussed at length the values behind the curriculums; those of the companies supplying the software and hardware now indispensable for schools, for example. He stressed the need for educators to be aware of these and their implications for learning. Fazal Rizvi, in his own AIE keynote address, echoed this when he differentiated between commercial and ethical values, asking how we teach the difference and how we talk to kids about values. He alluded to ‘public values’. These have emerged in the UK in the form of ‘British values’: a set of values which schools must instil in their students (GOV.UK, 2014). We at V&V argue that values cannot be instilled, cannot be taught. A group of trainee teachers from the ITEps (International Teacher Education for primary schools) programme at Stenden University expressed the problem

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Features with this very eloquently when they used a place value example to highlight how, like a digit, a value changes its meaning depending on where it is placed; in other words, its context. A ‘7’ in the units column is 7, while the same digit in the hundreds position is 700. The value of ‘respect’, for example, can mean something quite different in an EastAsian context as compared to a North-American context. Their course had presented them with a set of values to live and study by during their time there. These had caused much discussion amongst the students as some of the values were not ones they themselves would have chosen. They used the example of ‘sense of humour’ which may vary dramatically from culture to culture, and with which many of the students (and members of their audience) were uncomfortable. This is the problem with the ubiquitous mission, vision and values statements so prevalent in organisations and schools today. It is hard to work from them if you are given them and are not part of creating them, as the ITEps students showed. They, in fact, each added their own personal core value to the ITEps list and cited Elvis Presley’s words: ‘Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same but you leave ‘em over everything you do’.

the three qualities that have most influenced your life; in other words, your values. When we do this in a group with young people or with educators, we have everyone share their three qualities and we usually find there is a lot of overlap in the values, as in the ‘gift question’ above. What we are doing is enabling them to come up with a list of shared values, identifying what is important to them as a class, group or team. The difference between this and, for example, ‘British Values’ is that these are the individuals’ own core values. They are not imposed. It may be that some of them are the same, but the process is what counts here and there is a sense of ownership in the group. A student reflecting on this activity at the Takatuf Scholars summer residential enrichment programme wrote ‘I chose integrity, perseverance and being humble … because those are characteristics my grandfather had, and I aspire to be like him.’ He found he was not the only one who held those values dear. Another student at the same residential programme wrote ‘It was a good process because it squeezed our minds to choose the most important and relative values or qualities for us.’ Another of Rizvi’s questions was ‘How do you talk about public values?’ With V&V there is no set of public values. We don’t know what the values of the people we work with will be. Having used this activity many times in different cultural settings, my own assumptions were challenged in a Muslim context where the students almost all highlighted ‘religion’ as a core value and went on to explore what it would look like in practice. This was not a value that had come up for me before. Faced with unprecedented global challenges and inconceivable futures, the identified competencies are certainly an important part of what our students need. Sets of prescribed values are not what they need. Young people need inner strength which comes from living by what they believe in: their values. This is what we believe will prepare young people for the hitherto unknown global transformations they will face. References Burns S & Lamont G (2019) Values and Visions: Energising students, refreshing teachers. The Values and Visions Foundation.

This brings me back to the Values and Visions philosophy. As can be seen from Figure 3, values lie at the core of our Dynamic Learning Cycle. ‘Whether consciously or unconsciously, nearly everything we do, nearly everything we think and feel is coloured by what we believe matters, what we give value to’ (Burns & Lamont, 2019:2). In response to Rizvi’s question, we do not talk to kids about values, we set up situations where they can share what is important to them, what they believe: their values. We do this with teachers too. How? Well one way is shown in Figure 1: Today’s World is … (Burns & Lamont, 2019). Another way is to go into stillness and project yourself into the future, when you are eighty-five years old (a long way off for school students, though maybe not so far for some of us educators!). From this perspective, reflect on your life, what you have achieved, what has been important to you. Finally focus on

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Claxton G (undated) Learning to Learn: a key goal in a 21st century curriculum, London: QCA. Available from http://escalate.ac.uk/downloads/2990.pdf GOV.UK (2014) Guidance on promoting British values in schools published. Retrieved 14 November 2019 from https://www.gov.uk/government/ news/guidance-on-promoting-british-values-in-schools-published Hughes C (2018) Educating for the Twenty-First Century: Seven Global Challenges. Leiden; Boston: Brill Sense Presentations at 2019 Alliance for International Education conference, Geneva (Rethinking International Education – Values and Relevance): Conrad Hughes: Rethinking education: the Universal Learning Programme ITEps Student panel Simona Popa: Opening remarks Fazal Rizvi: Global Transformations and Educational Futures

Sally Burns is a teacher, a trainer, a writer, a researcher and a linguist, and one of the authors of Values and Visions (values-and-visions.com; @VandVLearning) Email: sally.burns@values-and-visions.com

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Figure 3: Dynamic Learning Cycle

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Features

How international schools are governed Richard Gaskell presents and evaluates the results of ISC Research’s governance report ISC Research has published its first report into governance practice in international schools. The report shares research conducted with over 400 international schools about typical governance practice, procedures and responsibilities. We produced the report in collaboration with the Principals’ Training Center and its Director, Bambi Betts. Why did we consider this research of value? Many international schools, in large part, work in isolation, because of either location, independent management, or competition. As a result, most international schools have no way of knowing how other international schools structure their governance framework and practices, or where they can learn from the examples of others, except through anecdotal feedback. This research offers international schools the chance to benchmark their governance structure and practice against others within this unique sector of education. It provides a baseline for evaluation and review, allowing schools to consider alternative, possibly better, ways of governance. The research explored typical approaches to the legal status, composition and decision-making of international school governing bodies. Analysis of these, and correlations made within the report, offer insight into just how diverse international school governance has become. Whether it exists as a single entity or as a fully elected and diverse board, governance plays a significant role in the ethos and moral purpose of an international school. The status and structure of governing bodies The research surveyed 403 international schools located in 44 countries, with a relatively even split of schools with a British or US orientation. 70% of the schools surveyed identified their legal status as not-for-profit. 21% were privately owned, and other statuses included charity, joint ventures, foundations, and government and diplomatic entities. According to the research, international schools appoint or elect their boards in a wide range of ways. The most popular approach (almost 57%) is self-perpetuating; the board voting for replacement board members. 50% had no elected board members. Some schools elect board members at an annual general meeting of the parent body, while others are screened by the existing board members and then elected by the parent body – or by school staff. Others are appointed by outside groups such as the owning company, mother school, religious affiliation or embassy, and others adopt a mix of appointment approaches. 60% of the for-profit schools surveyed are fully self-perpetuating, with no appointments from external

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sources or elections, compared to 42% of the non-profit schools surveyed. The size and nature of the board varies extensively too, ranging from one to 60 members, although typically they are between six and twelve in number. Constituents include parents (with or without a child in the school), staff, and representatives from a variety of connected organisations. For most governing bodies (almost 80%), all members have voting rights. Others limit the voting rights of teachers or senior leaders who are part of the board.

The frequency and structure of board meetings varies considerably from school to school. Almost 30% of the governing bodies in the research meet monthly, with 19% meeting termly and 17% meeting every half term. Over 81% conduct closed meetings, with some (almost 8%) conducting open meetings on occasion or by invitation. Taking responsibility and making decisions Responsibilities of international school governing bodies are wide and extensive. Most governing bodies in the survey said they are responsible for approving the annual school budget, appointing a new Head of school, ensuring financial stability of the school, approving capital expenditure and formulating and maintaining the school’s long-term plan. More than half of the schools said their boards are responsible for setting salaries, as well as reviewing and maintaining legal

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71% of governing bodies make decisions by majority vote and 70% of the schools surveyed use and follow a board policy manual. When the responses were analysed against legal status of the school, the research found that 87% of notfor-profit schools make decisions by majority vote compared to 70% of for-profit schools, while 50% of both for-profit and not-for-profit schools work from a policy manual. Although the responsibilities of school governance are significant and extensive, not many schools invest in training

Although the responsibilities of school governance are significant and extensive, not many schools invest in training for their board members other than initial induction. Board progress is also poorly monitored. 18

for their board members other than initial induction. Board progress is also poorly monitored. 63% of the schools surveyed leave their board to self-evaluate board progress and 14% said there is currently no board assessment process in place. A baseline for understanding This research demonstrates that there are no clearly defined approaches to international school governance. However, international schools want to know how their governance structure and practice compares to that of other international schools, and this report helps to inform alternative ways. In addition, international schools want to know what their governing bodies should be doing and what they could be achieving. Bambi Betts, who advised and partnered with ISC Research on this report, asks: “How can governing bodies develop and improve? … What are the benefits and potential challenges of moving from an elected to an appointed board? What are the dangers of modelling international school governance on that of a state or community school? Such big questions are frequently asked with little understanding of alternative frameworks in other, compatible international schools. This research provides a premise from which schools can start valuable conversations in order to move forward. It’s the first time international schools have had sufficient data to base their decisions regarding governance on anything other than hunches or personal experience.” We hope you will find that this first report helps to start such conversations in your own school. Richard Gaskell is Schools Director at ISC Research: www.iscresearch.com The report is free of charge and available from ISC Research at enquiries@iscresearch.com Spring |

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requirements for the school that are set by local or national government. Other responsibilities vary significantly.

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Features

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Paddington – a postcolonial critical perspective How a childhood favourite of Ziad Azzam returned with some challenging questions I earned my International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma in 1987, at a school in Sharjah. I know that a deluge of questions may now be flooding the minds of many readers. Did the IB Diploma Programme even exist at that time? Yes, it did. Where in the world is Sharjah? Sharjah is one of seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Did I ride a camel to school? No, I did not. It was much faster to catch Autumn

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a ride on the wings of a peregrine falcon, and occasionally (only occasionally, mind you, because of the great expense involved in hiring it) I took a magic carpet to school. Now that I have satiated your curiosity, I shall return to the topic at hand. The school I attended was international: the medium of instruction was English, many of my teachers in the primary years were either British or Irish, the student body

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Statue of Paddington bear by sculptor Marcus Cornish, at Paddington Station, London

only possible conclusion that I can draw is that the bear’s native name is insignificant, much like his past and the country that had brought him into the world. The bear only becomes worthy of our attention, and indeed humanized, once he takes the name, mannerism and way of thinking of his new English family. The moral of this tale might seem to be: If you are a teacher of English language or the humanities, and your profession has led you to a country that is not where you were born or raised, then you owe it to the students in your charge to open their minds to the various agencies that may be at play, hidden under the surface of the written text. I will end here with the following words directed at my old companion, the brave bear from Peru (with apologies for the poor translation):

‘Hola amigo viejo. Debo disculparme, ya que no es mi intención criticarte. Eres la víctima, como otros que han estado bajo la nube del colonialismo. Y si alguna vez leyó este artículo, escríbame y hágame saber su nombre peruano.’ References Achebe C (1977) An Image of Africa, in Things Fall Apart: A Norton Critical Edition. London: Ed Francis. Bond M (1958) A Bear Called Paddington. London: William Collins & Sons (first publication). Bond M (2007) Paddington – The Original Story of the Bear from Peru. London: HarperCollins. Conrad J (1902) Youth: a Narrative, and Two Other Stories. William Blackwood. Said E W (1994) Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books. Svensson M (2010) Critical responses to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Accessed via http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:356589/ fulltext01.pdf

Ziad Azzam started his career as a teacher, was subsequently head of an international school in Dubai, and now serves on the board of Taaleem in the UAE. Email: ziadjazzam@gmail.com Spring |

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was a diverse mix of nationalities and, at the time, my school was the only one in the UAE offering the IB Diploma. Not to belabour the point, it even had the word ‘International’ in its name. Generally my teachers were caring and attentive, but some had the unfortunate habit of asking students for their ‘Christian’ names. Out of politeness, of course, I would respond, but it did bother me a bit. I wish I had had the courage then of saying to them: ‘I shall give you my Christian name, Sir/Miss, when you give me your Muslim one’. As a youngster, I loved to read (I still do). My favourite character when I was about seven years of age was Paddington bear (Bond, 1958). I had all of his stories; posters of Paddington adorned the walls of my bedroom, and little stickers of him peppered my notebooks and school textbooks. It was puppy love in all its manifestations. In my teenage years I took to more serious novels, and one that captivated me was Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1902), for here was a bold statement about the immorality of the presence of Europeans in Africa. Furthermore, in my eyes at least, it was and still is a beautifully crafted work of fiction, combining adventure in the physical sense (as the narrator journeys down the river Congo in search of his target, Mr Kurtz) with adventure in the conceptual sense (into the human mind). Decades after first reading Heart of Darkness, I discovered the controversies surrounding the novella; in particular, Chinua Achebe’s critique in which he accuses Conrad of being a racist (Achebe, 1977), and Edward Said’s later defense of Conrad (Said, 1994). I shall not dwell further on this issue, other than to direct the attention of those who wish to learn more to Morgan Svensson’s 2010 essay. I shall say, though, that the experience opened up a new window for me through which I could critically engage with stories that I had long loved and cherished, including the tales of the little bear from Peru. Not many nights ago I was reading Paddington – The Original Story of the Bear from Peru (the 2007 picture-book version) to my youngest son, who is four. It was probably the hundredth time he and I had read the story together at bedtime. And questions that, I am sure, had been bubbling away in the depths of my mind began to surface. Why, when asked, does the bear refer to his country as ‘Darkest Peru’? What is so dark about Peru? In the past I would have dismissed the adjective as a tool to inject a bit of mystery, or exoticism, into the narrative. Or perhaps I would have inferred that the author intended it as reference to a particularly dense forest from which the bear may have originated. But now I wonder if I can dismiss the use of the word with such innocent explanations. After all, Bond does not say ‘the darkest part of Peru’, but rather ‘Darkest Peru’, condemning the whole country to ‘Darkness’. Are we to interpret Bond’s ‘Darkness’ as the absence of light, or the absence of knowledge and reason (as in the Dark Ages)? Later on in the story, having decided to take the bear into their care, Mr and Mrs Brown decide to give him a name: ‘We’ll call him Paddington – after the station’ Mrs Brown pronounces after a moment’s thought. Significantly, and up to that point in the tale, the bear is referred to with the pronoun ‘it’. But as soon as an Anglo-Saxon-sounding name is assigned to ‘it’, the bear transforms into a ‘he’. And this is where I am completely baffled by the story. Why, when the bear had demonstrated perfect command of English from his very first verbal exchange with the Browns, did they never think to ask him his name? The

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

How do you measure character? Joss Williams explains why it is so important to look beyond a school’s exam results It has been my pleasure and privilege, since arriving in Amman, to meet a broad range of dedicated and expert educators: from fellow nerds (there is no higher praise in my lexicon) at the Princess Sumaya University for Technology, to those remarkable teachers with whom I work, to the leaders of some outstanding local schools. I have even taken tea with the Minister for Education himself. And we talked. All of us. We talked about inclusion, about recruiting and retaining the best teachers, and the need for excellent education for all in Jordan, and safeguarding children, and behaviour management, and what the world of tomorrow will look like and how we are going to produce the flexible, bright, morally centred workers that our wonderful country and the world need. We tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky. And not even once did we talk about results. Instead, we talked about pupils. I do not decry the outstanding achievements of our brightest and best. Zeina and Rashid are two astonishing people, who gained 45 points in the summer in the IB Diploma, and I have no doubt that they are going to change the world – each of them – for the better. They are bright and diligent and kind; proud Jordanians to the core, and in the end that is going to be the most remarkable thing about them. But a few days ago I spent a little time with another of our recent alumni who, purely numerically, did less well. He and his family recently suffered a bereavement, and I saw in his eyes dignity, and strength, and steadfastness, and a sense of duty to his beloved grandfather whose proud name he carries, and I know just as well that this young man is going to make his mark in life. His upbringing has grounded him and given him the best chance to make the most of himself. Numbers do not matter when you have character. We measure that which is measureable, and think that this is the end of the argument, yet if we pause for a moment, we can all name people who made a slightly less straightforward path to where they are. I am one of them. We all know that top grades and world-renowned universities are just one pathway. I attended some well-regarded universities, which tells you something, I suppose, about the kind of mind I have. But I learned my values from my family and my first employer, and from my colleagues I learned what excellent teaching looks

like; I learned what sensitive and sensible pastoral care looks like and about compassionate leadership. I was taught to lift my gaze and look at the whole picture of global education. I was educated in its true sense. I read books and I talk, and the best learning I have ever done has been incidental, from those I met along the way, and free, and utterly uncountable and beyond measure. Your best teachers are those who see the best in you. The pathway for a school to the top of the results tables is pretty straightforward; miserable but straightforward: be highly selective in the first place; push out the pupils who stumble; unilaterally withdraw pupils from exams if they look slightly below par at the last minute; remove choice and select their subjects for them. Ignore the arts and sports and mentoring and enrichment, and instead just teach to the exams. It is just wrong and we all know it. The best schools put the child at the centre of the decision-making process and make sure the child does better than she would elsewhere, regardless of her background or starting point. The best schools teach well, set goals that are proximal but challenging, support pupils pastorally, encourage breadth and new experiences, let them stumble and build resilience, and they teach values and standards. In educational terms, it is called, rather flatly, valueadded. It means so much more than that term implies, but the truth is that the best schools in the world do not have the best raw results; they add the most to the character and experience and achievements of each child. Then the results take care of themselves and mean that those pupils are ready to take the next step on their journey. So when you are choosing a school, don’t look at raw results, just ask one question: ‘Will my wonderful, unique child do better here than elsewhere?’ And the answer to that, you will be delighted to know, is measurable, but more importantly, worth measuring.

The best schools put the child at the centre of the decisionmaking process.

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Joss Williams is Principal of Amman Baccalaureate School, Jordan. This article originally appeared in The Jordan Times on 24 September 2019, and has been reproduced with permission. Email: jdjw@abs.edu.jo

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How can schools teach global competence? Christina Hinton shares five practices that promote students’ global competence How can our youth deal with contemporary global challenges, such as climate change, social divisions in diverse societies, and an internationally interdependent economy? To tackle these challenges, students need global competence, which PISA defines as the ability to examine global issues, understand and appreciate different perspectives, interact respectfully with others, and take action toward sustainability and collective well-being. The team I lead at Research Schools International (RSI) carried out a research study to investigate how schools can support students to develop global competence. We partnered with Round Square to collect data from teachers and students in their international network of schools, collecting data in 147 schools across 34 countries (Figure 1). We analyzed these data using quantitative and qualitative methods to identify learning activities that promote global competence. The study examined measurable PISA global competencies that comprise global competence. It included the following five PISA global competencies: adaptability,

global-mindedness, openness to diversity, perspective taking, and respect for other cultures, which are defined in OECD/ PISA (2018). In addition, it included the following 6 additional PISA global competencies: attitudes toward immigrants, awareness of global issues, awareness of intercultural communication, engagement (with others) regarding global issues, interest in learning about other cultures, and selfefficacy regarding global issues, which are based on a scales PISA provided for use in this study. Our analysis revealed five key learning activities that support global competence. These learning activities were statistically significantly related to multiple PISA global competencies. In addition, the majority of teachers and students rated them as ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ at promoting global competence (Table 1). Further, participants shared accounts of how these activities nurtured global competence in schools around the world and provided insights into how to implement them effectively.

Figure 1: Teacher and student participants by geographical location Spring |

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

Learning activities

Teacher rating

Student rating

Percent of teachers who rated Percent of students who rated each activity as ‘effective’ or each activity as ‘effective’ or ‘very effective’ at promoting ‘very effective’ at promoting global competence global competence Volunteering

90%

76%

Participating in events celebrating cultural diversity

83%

68%

Learning how to solve conflicts

82%

71%

Learning about different cultural perspectives

86%

81%

Participating in classroom discussions about world events

90%

76%

Table 1. Teacher and student ratings of learning activities Volunteering services to help people in the wider community was statistically significantly related to eight global competencies (Figure 2). The baseline in this graph is the predicted score for each global competency for students who participated in this activity ‘almost never’, ‘rarely,’ or ‘sometimes.’ The bars show the predicted difference in each global competency score from the baseline for students who participated in the activity ‘often’ or ‘very often.’

for other cultures. Volunteering was most impactful when it involved a long-term partnership that gave students the opportunity to form empathetic connections with the people in the communities they were serving. Participating in events celebrating cultural diversity throughout the year was statistically significantly related to eight global competencies (Figure 3). This graph shows the predicted difference from the baseline in each global competency score for students who participated in this activity ‘often’ or ‘very often.’

Figure 2. Relationship between volunteering and PISA global competencies Participants shared rich examples of how volunteering promoted global competence. Students often reported that it engendered a sense of responsibility to support people living in poverty, which is central to global-mindedness. Other participants discussed how it nurtured a respect

Many students reported that these glimpses into other cultures piqued their interest in other cultures. Autumn

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Figure 3. Relationship between events on cultural diversity and PISA global competencies Participants shared a wide range of examples of events promoting cultural diversity, such as conferences, discussion forums, global debates, athletic/academic competitions, foreign language events, observances of religious and cultural holidays, and community-oriented events showcasing a variety of different cultures. Many students reported that these glimpses into other cultures piqued their interest in other cultures and promoted respect for people from other cultures. Teachers and students both emphasized the importance of contextualizing events celebrating cultural diversity in a larger educational strategy with extension activities. Learning how to solve conflicts with others in the classroom was statistically significantly related to eight global competencies (Figure 4). This graph shows the predicted difference from the baseline in each global competency score for students who participated in this activity ‘often’ or ‘very often.’

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Curriculum, learning and teaching was statistically significantly related to five global competencies (Figure 6). This graph shows the predicted difference from the baseline in each global competency score for students who participated in this activity ‘often’ or ‘very often.’

Figure 4. Relationship between learning to solve conflicts and PISA global competencies Participants spoke of how learning to solve conflicts in the world developed an awareness of global issues as they learned about conflicts around the world and the issues associated with them. Further, many students reported that they collaborated with classmates from different backgrounds on projects about solving conflicts in the world and therefore developed an awareness of intercultural communication as well. Learning about different cultural perspectives was statistically significantly related to six global competencies (Figure 5). This graph shows the predicted difference from the baseline in each global competency score for students who participated in this activity ‘often’ or ‘very often.’

Figure 6. Relationship between discussions about world events and PISA global competencies Many students described how these discussions developed their understanding of global issues and boosted their selfefficacy regarding global issues. Students often spoke about these discussions as powerful learning experiences. Our survey asked students which activities they would like schools to offer more to support them to develop global competence. Across countries, students requested more opportunities to discuss current events from a global perspective. Next steps The five key learning activities identified in this study can be effectively adapted for use in a diversity of schools across many countries. RSI will therefore launch a program of work in which our research team works with an international network of schools to support them to deepen their integration of these five learning activities. With this work, we hope to support schools to give students the tools to create a global society that is more harmonious, more capable of international collaborations that support breakthroughs in fields such as science, health, and technology, and more responsible about taking care of our planet. Reference

As there are many ways that students can gain exposure to different cultural perspectives, participants shared varied examples of this learning activity, ranging from international exchanges among students, to school clubs celebrating diversity, to exchanges of ideas, to living in a boarding school with students of different backgrounds. Participants discussed many ways that learning about different cultural perspectives nurtured global competence. Most often, participants reported that this activity cultivated an openness to diversity. Participating in classroom discussions about world events

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OECD/PISA (2018) Preparing our Youth for an Inclusive and Sustainable World: The OECD PISA Global Competence Framework. Available via www.oecd.org/ education/Global-competency-for-an-inclusive-world.pdf

Dr Christina Hinton is Founder and Executive Director at Research Schools International (www.researchschoolsinternational.org) Email: researchschoolsinternational@gmail.com

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Figure 5. Relationship between learning about different cultural perspectives and PISA global competencies

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

International schooling in China – the starting point Richard Mast makes a call to action to establish genuine and lasting collaboration There are now many schools across China offering international education in some form to Chinese students. This phenomenon has evolved over time and is gaining a high level of prominence. The typical approach is to find the legal and operational structure to be able to offer this service. In most cases, there are foreign teachers and administrators involved. Chinese teachers and administrators perform their roles, ranging from being fully in charge through to having supportive roles. Foreign administrators can have high level leadership responsibilities and the foreign teachers are there as the experts in international education. This situation can be seen as a coming together of parallel universes. All the participants are able to interact as if they share the same dimension, but that is not the reality. The Chinese world is a way of thinking, interacting with the universe, perspectives and methods of action that are fundamentally different from the western-constructed universe of the foreign teachers and administrators. The schools are offering education that includes the use of an international curriculum. This Trojan Horse is placed into the Chinese world and then all the participants try to merge the Western pedagogy, assessment and cultural values with China. How can this work? One starting point is to understand what is happening and to develop a successful model that supports the decision by parents to send their children to the school. Parents are paying for their child and their family to gain the benefits of an education that includes the learning of English and attaining advantages from the international component. At least, on the surface that appears to be the reason. To a large extent, these are the responses parents will give when asked, because it is likely that they may be underestimating the potentially negative effects of placing their child in an educational experience that is dominated and shaped by western education and values. What the parents do not want is also important to recognise. They do not want their child to be ‘Westernised’ through experiencing an international curriculum, the pedagogy or the cultural essence that underpins them. Chinese culture and values must be not only preserved but also enhanced and honoured in the education process. The danger – the reason for tension in these schools – is that a structure is created that achieves very little in terms of what the parents and the foreign educators are seeking. To start Autumn

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the process of having Chinese schools fulfil a promise that is valid, is reflective of the culture and allows the students to gain benefits from international education in a way that supports the values and ambitions of the family, we have to look at the dynamics. Let us assume that international education, in some form, has a place in an education process for Chinese students. For this to happen, there have to be benefits. If international educators are asked what the benefits are of international education, they could provide a list. Look at any of the documentation available from the international curriculum providers and you will see the list, or at least a starting list, and then examination of the pedagogy and assessment will show the emphasis of the learning and so what is valued. Show this same information to Chinese parents, teachers and administrators and you may not find agreement. Herein lies the challenge. Even if the parents, teachers and administrators agreed with some of the list of advantages, there is need for significant caution. This situation is one of the traps of bringing the parallel universes into a common location. How the Chinese parents, teachers and administrators interpret the list is the critical part of the process. Their interpretation will be very different from that of the developers of the curriculum, the examining authority and the foreign teachers and administrators in their statements. If a school is created with a combination of Chinese teachers and administrators with foreign teachers and administrators for Chinese students, this question has to be addressed: ‘what are the advantages that the school can bring to the learning and development of the students?’ It is wise to assume that the perspectives of everyone in this situation are not aligned. The school needs to engage in an in-depth dialogue to flesh out the answer for its community. There is potentially an immovable object or two in the room. When the school hires the foreigners, they are hiring experts in international education. That is correct. However, they are not experts in Chinese culture, education or the learning and thinking of students. The experts in this domain are the Chinese teachers, administrators and parents. If the school accepts the idea that the international curriculum is the immovable, inflexible object then there is a problem. It is important to remind the foreign teachers and administrators of one of the foundational elements of western education. The heritage of the Age of Enlightenment has resulted in a

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This is a call for genuine cooperation. A partnership. A coming together of equals. Each participant has a key piece of the puzzle. Another factor has to be recognised. The Chinese teachers, parents and administrators tend to accept the idea that international education is better and of value. They are not experts in the type of education they are bringing into their world and that of their students. Therefore they do not know or recognise the cultural values and assumptions that are entering the world of their children. For this to work, we need to have a very different approach. The foreign teachers and administrators need to accept that they will have to change their methods of teaching, assessment and operating to be able to honour their commitment to the individualised learning journey of the students and the Chinese teachers and administrators. If they do not change, if they hold on to the international approaches they are so good at using in a western culture, they will risk their purpose and effectiveness as teachers and administrators. The way they are perceived will be the telling factor. If they dogmatically hold on to ‘the way it is always done’ overtly or covertly, the parents, students, teachers and administrators will interpret this as a form of cultural and educational imperialism. This should not happen. The answer for the foreign teachers is to take advantage of all the skills and processes that are in their experience set,

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to shape a culturally attuned learning and teaching process that benefits the students in the ways that it should. This has to be a learning environment in which the foreign teachers are using all their skills to develop an effective and successful learning experience. Success should be measurable from a learning as well as a cultural perspective. The answer for the Chinese teachers and administrators is to step forward and teach the foreigners about China. Not only in the sense of its history and festivals, but also in a much more meaningful way that teaches the foreigners how a Chinese child will interpret the curriculum, the lesson activities, the statements the teacher makes, the assignment wording, the assessment activities and the operational expectations of the school. Without this knowledge and understanding the foreign teachers cannot be the experts it was assumed they should be. This is a call for genuine cooperation. A partnership. A coming together of equals. Each participant has a key piece of the puzzle and for the sake of the students, their parents and the school, the communication has to be clear and open. There have to be probing questions and a willingness to dig deep to find the real meaning of a situation. Once a teacher or administrator (Chinese or foreign) identifies the correct way to start, a much richer journey of learning, development and discovery can be created. The first step is to accept each other for who we are. Typically, when foreigners are introduced to Chinese teachers, administrators and students they hear an English name for that person. This is done to be courteous and it makes name recognition easy for the foreigner. This is not, though, the place to start a relationship. All people are defined by their name. Chinese people have a deep sense of their connection to family and ancestors. There is a very clear reason why the family name comes first. For this journey to start, the foreigners have to resist the temptation to use the English name, even if the person insists. Learn the person’s real name and use it. This is the signal that has to be sent, to show that you are prepared to respect the people and to work with them, to create the relationship that is going to be needed for the school to succeed. This is the first step and it is huge. The notion of talking to a person and using their name is important no matter what culture they inhabit. What has to be clear is that all of us have an identity that is partially but importantly represented by our names. If a person feels that they have to present themselves with another identity via the use of a personal name from another person’s culture, something very wrong is happening. Ask students who come to study in your country if they felt that they had to leave their culture at the airport. Sadly, the answer is usually ‘Yes’. This should never happen. No student should feel that they have to leave their culture at the school gates or at the classroom door. Our responsibility as educators is to reach out to our students and provide an open, caring, respectful environment for learning. Imposing our values or rejecting their culture is not the way. Richard Mast trains Chinese and foreign teachers and administrators in China and Australia. Email: rmast617@gmail.com

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foundational belief that all students are unique and that their learning journey is unique. It is the mission of the teacher to consider the student’s uniqueness and then determine how to ensure that the student has a successful learning journey. Given this premise, it is important to remind the foreigners of where they are and who their students are. Chinese students will always think in a Chinese way. They have a perspective in relation to teaching and learning that is shaped by their culture and experience. They will always interact with the teaching and learning presented to them in ways and layers that are unknown to the foreign teacher. The best foreign teachers and administrators will accept this situation, and do what has to be done to provide the inclusive education that each student deserves. This is also true for foreign teachers and administrators interacting with Chinese teachers, administrators, parents and educational authorities. The foreign teachers and administrators have to accept a potentially uncomfortable and threatening position. They have to adapt and adjust to China, not the other way around.

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

A feasible approach to maximize professional development opportunities Mary van der Heijden and Marianne Yong-Macdonald describe how they supported educators in their professional learning Imagine yourself sitting in a room learning all about painting landscapes, watching videos and discussing strategies. How likely is it that you will be able to paint a landscape masterpiece the next day if you have only ever painted still life? Similarly, even for the most experienced teacher, implementing new Autumn

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skills is far more challenging than learning about them. On average, it takes about 20 individual practices for a teacher to master a skill, and the number increases as the complexity of the skill increases (Joyce & Showers, 2002). In fact, it is often suggested that one-off workshops are ineffective because

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in schools. If teachers attend off-campus workshops or workshops on campus led by external providers, the teachers may lack the much-needed ongoing support to be able to implement new skills effectively, and/or shift behaviours and mindsets. In addition, schools may find it a challenge to provide the kind of support needed due to lack of resources, especially in terms of time and expertise. Concerned with the notion of how to move teachers to Level 2 and beyond, we decided that the most appropriate approach for us to take was to incorporate the following opportunities: • A combination of individual and collaborative sessions • Support from an external expert (remotely) on content • Follow up coaching sessions externally (remotely) and internally face to face by the in-school lead of the initiative This flexible approach meant that teachers were given input and had time to internalise new knowledge and embed skills through reflection. To maximise the learning, a key element of our approach was the use of coaching, with teams, groups and individuals. The design for this was simply two-fold: external input at strategic points (not just a one-off workshop), combined with internal support, where coaching and collaboration played a key role. Fortunately, the use of coaching in educational settings around the world has flourished in recent years and there is growing agreement that it can have a transformative effect on teachers and indeed on leaders. The training itself (external input) incorporated Darling-Hammond et al’s (2017) factors for effective professional development; for example the use of focused content, modeling strategies, and collaborative opportunities. However, the aspect we found most effective in working towards sustainable outcomes was providing opportunities for planning and reflection through cycles of individual coaching sessions linked to key learnings from the training.

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they do not support teachers during the implementation stage where the learning curve is the steepest. We now know that such workshops have little or no positive impact on student achievement, and are ineffective in transforming practice (Yoon et al, 2007; Darling-Hammond et al, 2017), especially if the workshops are not specific enough or sustained enough to change classroom culture and teacher behaviours (Fullan, 2007). Darling-Hammond et al, in a 2017 study, conducted on effective professional development for teachers, defined effective professional development as ‘structured professional learning that results in changes to teacher knowledge and practices, and improvements in student learning outcomes’. Findings from this study suggest that focused content, modelling of teaching strategies, support for collaboration, feedback and reflection, and being sustained over a long period of time are all important factors in making professional learning sustainable. Consequently, the chances are increased of seeing a transformation in the classroom culture and practices of the participating teachers. How then can schools provide opportunities for professional development that is transformational, costeffective and time-efficient for their teachers? As senior leaders, we have both been concerned by this phenomenon. The challenges we faced brought the opportunity for us to innovate a training model for groups of middle leaders and early years teachers in international schools. We found that by adapting the Kirkpatrick model, as well as incorporating the professional learning design principles (noted above) from the report of Darling-Hammond et al (2017), we appeared to improve the learning for our participants, leading to observed positive changes in their behaviours. The Kirkpatrick model supports the idea that sustained training and evaluation are significant in achieving desired results from the training itself. Many trainers may have heard of the Kirkpatrick model, though relatively few consider or know how to push feasibly beyond Level 2, especially

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

For us, remote coaching was most feasible for the schools in terms of expertise, cost and time to go beyond Level 2 of Kirkpatrick’s model. Taking the knowledge gained in the training, practising new skills in the classroom and/or with teams, and reflecting on and sharing what success looks like empowered teachers to make informed decisions. Furthermore, our coachees showed a change in their behaviours and mindsets. Our combined model of focused, intermittent training supported by coaching at strategic intervals has shown promising results in maximising professional development opportunities. We recognise the value of one-off training events, but have strategically sought a further enhancement of these opportunities. Andy Buck (2018) supports Goleman’s notion that whilst there are short-term benefits to training, more time and focus should be spent on reflecting and on what he calls ‘self-directed learning’. Through our approach, a bridge between Level 2 and Level 3 was created, not only for one or two people that the school could afford to send to a one-off workshop. Instead a cost-effective, timely professional learning opportunity was provided for all, where aspects could be tried and tested ‘on the job’ while coaching maximised and extended the period of learning over time. Now back to painting that landscape ...

References Buck A (2018) Leadership Matters 3.0, John Catt Educational Ltd Darling-Hammond L, Hyler M E & Gardner M (2017) Effective teacher professional development. Learning Policy Institute Fullan M (2007) The new meaning of educational change, 4th edition, 35. New York City, NY: Teachers College, Columbia University. Joyce B R and Showers B (2002) Student achievement through staff development. National College for School Leadership. Kirkpatrick J D & Kirkpatrick W K (2016) Kirkpatrick’s four levels of training evaluation. Association for Talent Development. USA Yoon K S, Duncan T, Lee S W, Scarloss B & Shapley K L (2007) Reviewing the Evidence on How Teacher Professional Development Affects Student Achievement. Issues & Answers. REL 2007-No. 033. Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest (NJ1)

Marianne Yong-Macdonald is Head of School at Ashwood Glen, Hamilton Ontario, as well as Founder & Director of International Educator Training Company (IETC) Email: marianneyongmacdonald@gmail.com Mary van der Heijden is an independent consultant and Director of On Route Education Email: maryvanderheijden@gmail.com

Taking the knowledge gained in the training, practising new skills in the classroom and/or with teams, and reflecting on and sharing what success looks like empowered teachers to make informed decisions.

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

CHILI – The impact of a shared vision on learners in an international community Anthony Crewdson and Michelle Hall describe how their school has benefitted from pinpointing its guiding principles

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Curriculum, learning and teaching Greengates School is a British international school located just north of Mexico City, with a strong and successful tradition of learning. The school, founded in 1951, now has over a thousand students. With students aged from 3 to 18, it consists of both a Primary School fully accredited in the International Early Years Curriculum (IEYC) and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), and a Secondary School offering IGCSE and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. There is a truly international community at Greengates School of over 50 different nationalities, which is celebrated in everyday school life, in the school’s shared vision, and through a variety of community events. The shared vision was developed by thinking about what makes Greengates School unique; what is considered central to what we do, what attributes we believe are most important to develop in our learners, and the IPC Personal Goals. This began by looking at the Greengates School Mission Statement, written in 1951, and pulling out aspects that were thought to be pertinent to our learners and community. It was found that the words ‘multi-cultural’, ‘community’, ‘character’ and ‘academic excellence’ were key elements of the mission and thus became the pillars around which we based our shared vision. It was through this process that the acronym CHILI (Characterful, Happy, Independent Learners who are Internationally Minded) was derived, fitting in beautifully with living in Mexico. Our school vision was born! Impact on Learning The impact that a shared vision has had on the learning at Greengates School cannot be overstated. A unified understanding of CHILI for all stakeholders – learners, leaders, teachers, parents/carers and community – ensures that all school initiatives are implemented with the appropriate direction i.e. working towards realising our shared vision. Each individual element of CHILI can be unpacked with particular reference to its impact on learning, as follows: C – Characterful Underpinning the curriculum are the Personal Learning Goals of respect, adaptability, morality, resilience, enquiry, cooperation, communication and thoughtfulness (International Primary Curriculum). We aim to foster these individual qualities and dispositions in order to provide our students with the skills necessary to be successful in the modern world. The inclusion of these Personal Learning Goals in our shared vision of CHILI ensures that the personal development of our students is at the forefront of our educational programme. H – Happy Current research tells us that happy children learn better. A focus on fostering positive and respectful student/teacher relationships, and ensuring that the well-being of our students is catered for, allows for a productive environment conducive to learning. Therefore, happy students form an Autumn

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integral part of our shared vision. I – Independent This element of our shared vision particularly references our desire to empower learners and promote student agency at Greengates School. The students are provided with many opportunities to explore what and how they like to learn, and use this awareness to influence their own path through the curriculum. As a result, we are developing motivated, independent thinkers who are driven by an understanding of their own learning. L – Learners Although Learners serves as the noun in the acronym necessary for it to make sense, much of the professional dialogue at Greengates School centres on this element. During these conversations, we often return to the questions of How will this impact on learning? and How are we ensuring rigour in our curriculum? Ultimately, we do this by differentiating the curriculum (we apply CHILI and use the differentiated levels of Hot, Spicy and Extra Spicy) so that learning can be accessed by all students and by ensuring high expectations are set and maintained. We celebrate student progress and achievement by recognising students as CHILI Champions. I – Internationally Minded The final element of our shared vision encompasses International Mindedness. We aim for our students to have a strong sense of self, and to understand and respect national, international and intercultural perspectives, as well as encouraging students to see themselves as global citizens. International Mindedness in our shared vision works to ensure that the direction of the learning at our school is always inspiring students towards positive action on global issues. Impact on Community Being part of an international community made up of many different nationalities is a privilege and a challenge for international schools. How can we recognise Mexico and also celebrate the variety of cultures represented in our school community? The impact of Greengates School’s shared vision on our community has been powerful and is the driving force behind helping us to meet the needs of our international community. As stated above, our shared vision of CHILI recognises International Mindedness in its own right, which envelopes all the different cultures that make up our school community. We believe one of the key elements of International Mindedness is to respect and celebrate the

How can we recognise Mexico and also celebrate the variety of cultures represented in our school community? 31


Curriculum, learning and teaching

At Greengates School, we also believe that International Mindedness includes celebrating the similarities and differences of the cultures that make up our community. Along with the national events held at school, each year we host an International Fair to recognise and celebrate the diversity in our school community.

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we host an International Fair to recognise and celebrate the diversity in our school community. Food, music, traditional dances and a Parade of Nations bring us together in honouring the variety of countries that make Greengates School a uniquely international school community. In short, our shared vision of CHILI has been central in driving forward and enhancing learning at Greengates, and helping our community to flourish. Anthony Crewdson is Deputy Head of Primary Curriculum, and Michelle Hall is Deputy Head of Primary Pastoral, at Greengates School, Mexico City. Email: crewdson@greengates.edu.mx hall@greengates.edu.mx

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country that we have the privilege to live in. Mexico has a culture rich in traditions and celebrations, and two of the main national events that we celebrate are Dia de la Independencia (Independence Day) and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). For Independence Day, children prepare a variety of traditional Mexican dances which are performed at the celebration and enjoyed by the community. There is something very special about seeing children from all over the world come together to participate in a national event. For Day of the Dead, the Parent Teacher Committee work together with the students to create an artistic altar to honour this tradition. At Greengates School, we also believe that International Mindedness includes celebrating the similarities and differences of the cultures that make up our community. Along with the national events held at school, each year

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

Meaningfully connecting teacher actions and student learning goals within the IB classroom Laura Gutmann, Pai-rou Chen and Raymond L Pecheone explain the formation of a framework to help teachers embed IB frameworks At the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), our core mission is to design, develop, and implement equitable performance-based assessments that capture authentic teaching and learning (Darling-Hammond, 2010; Darling-Hammond & Hyler, 2013; Wei et al, 2015). In the US, our edTPA system is widely used across 41 states and 900+ educator preparation programs to measure readiness to teach among pre-service candidates. edTPA asks candidates to engage in documenting and reflecting on their beginning teaching throughout a student-centered cycle of planning, instruction, and assessment. The framing principles behind this initiative have resonated both nationally and internationally as an educative approach to setting a standard for entry into the profession (Bastian et al, 2016; Pecheone & Whittaker, 2016). As part of our collaborative partnership with global organizations interested in creating similar assessment tools, we began working closely with the Kuei-Shan School, an International Baccalaureate (IB) school in Taipei, Taiwan. Kuei-Shan presented us with a challenging dilemma – during the hiring and on-boarding process, they tried their best to screen teachers for fit with the IB context and offer access to training and workshops. But when teachers arrived at the school, they often needed additional support to build their capacity to apply IB frameworks to their content pedagogy and instructional practice. Could we help them create a tool that would provide their teachers with concrete feedback about evidence of their practice in relation to the IB Learner Profile Attributes and Approaches to Teaching & Learning (ATL), in order to support continuous improvement? SCALE’s design process for this tool started with a groundlevel investigation into the learning outcomes that are valued within IB, with the goal of making connections between desired student-oriented objectives and strategic teaching actions or behaviors. Because IB takes a holistic, 21st century approach to learning that includes attention to thinking, research, communication, social skills, and selfAutumn

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management skills, we focused on those key categories of applied skills and knowledge as we defined what IB teachers are working towards. We found strong parallels between the competencies that define IB culture and the broader global attention that has been given to the importance of developing deeper learning competencies such as ‘learning how to learn’ or ‘thinking critically to solve complex problems’ (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 2013; Learning Policy Institute, 2019). Our experience as national leaders in performance-based assessment of deeper learning enabled SCALE to innovate a customized IB measure that put fostering students’ engagement in understanding and using their knowledge and abilities at the forefront. After completing content validation, and piloting the tool in IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) classrooms in Taiwan and Canada, initial implementation data and validity evidence informed refinement of the IB Teacher Development Tool for ongoing professional growth aligned with IB principles. The resulting system of support materials includes a comprehensive set of rubrics that can be used by administrators and coaches alongside teachers to examine high-leverage dimensions of practice across progressions of teaching quality. It also includes training materials with guidelines for implementing the system with reliability and validity. This IB-specific system is framed for formative use, driven by teacher discussion with coaches about selected areas of practice that relate to their current unit of inquiry and their individual needs as developing practitioners. As observation and other relevant instructional evidence is collected, explicit feedback is intended to structure meaningful conversation about effective pedagogical strategies in relation to each dimension. Illustrative examples of teaching practice provided at each rubric level are an additional resource for coaches to guide educators at all levels of expertise to make deeper connections between evidence of their reallife instruction and achieving the learning objectives for IB students that are nested within their units of inquiry.

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Thinking 4: How does the teacher facilitate students’ use of thinking strategies to generate novel ideas or consider new perspectives to solve complex problems? Emerging The teacher encourages students to generate novel ideas or consider new perspectives to solve complex problems.

Developing The teacher models how to use thinking strategies to generate novel ideas or consider new perspectives to solve complex problems.

Proficient

Advanced

The teacher guides students as they use thinking strategies while generating novel ideas or considering new perspectives to solve complex problems.

The teacher challenges students to use thinking strategies and local or global resources while generating their novel ideas or new perspectives to solve complex problems.

Figure 1. Sample Portion of a Thinking Rubric from IB Teacher Development Tool

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as they expand the depth and breadth of their professional knowledge and consider how to personalize and contextualize their practice in order to engage every child within their classroom in becoming a 21st century citizen of the world. References Bastian K, Henry G & Lys D (2016) Teacher candidate performance assessments: Local scoring and implications for teacher preparation program improvement. Teaching and Teacher Education, 59, 1-12. Darling-Hammond L (2010) Evaluating teacher effectiveness: How teacher performance assessments can measure and improve teaching. Center for American Progress. Darling-Hammond L & Hyler M E (2013) The role of performance assessment in developing teaching as a profession. Rethinking Schools, 27(4), 1–5. Learning Policy Institute. (2019) Deeper learning. Retrieved from https:// learningpolicyinstitute.org/topic/deeper-learning Pecheone R L & Whittaker A (2016) Well prepared teachers inspire student learning. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(7), 8-13. Reynolds-Keefer L (2010) Rubric-referenced assessment in teacher preparation: An opportunity to learn by using. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 15(8), 1-8. Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (2017) SCALE Checklist for Quality Rubric Design. Retrieved from http:// performanceassessmentresourcebank.org/resource/10481 Wei R C, Pecheone R L & Wilczak K L (2015) Measuring what really matters. Phi Delta Kappan, 97(1), 8-13. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (2013) Deeper learning competencies. Retrieved from http://www.hewlett.org/uploads/documents/Deeper_ Learning_Defined__April_2013.pdf

Laura Gutmann PhD is a Research and Design Associate at SCALE, Pai-rou Chen MA is a Research Professional at SCALE, and Raymond L Pecheone PhD is the Executive Director of SCALE and a Professor of Practice at Stanford University. Email: stanfordscale@stanford.edu

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The IB Teacher Development Tool is purposefully designed to build teachers’ capacity for targeted reflection that informs their next steps in the classroom, while illuminating a range of approaches to fostering learning, at varying levels of intentionality and sophistication (SCALE, 2017). Engaging in this process may be particularly important for teachers who are new to the IB world and forming an emerging understanding of how to build the attributes and skills that will contribute to IB student growth. IB teachers have the complex task of supporting students to develop skills and abilities like critical thinking, effectively collaborating with others, or problem-solving within and across disciplines, while facilitating the application of content knowledge to local and global contexts. Consequently, IB schools can benefit from utilizing a common set of rubrics that provides coherent criteria for helping teachers to grow in their practice and prompts actionable feedback about multiple aspects of their instruction over time (Reynolds-Keefer, 2010). For instance, a rubric within the ‘thinking’ domain examines how well teachers facilitate students’ use of thinking strategies to generate novel ideas or consider new perspectives to solve complex problems. At the emerging and developing levels of the rubric, the teacher broadly encourages students to generate new ideas or perspectives, and may move towards modeling problem-solving approaches for them. However, at the proficient and advanced levels, the teacher supports students as they are directly engaged in applying specific thinking strategies and generating their own ideas, perhaps even combining their own thinking with different perspectives or local/global resources (see Figure 1). While our focus was on the most salient, generalizable dimensions of IB practice that carry across different subjectareas and school contexts, as more educators begin to use this tool to guide and structure concrete support for instructional development, further implementation data will continue to inform grade-span, disciplinary content and site-specific application. Ultimately, we envision IB schools, administrators, coaches, and teachers being empowered to learn from authentic, classroom-based evidence of instruction,

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

Fostering learning communities with Mantle of the Expert Louise Ryan advocates a learning approach that encourages students to use their imaginations ‘It makes me united to my class, as we are always a team in Mantle.’ (Year 4 student) In a world where education is growing increasingly more concerned about statistics and test results than about the students’ experience, exploration and understanding of the world that they live in, Mantle of the Expert turns the concept of children as ‘commodities’ in education on its head and focuses on building collaborative and thriving learning communities between students and teachers. Mantle of the Expert (MOE) supports children from all backgrounds and cultures, and positions them as agents in their own learning, allowing them to explore the world through the medium of authentic drama, within the framework of Vygotsky’s Autumn

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social constructivist paradigm. With the protective layer of drama, children can push themselves further in their learning and become risk takers, explorers and adventurers as they navigate their mandated curriculum. What is Mantle of the Expert? Mantle of the Expert is a fictional based, drama-led inquiry approach to education which aims to bring meaning and life to any curriculum, and allows students to have ‘authentic’ experiences in their learning by using drama conventions and imagination to build a make-believe world, where they can take on roles as if they are experts (Taylor, 2016). The teachers and students work collaboratively to co-construct a story which becomes the vehicle in which they will

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Curriculum, learning and teaching

Mantle of the Expert could be considered as a tool for all teachers to have in their teacher toolkit.

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The three dimensions of  imaginative-inquiry INQUIRY LEARNING IS: • Collaborative • Process of investigation • The curriculum is explored & created, not delivered

DR AMA FOR LEARNING IS:

• Students ask questions & contribute ideas

• Created by people

• Students are guided and supported by the teacher

• fictional and clearly signed as such • Happens in the NOW of time to create immediacy

• Learning is planned around inquiry questions

• Requires people involved to adopt roles of others

• Opportunities are created for reflection & evaluation

• Involves the deployment of ‘tension’ in specific circumstances

Drama for learning

Inquiry

Mantle of the Expert

• Is able to be reflected upon as in all other art forms

MANTLE OF THE EXPERT IS: • A team of experts with resposibilities & the power to influence & make decisions • Working for a client • On a commission • Requiring team to do various tasks

Figure 1 The Three Dimensions to Imaginative Inquiry (Abbott and Taylor, 2013)

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navigate the curriculum together as a learning community (ibid). The learning objectives are carefully curated to cover the curriculum by the teacher, who will then provoke the class with a ‘hook’ (maps, photos, letters, audios, videos and peculiar items) and will then begin to build a story context around the item in the make-believe. In Mantle of the Expert, children are inducted into the drama in order to protect them. As curiosity can be seen as the prototype of intrinsic motivation, it can manage to sustain interest until the provocation becomes clearer or acquires more meaning (Bruner, 1966:114). The children are often inducted into the drama through use of storytelling or with the use of a provocation that stirs their curiosity. Even with the use of provocation, the children are positioned to have a choice in whether or not they participate in the story. MOE is not a tool used to impose learning upon children, but rather is a tool that is offered to them as something they might like to try (Taylor, 2016:24). Mantle of the Expert is built around three dimensions of imaginative inquiry: Drama for Learning, Inquiry, and a Mantle of the Expert. These dimensions can work independently and interdependently of each other.

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Curriculum, learning and teaching Within the dimension of Mantle of the Expert there are the sub dimensions of client, commission and team of responsible experts. These sub dimensions are key to building collaborative classrooms. In Mantle of the Expert structure, the children need to work collaboratively together as a team of responsible experts, along with the teachers, to co-construct their story and complete the commission set by the client which requires them to meet a set of standards, tasks and activities that fit together piece by piece toward an end product or project (Taylor, 2016:22). When in the drama, each child and the teacher bring their own social and cultural dimension to the fiction, as well as their own skills, which enriches the experience for all. How does it build strong and collaborative learning communities? There are two factors that can contribute to the creation of a strong and collaborative Mantle of the Expert learning community: 1) The will and the motivation to learn; and 2) the positioning within learning. When these two factors are brought together, they create an opportunity where learners thrive in a supportive and collaborative setting. Figure 2 shows how, when they come together, the two factors support the creation of a strong and collaborative Mantle of the Expert learning community.

MANTLE OF THE EXPERT

COMMUNITY OF LEARNING POSITIONING WITHIN LEARNING

WILL AND MOTIVATION TO LEARN

Figure 2 Diagram of how a Mantle of the Expert learning community is supported by two main factors (Ryan, 2019) Mantle of the Expert supports the children to take ownership of their learning and be active agents in their own education. They are positioned as responsible beings who are capable of leading their own education journey, with the help and support of their learning community. They are no longer passive imbibers in their education; they are active learners who are working just as hard as their teachers to explore the world they live in, while meeting curriculum standards. This process of co-construction with a skilled teacher enables great challenge and therefore deeper learning to occur. A Mantle of the Expert learning community is a powerful student agency tool and supports the will and motivation to learn, as students have voice and choice in how they Autumn

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learn. This causes the students to become more intrinsically motivated to work and learn, as they have ownership over their learning. As Mantle of the Expert allows children to experience real-life moments in the make-believe, it allows children to develop a good work ethic, as the commission is authentic and true to real-life. Mantle of the Expert could be considered as a tool for all teachers to have in their teacher toolkit. In a society where test results are often seen as more important than the children who take the tests, it offers the opportunity to allow children to explore imaginative inquiry in a thriving learning community, with meaningful engagement with the curriculum, as well as supporting children to achieve high academic results. Mantle of the Expert is not about standing around the classroom, pretending to be a tree. It is a framework in which students and teachers can build fictional contexts in which they can explore the world safely, using their imaginations, and build learning communities together. It moves learning from being a passive action into a powerful form of active learning where knowledge is a powerful tool, but where both learning and imagination are limitless. When students are given the freedom to explore their learning through their imagination, it takes away the fear of making mistakes in the classroom. In the make-believe they can be braver, stronger, smarter and bolder – as they are protected by the make-believe. This allows students to make bolder decisions and to delve deeper into their learning, as the teacher is in the learning taking the risks right alongside them. References Bruner J (1966) Toward a Theory of Instruction. Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press [pp 113-128]. Taylor T (2016) A Beginner’s Guide to Mantle of the Expert: A Transformative Approach to Education. Norwich: Singular Publishing

Louise Ryan is Year 4B and Mantle of the Expert Programme Coordinator at Verita International School, Bucharest, Romania Email: louise.ryan@verita.ro

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Fifth column

Risk-taking, theory and practice E T Ranger tries to find a balance...

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We are screened for criminal convictions before we are employed. We carry cards to admit us to our classrooms. ‘Microaggression’, ‘cultural appropriation’ and ‘#MeToo’ are all recently and now widely recognised. The cry of ‘Health and Safety gone mad!’ goes up in a hundred staff-rooms each day, contrasted with our own (often imagined) sunlit childhood. Is life more dangerous, or are we becoming more sensitive to danger? There is a parallel in the growing perception that exposure to pathogens is necessary for the development of a competent immune system. ‘You must eat a peck of dirt before you die’ was a favourite saying of my mother. Fortunately, we survived. The IB is not alone in seeing risk-taking as a good, but to whom is the good? Current Western thought preaches that success in today’s – and tomorrow’s – economic world depends on entrepreneurial success in the free economy. But will our students all become Gateses or Zuckerbergs, or will they be among the Darwinian roadkill, self-employed on zero-hours contracts? Is risk-tolerance simply providing the digital monopolies with a docile workforce willing to accept responsibilities formerly shouldered by the employer? What to do? Is it right to encourage children to override a natural innate protective device? Yes, I believe it is, or we run the risk of launching an inflexible generation into an unpredictable world. But how are we to assess, let alone modify, those fears which lie beneath consciousness? Opinion-pieces such as this one, or statistics – however enlightening, merely tinker with the cognitive surface of our minds. Primary/elementary education, the stage in which the IB Learner Profile originated, does seem to be the place to conduct deep cognitive engineering. In planning a risk policy I suggest that we should bear in mind three considerations: how to teach the skill of complex judgment; how to explain our judgment to families who judge differently; and how to sense the sensitivities of others. If we cannot accommodate difference, just what is our claim to be ‘international’ worth? Reference Cooke M, Wong S and Press F (2019) Towards a re-conceptualisation of risk, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood education, 1-15, https://doi. org/10.1177/1463949119840740. Accessed 14 November 2019.

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‘Take care!’ says the Education Ministry; ‘Take risks!’ says the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile. In the ensuing tug-of-war, teachers each take their own position. How can we decide on our role, and how can we frame this for the benefit of children and school? Risk is the possibility of a bad outcome arising from a deliberate action. We need to prepare children to avoid harm, and yet to engage with their world. Thoughts immediately fly to the playground, where increasingly sophisticated equipment allows children to go faster and higher, and yet fall off a swing safely. Mandy Cooke and colleagues (2019) recently drew attention to the narrowness of the usual Early Childhood Education perception of risk, which concentrates on the physical dangers of outdoor play. This seems reasonable, since houses with doors are a part of civilisation’s accumulated armoury against the uncertainties of their environment. These researchers call for more attention to the real and vital risks of social, emotional or cognitive harm in the social environment. Running the gauntlet of the teenage years involves endless situations in which children feel acute discomfort while finding it difficult to ask for adult help. The adult world comes as a shock to each one of us. Our students may also sense the shadow cast by political or military threats of the kind that the institution works to shield them from. Cooke et al remind us that risk is a local, culturallydetermined variable – even a personal perception. A perception of danger which is appropriate in one location may be alarmist or insufficient in another place, or in another time. In our own childhood, if we are beyond the age of 40, less thought was given to rubberised mats beneath play equipment, protective head and knee wear, and legal definitions of teachers’ responsibility. Knees were frequently grazed and plasters rewarded our everyday wounds, which we sometimes acquired on the way home from school – unaccompanied! Risk is a mental construct, not a physical absolute. What matters in our lives is the sense we have of the risk. ‘Risk’ threatens harm; ‘uncertainty’ doesn’t, yet it can feel intensely painful, and moving between countries introduces many dimensions of uncertainty. Prepare to live with uncertainty, say the futurologists. Yes, of course: we know that our students will have jobs which have not yet been invented, and that’s why we give them a general education instead of sending them off to apprenticeships at the age of 16, or 14, or 12 – though such experiences of working alongside adults simultaneously inducted them into the perils of adult life and the means of negotiating it. We are constantly reminded of the increasing risk-aversion of our era. We cannot run field trips as we once did.

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Science matters

Mining the ocean floor Richard Harwood looks into some of the complex issues around securing a sustainable future Our demand for new technology seems to know few limits. Witness the queues for the latest smartphone when it came on sale. All this demand places a stress on the mining industry to find and exploit sources of the rare metals needed to support the technology. Often the mineral resources are located in environmentally sensitive areas, giving rise for instance to the past controversy over the possible mining of the pristine Bristol Bay area in Alaska. One further angle on this issue now arises as we become increasingly aware of the need to move our transport systems away from reliance on fossil fuels. The move to electric cars has placed a focus on improved battery technology. In particular, demand is soaring for the metal cobalt – an essential ingredient in the batteries needed to give such cars the requisite power and storage capacity. Currently most of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where for years there have been allegations of child labour, environmental damage and widespread corruption. Expanding production there is not straightforward, which is leading mining companies to weigh the potential advantages of mining cobalt from a different source. The future of electric cars may depend on mining critically important metals on the ocean floor. For some time we have been aware of rocks rich in metals such as manganese and cobalt lying on the seabed, often in areas around hydrothermal vents.

pace. The rocks of the seabed are far richer in valuable metals than those on land, and there is a growing incentive to get at them. We, as a society, may well face a choice. In future, alternative ways of making batteries for electric cars may be developed – and some manufacturers are exploring them – but the current technology requires cobalt, and there are limited land-based sources for this mineral. The need to expand battery production rapidly in the context of the demand for a carbon-neutral lifestyle brings the issue into sharp focus. For instance, it has been calculated recently that to meet the UK’s targets for electric cars by 2050 would require nearly twice the world’s current output of cobalt.

Manganese nodules taken from the bottom of the Pacific But what is ‘deep sea mining’? It’s hard to visualise what would be involved. Imagine opencast mining taking place at the bottom of the ocean. Huge remote-controlled machines would excavate rocks from the seabed and pump them up to the surface. The concept has, in fact, been talked about for several decades, but so far has been thought too difficult to

A ‘black smoker’ hydrothermal vent in the Pacific ocean floor Awareness of the presence of such mineral resources has increased in recent years. Billions of potato-sized rocks known as ‘nodules’ litter the abyssal plains of the Pacific and other oceans, and many are brimming with cobalt, suddenly highly sought-after as the boom in production of batteries gathers Autumn

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The future of electric cars may depend on mining critically important metals on the ocean floor. 39


Science matters

Nearly 30 ventures are looking to explore areas of ocean floor in international waters. operate in high-pressure, pitch-black conditions as much as 5km deep. Now, however, the technology is advancing to the point where a number of government and private companies are weighing up the potential for mines on the ocean floor. The environmental consequences of such mining need to be considered. The silt that will be stirred up as the ocean floor is scraped to collect these mineral-rich rocks poses a problem for life in the mining area, with one of the biggest concerns being the risk of seabed mining smothering marine life over a wide area. This gives particular significance to research taking place some 15km off the coast of Malaga, southern Spain. A prototype mining machine has been lowered to the

seabed and ‘driven’ by remote control. Cameras attached to the Apollo II machine record its progress and, crucially, monitor the clouds of sand and silt stirred up by its progress. Instruments are positioned nearby to measure how far these clouds are carried on the currents. This new technology is designed to help reduce the environmental effects of the mining and to help develop deep sea mining as a realistic prospect. The research is part of the European Union’s Blue Nodules project (https://blue-nodules.eu) and is highly relevant in the consideration of future possibilities. Nearly 30 ventures are looking to explore areas of ocean floor in international waters. Such ventures are regulated by a UN body, the International Seabed Authority (ISA). ISA has issued licences for exploration and is due to publish next year the rules that would govern future mining next. News of current projects and current discussion around the mining of the oceans highlight just how complex the issues actually are behind the seemingly straightforward statement that ‘we must go carbon-neutral’ by a given future date. Dr Richard Harwood is an education consultant (scientific and international education). Email: rickharwood@btinternet.com

Forthcoming Conferences January 30–31, COBIS Conference for Bursars, Business Managers and HR Staff, London, UK. February 15–16, COBIS Early Years Conference, Shanghai, China. March 6, COBIS/AISA Child Protection for International Schools, Nairobi, Kenya. March 6–8, Teacher Skills Forum, Amman, Jordan. March 12–14, Fieldwork Education International Curriculum Conference (2020), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. March 17–19, IB Global Conference, Bangkok, Thailand. March 25–28, ECIS PE Conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands. March 26–28, EARCOS Teachers’ Conference, Bangkok, Thailand. April 24–25, ECIS Leadership Conference, Madrid, Spain. May 9–11, COBIS Annual Conference, London, UK. • If you would like your events listed here, please email jonathanbarnes@johncatt.com

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Alice in Education Land

Meeting the Red Queen In which Alice meets some old friends and seems to go round in more and more circles This article is the second of a series, Alice in Education Land, to be included as occasional contributions to International School magazine, created by Chris Binge in response to some of his experiences in international education. Intended to be provocative and amusing, they are also used to provoke discussion when he leads workshops.

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Alice followed the Bishop out of the classroom and saw the office he had referred to just down the corridor. The door was much cleaner and shinier than the classroom door and it bore a brass plaque saying ‘Director of School, Red Queen. Knock before entering.’ Alice knocked tentatively and heard a booming voice saying ‘Enter’, which she did. The office was cluttered with books, the walls festooned with artwork done by children of various ages, a large poster of the Values of the School, and piles of paper and files that covered every available space. ‘Madam Queen, how lovely it is to see you again after so many years. How do you do?’ ‘I have done very well so far thank you, and I expect that to continue. Welcome to my school. Now then, here is your timetable. Is there anything else you need to know?’ With that, the Queen handed Alice a rather crumpled piece of paper that seemed to be a series of lists of three letter

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abbreviations which meant nothing to her. However her first concern was to make sense of the conversation she had already had about mediocrity and exams. ‘I do have a question actually’ she began. ‘I have been speaking to the White Bishop and he has explained to me why you espouse mediocrity because of the nature of the exam system. My question is: Why didn’t you just change the way you did the exams? Set different ones at different times, or even drop them all together if they were useless?’ ‘You really are extremely foolish, aren’t you?’ returned the Red Queen, wagging a finger in her direction. ‘Perhaps, when you have been in education as long as I have, you will not come up with such ridiculous ideas. You cannot just change the way schools run or exams are managed. They are a part of the structure of what we do, what we are. What would parents say, if we just decided to change things or drop them? The very idea is unthinkable.’ ‘I would have thought they would be quite happy if you were going to improve things.’ said Alice. ‘How on earth would they know that whatever changes we might make would improve things? What evidence could we give that anything would be better if we hadn’t already made the changes to see if they were better?’ ‘You mean that you cannot make a change unless you can be sure it improves things?’ ‘Exactly’ ‘And the only way you can know if there is improvement is by making the changes to try them out?’ ‘You are getting there’ ‘So you can’t make changes unless you have already made them before you want to make them.’ ‘Which is …?’

‘Impossible.’ ‘You have got there.’ ‘So changes in a school are completely impossible, if you want to keep everybody happy!’ Alice thought that circular arguments seemed to crop up regularly in this conversation. ‘Actually’, continued the Queen, ‘there are even more reasons for not changing things. Parents, you see, are experts in education, as are governors, administrators, politicians and, well, just about every adult.’ Alice was looking confused, so the Queen explained. ‘They have all had an education haven’t they? And the ones who are in a position to influence education are usually the ones who have done well out of it. So, therefore it is obvious that their education must have been excellent and we can conclude it doesn’t need to be improved upon. So we mustn’t try.’ concluded the Queen with a self-satisfied smile. Alice was frothing with frustration. ‘But this is just another circular argument that doesn’t go anywhere. You are saying that educational policy is decided by those who have succeeded through education. So they think education is a success as it is, and have no motive to change it, so then the next generation of those who succeed will be exactly the same as this one. Those who can really see the need for change, because they have failed through education, are never in a position to do anything about it. These are just excuses for not doing anything!’ The Queen rose. ‘Not excuses dear, reasons! We operate within the realms of possibility. As a young teacher you will come up with all sorts of radical and different ideas about teaching and learning that you will gather from various injections of CPD’. ‘CPD?’ asked Alice, who was already

‘So changes in a school are completely impossible, if you want to keep everybody happy!’

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Alice in Education Land

‘That’s why they are called teachers you know. Because of the tea.’

struggling with three letter abbreviations, or TLAs as she learned to call them. ‘Continual Planned Disruption’ explained the Queen. ‘We organise it to take you out of the classroom and interrupt your teaching and expand your thinking. We do it to make you feel valued, confident in the knowledge that there will be no perceptible change in your practice when you return.’ ‘But what about the new radical ideas that you said I would have?’ ‘Oh, you will feel energised and enthusiastic, but then you will share them with the more experienced members of staff who will explain why they can’t possibly be put into place here.’ The Queen pushed Alice out of the room and headed off down the corridor. ‘Time for a cup of tea.’ she boomed. Alice wandered back into the classroom muttering ‘They seem to drink an awful lot of tea’, when she heard a voice. ‘That’s why they are called teachers you know. Because of the tea.’ Alice couldn’t see where the voice was coming from. At first she looked at the door, but the door seemed asleep. She looked around and noticed that, up on a high shelf, there was an arrangement of books and board markers that, if you used your imagination, looked rather like a grin. ‘Why, is that you, Cheshire Cat?’ she called, staring quite carefully, and just starting to make out the rest of his features; the ears, the body and finally the tail. ‘Who else do you think it might be?’ purred the cat, who was now completely visible. ‘Oh Cheshire Puss, how wonderful, you are always so good at explaining things to me that seem so strange.’ said Alice. ‘Please tell me why they always talk in circles in education. Why do they never get anywhere? And by the way, I thought teachers were called teachers because they teach.’ ‘I will answer the last thing first, which is the standard way in education. It is called Backwards By Design.’ responded the cat. ‘I will also answer your question by way of asking another question, which is another thing we always do in education. Which comes first in the word Teacher? Is it Tea or Teach?’ ‘Why, Tea of course.’ said Alice. ‘Which is why it comes first in a teacher’s thoughts.’ The Cheshire Cat then turned to the question of circularity. ‘All proper, by which I mean complete, arguments must be circular. This is a scientific fact. You see any statement must have a reason, I am sure you will agree.’ ‘Well yes.’ responded Alice. ‘Without a reason, why should we take it as true?’ ‘Therefore no statement can be the beginning of the argument, as the reason will be another statement that must have come before it. So, then, any statement in an Autumn

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argument must have an effect, something that follows from it.’ continued the cat. ‘Why yes. There are consequences to everything.’ responded Alice. ‘Therefore no statement can be the end of an argument, because the consequence will be another statement. Clearly since any statement cannot be the beginning or the end, no argument can have a beginning or an end. Therefore it must be circular.’ concluded the Cheshire Cat, who was now chewing its own tail as if to physically demonstrate the circularity. Alice left the room deep in thought, and resolved to find out about the other two values in the school. To be continued … Chris Binge is Headmaster of Markham College, Lima, Peru. Email: chris.binge@markham.edu.pe All the Alice in Education Land stories can be found on Educhanges.com, where there is also a link to an Alice Art Gallery of illustrations by such artists as Tenniel, Dali and Steadman, as well as an Alice playlist.

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People and places

Exploring the wilderness of the Arctic and SubArctic Nigel Bidgood and David Griffiths report on an educational programme run by Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou, China

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People and places

Wycombe Abbey School in Changzhou, China is a relatively new international independent boarding school. Since 2015 it has grown from 100 pupils to the present 1300, mostly Chinese, pupils. It is one of a new generation of international schools modelled on the very best of the UK independent school system. It is holistic in nature with academic excellence, very much, as the central spine of the education on offer. One of the educational tenets of the school is to create opportunities for pupils to take part in outdoor educational challenges and to learn in this ‘beyond the classroom’ educational environment. With this in mind, the school operates the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (at Silver and Gold Levels), The John Muir Award and an ambitious programme of wilderness expeditions to Arctic and SubArctic locations. This latter, Borealis Expedition Programme, at Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou is set within an academic society with the opportunity for sixth formers to take part in three-week-long mountain backpacking expeditions at its epicentre. The accent is very much on a challenging outdoor experience, but intrinsic to this is the opportunity for young participants to learn about the geology, landscapes, natural history, culture, history and geopolitical relevancy in today’s world of these northern recesses of our planet. Education in China does not standardly involve outdoor education in any developed way. The Borealis Expedition Programme is intended to build on the more local expeditions featuring the Duke of Edinburgh’s and John Muir Awards. Autumn

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The accent is firmly on living and travelling in a wilderness environment for an extended period of two weeks, being totally self-sufficient as regards equipment, food and wildcamping, and concentrating on interacting together directly with no recourse whatsoever to social media. This creates not only a special human environment but also one in which the environment acts as a stimulus, as well as a vehicle, for a great deal of learning opportunities and experiences. The fact that such opportunities are all-too-rare in Chinese education makes them even more important, and indeed special. A series of objectives are always identified for each expedition comprising educational challenges that are both physical and academic in nature. The pupils are then fully involved in seeking to accomplish these objectives, whether they be mountain and backpacking objectives or scientific and developmental educational ones. After each venture, all the group members are fully involved in

Education in China does not standardly involve outdoor education in any developed way. 45


People and places

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competition and social pressures. Stress indicators such as eating disorders and reliance on addictive substances seem to be increasingly rife and more extreme in form. Education needs to promote the development of self-esteem and emotional resilience such that wellbeing becomes a central part of every young person’s life experience, and indeed expectation. Extended wilderness trips such as these can play a significant part in ensuring that life and education are more balanced, healthy and ultimately rewarding as a journey through which young people must negotiate. The hypothesis of ‘global climatic instability/global warming’ is very evident at such high latitudes. Over recent years in arctic and sub-arctic regions the huge changes have been given a real enhanced impetus since the summer of 2007, when the multi-year arctic sea ice almost all fully melted, for the first time in recorded history. The summers are often now characterised by huge amounts of late winter/ spring snowfall leading to mountains that are far whiter in appearance than is normal for the summer months, and providing some challenging but interesting ascent conditions. Once again, the unpredictable nature of today’s climate was brought home to us in an exaggerated way that is so pronounced in these northern latitudes. Our journeys and ascents, although hugely enjoyable, were tinged with a dash of sadness as we were all left wondering just how long these sorts of experiences will be possible in this superb terrain due to the changes continually being affected by the climatic oscillations extant at present. The young people who experienced this landscape for the first time are now well aware of this.

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the production of a published ‘Expedition Report Book’ in which all the expedition logistics, achievements and learning objectives are chronicled in the words of all those who have taken part. The need to have multi-layered planning in place, and not to be afraid to change one’s plans due to variations in local conditions, proves a sobering and quite testing experience for the young people to come to terms with. This is not surprising given the well-ordered and predictable nature of the lives that they have temporarily left behind. There is a great deal of debate and negativity today about the nature of risk with regard to young people. Indeed, it has become increasingly difficult to run expeditions of this sort in the current climate of blame and an increasingly litigious society. Surely it is not a matter of seeking to avoid risk, however, as this is not really possible – and indeed trying to do so may encourage young people to seek their own exposure to risks, some of which can be far more dangerous and life-threatening. Educationally, it is a matter of teaching young people how to assess and manage risk – something that should be intrinsic to growing up and maturing. Adventure, after all, is all about ‘acceptable risk’ and it is the development and expression of judgement that is intrinsic in all of this. There is no doubt that these experiences will have changed the way in which the young people who took part in these expeditions to these unique lands will now view the world around them. This, really, is the very essence of education. Although trips such as this contain their highs and their lows, the opportunity to spend an extended amount of time totally self-sufficient, camped out under serene arctic skies in perpetual daylight, is both life-enhancing and life-affirming. For young people who are taken well out of their comfort zone physically and mentally, particularly in terms of a complete loss of all the social media technology that both enriches and bedevils their lives, it is a formative experience. The lives of young people today are harder than formerly in many ways, with increased academic expectations, challenges,

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People and places The Borealis Expedition Programme is centred in the northern vastnesses of the planet, and the first phase of expeditions have concentrated on that part of North-west Iceland known locally as the Vestfirđir, that stretches clawlike towards the looming presence of East Greenland, a mere two hundred kilometres across the arctic ocean of the Denmark Straits. The Vestfirđir peninsulas of Iceland represent a superb area for expeditions and, within them, the remote Hornstrandir and Nörđurstrandir areas, upon whose shores the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean lap, have formed our destination for the first initial phase of three expeditions. To reach this beautiful fjord-land country we charter boats to cross the majestic protected inland fjords of Ísafjarđardjúp and Jökulfirđir, and out into the slightly more forbidding waters of the Arctic Ocean. Accessing remote expedition wilderness areas by boat is always a magnificent way to embark on such a venture, and landing by zodiac inflatable always brings huge smiles to the faces of all participants.

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The Hornstrandir/Nörđurstrandir area has a documented history starting from the 870-930 AD so-called ‘Age of Settlement’ in Iceland. It is recorded towards the end of this era as the first home of that colourfully troublesome Viking ‘Erik the Red’. This was a mere arctic circle way-station for Erik’s journey towards the eventual colonisation of Greenland (and the all-too-brief colonisation of North America five hundred years prior to Columbus) and one that he quickly vacated as he pursued his lust for more fertile land and political power in tenth century Iceland. As we backpacked past the majestic spine of cliffs jutting out at Drangaskörđ like a ‘lower jaw’ northwards into the Arctic Ocean near Drangar, Erik’s first Icelandic home, we could empathise with his wish to find a home more in touch with the mainstream of Icelandic society.

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People and places For the following millennium, Hornstrandir was the home of a farming and seabird-based community much like the well-publicised Scottish version of St Kilda. Eventually, just like St Kilda, the area was abandoned in the 1950’s as the worsening weather and sheer isolation made relocation south into the less remote areas of the Vestfirđir more attractive. It was sobering for us to experience the weather patterns of this area and to realise that our visits were firmly centred in the barely six-week long summers of these latitudes. The winters must have been extremely long indeed, with life, for a largely pastoral community, dominated by sustained periods spent indoors. The pack-ice that is so often visible northwards (even in summer) is known in the Icelandic annals as ‘the ancient foe of the land’. It must have brought unwelcome visitors in the shape of wandering polar bears, as well as attendant freezing conditions that totally destroyed any possibility of using the one means of transport available in this area, the sea, for months on end. This must have accentuated the isolation in a way that is virtually impossible to imagine or emulate today. It is little wonder that people gave up and moved south. Perhaps it is only surprising that they lasted until comparatively as recently as the 1950’s before doing so. It would seem to be a fitting and auspicious time to give Chinese pupils the opportunity to visit areas of the

Arctic, given China’s burgeoning interest in the region. China has actively sought to become a sort of ex efficio observer member of the 8-member state Arctic Council. It is seeking to overcome its lack of an immediate arctic coastline (as possessed by the 8 member states) by such projects as offering to construct a new harbour and several extended runways in Greenland, by providing the capital for and collaboration with scientists at the new ‘Aurora’ Arctic Research Station in North Iceland, and by financing its own two new state-of-the-art icebreakers for service in the ‘Great Northern Sea Route’ atop of Russia. There has never been a better time to introduce some of China’s best young minds to this unique and threatened northern world and, to judge from the pupils’ responses to the seminar that we delivered on ‘Arctic Geopolitics’ in the tiny remote Icelandic settlement of Nörđurfjörđur at the end of last summer’s expedition, they would readily concur with this statement. The expedition experience is one which involves the young participants wholeheartedly, allows them to gain educationally from the experience, and ensures that, as the venture progresses and ultimately is completed, the accruing of knowledge and experience not only continues but escalates. This equates very closely with the value of education per se and is something that we passionately believe is enhanced by such experiences as those gained outside the formalised classroom environment. That is, after all, why the Borealis Expedition Programme was set up at Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou in China, and why we remain so committed to its continuation. Nigel C Bidgood is Borealis Expedition Organizer and Chief Expedition Leader. David Griffiths is Headmaster of Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou, China and Assistant Expedition Leader. Email: ncbidgood@aol.com

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People and places

Tudor Times: UK and Swedish pupils at the Mary Rose

Anglo-Swedish connections – the Mary Rose and the Vasa Beth Baxter, Tilly Goldman and Mimi de Trafford on a nautical partnership between schools Each autumn, 45 Swedish sixth formers visit the UK aboard their tallship TS Gunilla. They link up with students from Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS). Following a workshop in 2019 at the Mary Rose and an Anglo-Swedish Model United Nations Conference, we three PGS IB Diploma students were inspired to work towards our Portsmouth Youth Ambassador Award by exploring an unusual international connection between our respective nations. [Portsmouth Youth Ambassador Award is an initiative from Shaping Portsmouth, an organisation that seeks to foster cooperation between local business, education and the community. To achieve the Award, young people complete a project in which they engage with an aspect of the city and communicate what they have learned to others]. This article presents a flavour of our findings. What and where? In 1545 Henry VIII’s flagship, the Mary Rose, sank in the Solent: the stretch of water between the Isle of Wight and the south coast of the UK. Eighty-three years later, in 1628, the Vasa sank on its maiden voyage, immediately after leaving Stockholm harbour. Although it is widely believed that the Mary Rose Autumn

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too sank on her maiden voyage, the ship had actually already been in service for thirty-four years, although recently re-fitted. The remains of both ships are now displayed in their respective cities, Portsmouth and Stockholm. Contrasts and contexts? The Mary Rose was built between 1509 and 1511 in Portsmouth; ironically, the place in which she would sink four decades later. Both the Vasa and the Mary Rose were built in anticipation of being highly symbolic of the power that their King possessed, each becoming the flagship of the fleet. When built from 1626 to 1628, the Vasa demonstrated the strength of Sweden during the aptly named ‘age of greatness’, as the country developed into a prominent and powerful nation. The Swedish dominated the Baltic, which perhaps made all the more ironic the fact that their navy lost both the Vasa and two other ships in the space of a month. The somewhat anticlimactic forms of their demise – poor planning (Vasa), running aground (Kristina) and a storm (Riksnyckeln) – greatly contrasted with the loss of the Mary Rose in battle.

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Solving the question of the sinking? The Mary Rose sank in July 1545 in the Battle of the Solent, in which Henry VIII’s navy engaged with the French fleet at Portsmouth. There are many theories behind why it sank: a strong gust of wind while turning, top-heavy overloading following a recent re-fit, or French cannonball fire. However, in our view the most likely key cause was human error: failure to predict the effect of the weight of her hull, guns and 415 crew members – many on top decks – can be seen as propelling the fateful sinking. Most men on board (and the ship’s dog) drowned, with just 25 surviving. The Vasa capsized in 1628 in Stockholm harbour. It had made only two nautical miles when a gust of wind caused it to heel, leaving water to fill the ship through its gun portals, and drowning 30-53 men. We know that the original Vasa design was traditional and commonly used in ship-building. However, it is believed that no specifications or drawings had been made for it. A major factor which led to its sinking seems to have been the ever-changing ideas put forward by the King to Hybertsson, the lead ship-builder. This led to no plans being found for the larger, more complex version which the King was expecting. It is believed that, due to time pressure, Hybertsson decided to scale up the dimensions set for the original ship; this led to the upper parts of the ship becoming wider than originally planned, leaving the ship’s centre of gravity higher than designed. Like the Mary Rose, a significant cause of the Vasa’s sinking may also have been human error. Preserving and protecting? Both ships are now displayed in purpose-built museums in their respective cities: the Mary Rose and the Vasa Museum, attracting thousands of visitors each year. Due to the fact that the wreck of the Mary Rose was discovered nearly 20 years after the Vasa, its salvage (1982) and conservation can draw on lessons learned from the Vasa. Unlike the Vasa, which was treated in a way that had not been used before, the Mary Rose’s excavation and treatments could build on what was known to have been successful in Sweden. One big difference in the modern displays is that when the Vasa sank, it was almost an empty ship as it had not been fully victualled. The Mary Rose, meanwhile, was a ship full of supplies and artifacts, giving a valuable insight into Tudor life. 19,000 artifacts have been recovered from the wreck site, which has taken more than 30 years to excavate. The two museums reflect this difference with, by contrast, more of the Vasa’s hull being preserved.

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If the ships were combined into one, we would have the perfect archaeological find!

Lessons learned? Given that more of the ship’s structure has been preserved on the Vasa than on the Mary Rose, and more artifacts preserved on the Mary Rose than on the Vasa, if the ships were combined into one, we would have the perfect archaeological find! From investigating both ships we have gained an insight into what life was like during these periods, and how the past is preserved in a modern city, creating employment and tourism opportunities. It is also striking that there are often many theories behind, say, their sinking, but not necessarily a common agreement about which (if any) are correct! Finally, we learned that, despite being from different countries and times, there were many similarities between the ships, their crews and their fortunes. One day we hope to visit the Vasa too, to check out this research for ourselves. Further information Mary Rose Museum: https://maryrose.org/ Vasa Museum: https://www.vasamuseet.se/en TS Gunilla: www.ockerogymnasieskola.se/otherlanguages/aswedishschool undersail.4.48177e2156d6bbd29c74d8.html https://www.archaeology.org/exclusives/articles/647-mary-roseportsmouth-henry-viii-vasa-stockholm-king-gustavas https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/92yi71/both_the_ vasa_and_mary_rose_sank_when_water/ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-22704985/a-look-aroundsweden-s-mary-rose

Beth Baxter, Tilly Goldman and Mimi de Trafford are Year 13 IB Diploma students at Portsmouth Grammar School, UK Email: Simon Taylor (PGS IB Diploma Coordinator): s.taylor@pgs.org.uk

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Both the Vasa and the Mary Rose were built in a period of threat for their nations: England was threatened by war from Scotland and France, while Sweden was engaged in war with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Prior to Henry VIII’s reign, the British ‘navy’ had mainly comprised merchant ships called to action when necessary; this was both slow and inefficient. It therefore made the Mary Rose’s creation all the more significant as it marked the true beginning of the British navy. The building of the Vasa was, similarly, a significant turning point for the Swedish navy, which had previously consisted of small to medium ships and was escalated by the Vasa to become one of the first fleets with a ship with two gun decks.

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People and places

Enko Keur Gorgui: An MYP2 Science class (in Senegal).

Increasing educational opportunities in Africa Keith Allen explains a project that offers opportunities to students across the continent When Cyrille Nkontchou and Eric Pignot met in Boston, Massachusetts in 2012 they discussed the low proportion of African students at their alma maters – Harvard and MIT. Why so few, especially in comparison to students from India? The India/Africa comparison is valuable because, although India has a slightly higher population than the 54 African countries combined (1.339 billion vs 1.216 billion), the demographic profile of Africa means that the youth population is slightly larger. Looking at the number of students in higher education in the USA, however, reveals a clear bias towards India – with three times as many students as from the African continent. There is no doubt that students across Africa are just as determined to obtain a good education as are those in India; they have the same innate abilities. The difference – as Cyrille and Eric appreciated – is opportunity. Of course, there is wide diversity across the vast African continent. Countries such as Ghana and Egypt have powerful historic traditions in educational provision; others such as Niger and Côte d’Ivoire offer students much reduced opportunities. Autumn

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Examination of the detailed data from UNESCO on student mobility in relation to higher education (http://uis.unesco. org/en/uis-student-flow) shows that the disparity noticed by Cyrille and Eric is not totally clear cut. UIS data shows 535,563 African students moving to another country for higher education, compared with 332,033 for India. But, part of the African mobility is to other parts of the continent. Universities in Egypt, Ghana and South Africa have strong reputations; newer institutions in those countries and in Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco and Rwanda, for instance, have growing appeal. Moreover, for francophone students, the main direction of movement for tertiary education is to France … where African students outnumber Indians by 40:1. Those caveats aside, it is still clear that the availability of high quality education in many parts of Africa is significantly below the opportunities afforded in other developing nations. Cyrille and Eric decided to try to ameliorate the situation, and Enko Education was born to establish a network of African international schools. Enko Education’s mission is to increase

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People and places

Enko Riverside: enthusiastic Cambridge Lower Secondary students at their school (in Mozambique).

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The biggest cost-cutter, which allows the schools to be affordable for middle-class African families, is only to hire local staff. Each school is led by a highly-experienced international educator. S/he then recruits teachers with the potential to be effective managers of learning. Enko Education can offer salaries that are competitive in relation to national schools, although they fall short of the figures offered by ‘traditional’ international schools with their globally-nomadic teachers. Much training is done in-house – although more is always needed. Recently, we have been able to utilise the expertise of 30+ highly experienced IB DP educators (some working in French, others in English; many with 20+ years of experience of the IB DP) to help our teachers with assessment tasks. All has been done online. The next step is to establish a mentoring system whereby teachers in Enko schools can be guided by ‘experts’ so that they too can become highly skilled educators. We will start with IB DP Mathematics and Science, but then expand into other subjects and programmes. Each ‘expert’ is being asked to give two hours of her/his time per week during term-time. A small honorarium is offered. When Cyrille and Eric first discussed the idea of expanding educational opportunities for African youth they had great dreams, but did not know how well the ideas could come to fruition. When a student from the first cohort to graduate in 2017 gained access to Yale (with a significant financial aid package), they got a boost from seeing their plans can come to fruition. Two years later, with nearly 3,000 students in our schools, we know that many more ambitious Africans will be flooding through the gates of top universities in the coming years. Keith Allen is Director of Learning & Teaching, Enko Education Email: keith.allen@enkoeducation.com If you are interested in helping the Enko Education project, please write to contact@enkoeducation.com Spring |

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access to the world’s leading universities through high quality international education. In 2020, it will be running 16 schools in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia. Within the next few years, the number of schools is likely to double. Readers of this magazine will have clear ideas as to what is meant by ‘high quality international education’. In terms of curriculum frameworks, Enko Education schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes (Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP), thus far); one is operating Fieldwork’s International Early Years Curriculum; several run Cambridge Primary and/or Secondary courses. These provide opportunities for African youngsters to develop the skills and abilities to be able to access good universities and then, after a few years, to return to Africa to make significant contributions to its rapid development. But, running these programmes in our contexts is tough. We must keep costs down to ensure that local families can afford the opportunities provided. [That said, there are also significant scholarship programmes to allow more access to disadvantaged youngsters.] Some things that educators in more affluent parts of the world may take for granted are much more difficult in Africa. Our schools are vast distances from each other. For example, flying from the Head Office in Johannesburg to Dakar takes at least 15 hours. So, getting teachers together for professional development has to be done online. Accessing equipment or chemicals for science laboratories, and other resources, requires many months of advance planning … and significant costs. Even then, bureaucracy may get in the way. One key to reducing the impact of these locationdependent increased costs is to have a small but dedicated team in ‘Enko Central’. Some are based in South Africa, others in Burkina Faso, Kenya, France, the UK and Georgia. Regular, tightly-focused Zoom sessions, during which specific skills are shared across the network, allow for effective communication.

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People and places

International studentteacher experiences Melina Knispel and Christina-Jennifer KulleGutoskie report on the Alliance for International Education conference in Geneva 2019 Between 18 and 20 October 2019, the tenth Alliance for International Education (AIE) World Conference took place at the International School of Geneva, Switzerland. As at previous AIE conferences, diverse educators with various backgrounds and life stories came together to exchange ideas; this time around the conference theme Rethinking International Education: Values and Relevance. Ten of these participants were us, international student-teachers who are following the International Teacher Education for primary schools (ITEps) course at NHL Stenden University in the Netherlands. As we will all complete the course within the next two years, it was a great opportunity to exchange ideas about international education in, as ITEps student Rebecca Hein says, ‘a diverse and safe environment.’

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ITEps student Lea Husung argues that when meeting people from all over the world it is difficult to define international education, as ‘[E]veryone has their vision of what it entails and whom it includes, but we all agreed that education, in general, should help make the world a better place where learning centres the students and gives everyone the freedom to be actively engaged in their learning’. This phenomenon was also discussed by Professor Abdeljalil Akkari from the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences at the University of Geneva, who was one of the first keynote speakers during the conference. Professor Akkari asked ‘Are we able to build a world where we are interconnected and interdependent?’. Celebrating diversity is a common phenomenon in international education, but

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Melina Knispel and Christina-Jennifer Kulle-Gutoskie are ITEps students (http://www.iteps.eu/) Emails: melina.knispel@ student.nhlstenden.com; christina.kulle-gutoskie@ student.nhlstenden.com

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let’s ask ourselves – should we not also celebrate the commonalities that we all share? Moreover, Akkari argues, in order to be a global citizen you also need to be a local citizen. Professor Fazal Rizvi from the University of Melbourne contributed two keynote speeches which made the audience rethink their actions, and established values within them. When talking about ethical responsibilities of the privileged, Professor Rizvi stimulated the rethinking of the use of community work and of the principle of ‘serve to learn, learn to serve’. Furthermore, he argued that values should not be picked from a list; they are always found in pluralism and are clustered. One might consider the purpose of international education, which drives us back to the values represented within international schools. Those values are crucial to the global and the local context, the management of international schools, the curriculum that is delivered by teachers and, lastly, the culture and the language that we work and live in. ITEps student Marie Meyer states that ‘a key competency mentioned throughout plenary and strand sessions has been intercultural understanding: taking on an active role in engaging with each other’s values and perspectives.’ The conference had a clear structure, provided by wellbalanced contributions from keynote speakers as well as 8 strand sessions in which a range of topics were discussed in more detail. At least one ITEps student participated in each of the strands. Feiyan Xu experienced her strand session as ‘a place that is open for communication, discussion and cooperation towards the immortal topic – international education, where ideas are shared, converged and then adapted to each person’. In discussions during her strand, Chiara Bernardi explored fundamental principles which reflected and discussed ‘the role of teachers in creating a learning environment that provides pupils opportunities to experience and incorporate 21st

century skills in their school life’. Emma Golles gained further understanding through discussions on the topics of identity, language, and culture. Hannah Cool concluded that the strand sessions are ‘an integral part of a teacher’s life’, covering topics that do not always receive enough attention during student-teacher training. Another strand took a closer look at the development of teachers and how there is a need for change to guarantee development for students and teachers, which can achieved through research-informed practice, the use of avatars, international pre-service practices and exchange, as well as collaborative inquiry. ‘In the end, it was visible that everything was coming back to the relevance of ethics’, said ITEps student Ilja Nadorp. The conference highlight for the ITEps student group was having the opportunity to share their ideas on values during the Saturday morning plenary session. During our investigation into our own university’s values we realized how complex this year’s conference theme is. However, all of us accepted the challenge and enjoyed sharing our views on this topic. To include the audience in our presentation, we asked all participants to add their most important value to our collection, which resulted in an impressive visualization (shown below against the backdrop of a globe). International education is a dynamic concept that involves the movement of different people, minds and ideas across national borders. It is simplified by the globalization phenomenon, which increasingly reduces the restraint of geography on economic, social and cultural arrangements. The world is changing, and so are views on international education, which is perceived differently by all of those participating in it. This outstanding opportunity and incredible experience not only set forth our view on internationalism, but also opened exciting new paths for us and our future. We found commonalities between ourselves and other conference participants, while connecting on a professional and personal level with those who are working within the field of international education. In attending the conference, we were fortunate to bring our views as student-teachers to the conference as well as to listen to other people’s opinions and advice relating to the wider international field. We are very grateful to have been part of the AIE conference, which has left lasting impressions on us and will inform our future lives as teachers, doing our best to drive further changes in international education.

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Where have all the teachers gone? Liz Free identifies a concering trend from latest international education snapshots My eight year old daughter has discovered the potential of Alexa in all her glory! It appears that ‘True Colours’ (the Joshua Radin version, interestingly) and ‘Where Have all the Flowers Gone?’ are the hits to behold, and the lyrics of both have been ruminating for days as they echo around our home. When Pete Seger wrote the lyrics to the latter in 1955, who would have thought that 65 years later they would be so loved and embraced as if they had never been heard before? The sentiments of Seger’s lyrics run deep; particularly since I returned from speaking at the October 2019 Alliance for International Education conference in Geneva, the familiar lyrics are morphing into ‘where have all the teachers gone?’ A convenient analogy perfectly timed – or, perhaps, it’s the perfect fit? It was a pleasure to co-present in Geneva with Nalini Cook, Head of Europe Research and Schools Relations Manager, ISC Research, as we explored the trends and challenges of international education, its value and its relevance. Nalini’s presentation focussed on the latest data and, as the big and scary numbers appeared, one after the other, we all sat aghast. Perhaps the biggest and scariest of these, ignoring the value of the market, was the number of staff required to service the projected growth demand. Although we’ve seen these figures coming, they still shock me.

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If this data holds true (and historically ISC have been rather accurate in their projections), in the next ten years we will see an increase in demand for staff in international schools from 536 thousand to 1.03 million. This is unprecedented growth and begs the question: where will they all come from? As I love a bit of data surfing, tackling such a question requires digging into the numbers! Let’s start with the traditional suppliers for English-medium international education: how big is this pool? These are the fulltime equivalent numbers in the following countries: • 506,400 in the UK (BESA, 2019) • 3,600,000 in the USA (Nces.ed.gov, 2019) • 282,000 in Australia (Acara.edu.au, 2019) • 67,403 in Ireland (Education.ie, 2019) This makes an impressive pool of 4,455,803. Essentially, that means that if we continue the traditional approach of recruiting expatriate native English-speaking teachers from these countries, we would require about one in every four of them to work in the international sector each year. Ignoring the financial, social, moral and ethical issues around this situation, why wouldn’t this work?

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Well, the teachers quite simply aren’t there. And ‘where have all the teachers gone?’ I hear you ask. A 2019 Teachaway report identified that there is a global shortage of teachers and that the ‘number of future teachers has reached an alltime low’ (Deady, 2019). It goes on to cite data showing that education majors have plummeted by 83% over the past decade and that the attrition rate for the profession in the USA sits at 8%. This is not an exclusively domestic situation by any means. In my home country, the UK, we are not doing any better. We have one of the youngest age demographics of teachers globally, yet we have consistently failed for five years in a row to recruit secondary teachers. We also have a declining rate of retention, with over 33% of those new to the profession leaving within the first five years (Bamford and Worth, 2017). Furthermore we know that international school teachers are most likely, ultimately, to return to their home country. In the largest ever study of British international teachers in 2018, COBIS found that 71% would return to the UK within ten years, with over a quarter returning within three to four years (COBIS, 2018). There are not enough teachers from the traditional recruiting countries to service their domestic need whilst, at the same time, the global need for professional capacity increases. Nalini shared that the growing demand for international schools is mainly from ‘local, wealthy middle-class families’ as well as those looking for ‘bilingual education’. This growth is evident in Asia with bilingual provision being particularly popular in China, Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as across Latin America. This raises the question: how bilingual/multilingual is our current international school global workforce, and is it time to think differently? Does the movement from expatriate teachers teaching expatriate children to expatriate teachers teaching domestic students raise a capability issue as well as moral and ethical questions? What message does it send to our school communities if the workforce serving them does not represent them? Does this represent a 21st century colonialisation of education systems and does this further beg the question: is our global workforce really fit for purpose? Are we heading towards the perfect storm of reduced teacher supply, reduced fitness for purpose and significantly increased demand that could threaten the very concept of international schooling?

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References Acara.edu.au (2019) National Report on Schooling in Australia 2017. Available at: https://www.acara.edu.au/reporting/national-report-on-schooling-inaustralia/national-report-on-schooling-in-australia-2017#Link1 [Accessed 6 October 2019] Bamford S and Worth J (2017) Teacher Retention and Turnover Research. Research Update 3: Is the Grass Greener Beyond Teaching? Slough: NFER BESA (2019) Key UK education statistics – BESA. Available at: https://www. besa.org.uk/key-uk-education-statistics/ [Accessed 22 October 2019] COBIS (2018) Teacher Supply in British International Schools. London: COBIS Deady K (2019) 2nd Annual International Education Recruitment Report. Insights and Trends from 12,618 International Teaching Candidates. Teachaway Education.ie (2019) [online] Available at: https://www.education.ie/en/ Publications/Statistics/Key-Statistics/key-statistics-2018-2019.pdf [Accessed 17 October 2019] Nces.ed.gov (2019) Fast Facts: Teacher trends (28). Available at: https://nces. ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=28 [Accessed 18 October 2019]

Liz Free is Director of the The International Leadership Academy (ILA), The British School in the Netherlands Email: Liz.Free@bsnila.com Spring |

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We need a workforce that is ready to go today whilst being invested in building the capacity and future for truly international schooling for all.

In the not-for-profit International Leadership Academy (ILA), we are grappling with these questions as we seek to build professional capacity in our international school workforce, both for today and for the future. It seems to me that what we need is a robust response to international school teacher training. Many organisations have tried to address this issue and we are currently working with TES and COBIS to look at long term solutions. We need to find a way for our entire global community to be able to access high quality, financially accessible, initial teacher training that is purposefully designed for and valued by the international school community, from governors through to parents and our existing and aspiring teachers. We also need to develop leadership whose mindsets with a global view steer the charge as we rapidly approach the impending storm. It is important to build on global leadership development research as we strengthen the engine rooms of our schools and embrace the unique multicultural world we inhabit. Whilst the challenges to address all of these questions seem rather gargantuan, we are on the right path. In the immediate term, at the ILA we are looking for partnerships to co-design programmes for international school staff in all their guises, which meet staff where they are currently and which are focussed on contextualising professional learning and development for improved pupil outcomes in our culturally diverse schools. We look to learn from domestic systems across the world and the research around the international schools, to bring together the best of all. From teaching and learning support through to headteacher and principal development, as well as executive system–wide leadership, we are looking at how we can attract talent, retain it and develop it for the benefit of the future global community. We need a workforce that is ready to go today whilst being invested in building the capacity and future for truly international schooling for all. Let’s start with the end in mind and see this time as an opportunity to move beyond arbitrary country boundaries in creating a truly global approach where we welcome teachers into the #GlobalProfession, so that we can find them wherever we and they are in the world.

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A renaissance in reading ability Dolores Elliot-Wilson answers questions on a new project to assist young learners Committed to accelerating learning for all, Renaissance believes that everyone can be successful, and that empowering teachers is integral to this success. Dolores Elliot-Wilson, Chief Librarian at Sunmarke School Dubai for instance, is currently using its data-driven and personalised reading practice, Accelerated Reader, alongside its digital, cloud-based assessment suite, Star Reading. Here, Dolores responds to a number of questions relating to use of Accelerated Reader, and Star Reading. How do you start to create a learning plan for students? At Sunmarke School, we have a diverse range of students, with around 50% being English language learners. The challenge was to create a literacy development programme to help guide these students and improve their English. The Star Reading assessment test is important in understanding the precise level for each student. Once we know their initial score and reading range, we can create the learning plan coupled with Accelerated Reader, to improve reading practice. How have students taken to Accelerated Reader? We have found that students are much more engaged in the library with Accelerated Reader. We have seen substantial growth, with some students having made a year’s worth of progress in just a few months. Once students have done one or two quizzes, you’ll see a growth in independence as they continue to use the programme. Autumn

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What is the primary objective of Renaissance? Renaissance creates assessment and practice solutions that put learning analytics to work for educators, saving hours of prep time, while making truly personalised learning possible. Schools use the company’s solutions to analyse students’ abilities and guide high-quality instruction. Put simply, Renaissance helps teachers to teach better, students to learn better, and school administrators to lead better, resulting in improved academic outcomes. Do you have any tips for Renaissance customers? My advice for teachers would be to get involved and encourage the project from the beginning! Don’t restrict children from reading, but instead try and encourage them to read suitably challenging books from within their recommended reading ranges. Also, try and regularly look at the Diagnostic Report and see which students haven’t taken their quizzes. You may find that some children are nervous to start with, but once they have done one or two quizzes, you’ll see a growth in independence as they continue to use the program. Renaissance is based at 189 Marsh Wall in London, UK Website: www.renaissance.com Email: international@renaissance.com Facebook: @renaissance.int • Twitter: @RenLearn_int

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Early Excellence

Transforming Your Indoor Environment

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Why quality environments matter in Early Years Phil Armstrong, Head of Regional Development Early Excellence www.earlyexcellence.com

Do your Early Years’ classroom spaces truly reflect your vision for learning? Have they come together by accident or been carefully planned to offer rich, meaningful and joyful experiences for young children? In the Early Years, young children learn through a wonderful mix of dynamic, hands-on learning experiences supported by highly-skilled adults who have a thorough understanding of child development. The Early Years curriculum is continually delivered through the many experiences provided for children – the resources they use, the interactions that we build into their play and the moments of ‘direct teaching’ that occur throughout the day, every day. This means that the learning environment is inextricably linked to how and what children learn and can be valued as a ‘teacher’. Securing The Development & Progression of Skills As well as encouraging children’s independence and nurturing a wide range of learning behaviours – a well-planned and carefully resourced environment supports the acquisition, development and progression of skills and competencies. Therefore, it is important to consider: How can the space I have available offer the best opportunities and conditions for learning? How can I create a space in which children feel secure, empowered and joyful?

Promoting Mastery Learning Creating spaces that are appealing, continually available and familiar to young children enables deeper learning - as children return to, repeat and extend their ideas over time. This promotes mastery behaviour as children are introduced to and supported with the use of carefully selected high-quality resources. Each resource needs to be chosen to not only connect with children’s interests and their natural curiosity to investigate but also with its purpose in mind. We always need to know why we have a particular resource or area of provision and critically, how we keep using it to support learning across the curriculum. Offering Core Learning Experiences It is these decisions that form the planning for what becomes our continuous provision – the core learning experiences we consistently provide for children each day as they enter the classroom. If a curriculum aim is to develop independent learners, then the intelligent classroom provides accessibility – empowering children to lead their own learning. Resources are carefully organised to make them visible to adults and children – not hidden away but valued and celebrated! They should also be presented in ways to make them not only appealing to use but also to support incidental learning, e.g. using labelling and shadowing to reinforce early literacy and numeracy.

Creating Delightful Corners of Curiosity Alongside continuous provision, creating delightful corners of curiosity enable us to introduce inspiring enhancements to bring new learning to our classrooms – enriching language, deepening understanding and providing opportunities to embed prior learning in new and diverse contexts.

“Adults admire their environment; they can remember it and think about it – but a child absorbs it. The things he sees are not just remembered, they form part of his soul.” If we consider the words of Maria Montessori, then we truly have the opportunity to create classrooms that become an effective and inspiring ‘teacher’.

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Accreditation helps educators and assures parents Annette Bohling, Chief Certification Officer for the world’s largest accrediting body, explains what schools learn from accreditation and how it helps them to continuously improve For international school leaders, accreditation is an independent seal of approval that gives credibility to the transcripts and diplomas that allow students to attend universities anywhere in the world. The process assures parents that schools’ programs, processes, and instruction have been evaluated against high standards, and measured by an independent agency that they can trust to determine the level of overall quality. It tells parents that international schools are truly distinctive and are the premiere institutions they claim to be. In many cases, ministries of education rely on accreditors to ensure that schools meet numerous additional criteria of importance to them. But accreditation also provides leaders of international schools with a framework to clearly assess the quality of the institution they lead and better meet the needs of every student. School leaders and staff engage with review teams and receive a wealth of information that they would not be able to identify on their own. By making all of the realities of schooling visible and shining a light on weak areas and unexpected strengths, accreditation shows educators where their schools stand and what they can do to move forward. My organization – Cognia (formerly AdvancED) – is the world’s largest accrediting body, providing reviews of school quality in 36,000 schools in 85 countries across the globe. This vantage point gives us a front-row seat to ascertain what schools most need to do to improve, and deep insight into how various aspects of school leadership, resource allocation, and instruction make a difference to student and school success. Culture Drives Performance We have learned that the ways schools shape their written (and unwritten) rules influence every aspect of how a school functions. In research based on engagement reviews conducted by Cognia, schools where the entire learning community is actively engaged, empowered, and supportive score significantly higher in overall quality – nearly 10 percent higher on our measures of instructional quality than those with lower culture ratings. Culture does not just apply to Autumn

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adults. The more opportunities students have to be owners of their learning, collaborate with peers, and engage in activities that require movement, voice, and thinking, the higher the school’s overall rating tends to be. Additionally, schools where parents are engaged and active also tend to be higher-performing overall. Many schools have sought to create new types of learning environments that help students become more engaged and actively involved with learning. But surveys of more than 400,000 students and nearly 100,000 teachers worldwide made available from accreditation reviews indicate that there is a profound disconnect between what teachers say students do and what students say they spend most of their time working on in class. These insights transcend national boundaries and can help school leaders improve teaching and learning in a wide range of educational settings. The data from Cognia show that, while the majority of teachers believe students are deeply engaged in active learning, most middle and high school students say that they spend a great deal of time listening to teachers and completing worksheets. Students also say that teachers are neither challenging them nor encouraging them to complete long projects or to work regularly with their peers. The Technology Disconnect Similarly, in our observation of 250,000 classrooms worldwide, we have found that educators often lack a clear picture of how technology is being used in learning. While sophisticated technology and digital learning tools are becoming more commonplace in schools, these technologies are not being used to change how students learn on a daily basis. In fact, the data indicate that in a majority of all classes, there is little evidence of students using technology to gather, evaluate, and/or use information for learning. In an even more significant percentage of classrooms there is little evidence of technology being used to conduct research, solve problems, create original works, or communicate and work collaboratively for learning. The lack of effective use appears to be less about school access to broadband or wireless, or student access

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Sponsored content to digital tools (tablets, laptops, and smartphones), and more about lack of training to put them to work. Educators often believe that technology tools are useful only in certain contexts for certain students, or that they can be inappropriately used and are an off-task distraction to learning. In fact, schools across the globe score only 1.8 on a 4-point scale in how students use technology for actual learning. We typically find that even the best schools can do more to improve their overall effectiveness. Every school ought to commit to a journey of continuous improvement. Changes in technology, staff, curriculum, enrollment, and demands from college and work require that schools adjust and rethink the policies and practices that may have worked well in the past. Moreover, school quality shouldn’t be viewed as an all-or-nothing proposition. In past decades, accreditors gave schools and districts a simple thumbs-up or down, either recommending or denying accreditation. But we have learned that this does not give schools a clear enough sense of where they stand, nor does it create an incentive for schools to go beyond “good enough”. It fails to point a path forward to reaching a higher standard.

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The accreditation process can be a major step toward helping schools continuously improve. Our work helps schools develop actionable plans based on clear evidence and data to identify what they need to do next. For school leaders and educators, one of the greatest advantages of accreditation is the window we provide into other schools. Accreditors encourage schools to participate in peer review of other schools by serving on accreditation teams, which educators often say are among the most valuable experiences they can have in understanding what quality looks like in other schools. Virtually every school is a work in progress. Engaging school leaders and educators in an accreditation process focused on continuous improvement – not compliance – represents one of the best ways to shift a school’s culture to reflect our changing world. Annette Bohling is Chief Certification Officer and Chief of Global Operations for Cognia, formerly AdvancED l Measured Progress (cognia.org). Email: annette.bohling@cognia.org

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How could Lean principles apply in schools? Blake Purchase, of Lean Consulting, explains A subsidiary of the world-renowned University of St Andrews, Scotland, St Andrews Lean Consulting is a process improvement consultancy with a decade of experience working with educational institutions all around the world to develop a culture of Continuous Improvement, embedding skills, knowledge, and techniques into our clients’ organisational philosophy. From the British School at Rome to Murdoch University, Western Australia, we have spanned the globe in the pursuit of improvements in capability and capacity for our clients, through workshops, formal training, and consultancy. Having established this reputation as experts in the field, we asked ourselves an important question: why not seek to embed this way of doing things among the institutions that often directly precede the universities we have worked with: schools? If a global centre of learning such as Murdoch University can benefit from ‘improved business processes and exciting collaboration’, why can an international school not benefit in the same way? And that is the reason we are writing here. But before I discuss how Lean could be applied in a scholastic context, I had better outline what Lean is. We describe Lean as ‘the right people continuously searching for the simplest and smoothest process, in order to meet customer needs perfectly.’ It is a philosophy that centres on the two fundamentals of Continuous Improvement and Respect for People, and the five principles of adding Value (and removing waste), Process (optimal procedures), Pull (meeting customer needs), Flow (smoothing out peaks and troughs) and Perfection (aiming to get it right first time). The culmination of these elements when embedded at an organisation, whether it be a University, college or law firm, are improvements in efficiency, quality, staff morale, internal communication and cooperation, as well as customer service. In the pursuit of these improvements, we have developed and utilised many times over the last decade the St Andrews Model.

To give two interesting examples of work undertaken, in Berea College’s historic Boone Tavern in 2016 we delivered a two-day Lean training programme consisting of an introduction to Lean, and an overview of some common tools and our eight-step model. As for the outcome, one participant provided an excellent summary, with the programme ‘changing my way of thinking and way of approaching problems forever.’ More relevant still, the British School at Rome whilst in fact a research institute, experienced many issues undoubtedly familiar to those faced in international schools. There, a very mobile, international population was the chief cause of some quite complex organisational needs, leading to staff feeling the pressure to fulfil all these as required, with the absence of a budget to employ extra staff to relieve that pressure. We went in and held an intensive three-day workshop that tackled the issues of IT renovation, re-working of financial processes and residence management. New systems were developed which relieved a great deal of pressure from staff, with 60% less time spent managing bookings and 20% less time spent on financial administration. So, as alluded to, there are certainly specific parallels to draw between some of the institutions we have helped and international schools – smoothing out the ‘peaks and troughs’ associated with mobile populations being one - but let us face it, education institutions for the most part share a set of common functions and associated challenges, whether in finance or admissions. The processes that make up the functions are just as susceptible to waste, inefficiency build up, and the gradual emergence of suboptimal procedure. Our tried and tested approach entails coming to your school for a Scoping session in order to establish some goals, and later engaging in the most important step of Redesign, in which we would assemble the project team to understand existing processes and create new processes, while developing skills among staff members responsible for implementation – which culminates in a sea of post-it notes. We promise, though, that it is a case of organised chaos. So that is us, Lean, and how we could assist in a scholastic environment. Blake Purchase is Business Development Associate at St Andrews Lean Consulting St Andrews Lean Consulting: https://standrewslean.com Email: lean@st-andrews.ac.uk Spring |

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What to consider when purchasing teaching and learning software Kim Edwards recommends a learnerfocussed approach to your thinking I was recently presenting to a school and joked that choosing a teaching and learning software system was like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with no straight edges. It’s frustrating, complex and seriously hard to know where to start. I’d strongly argue that there’s significantly more to choosing an LMS (Learning Management System) than simply comparing products. Conversely, choosing the right LMS requires a school to look inwards, and firstly consider their vision, strategic goals, resourcing, staff skill development, communication, teacher incentives and how they intend to implement this complex change. Neglecting any of these factors is a massive risk and Autumn

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increases the likelihood that the whole process will repeat itself when a shiny new system comes along. So how should you go about finding a new LMS for your school? A number of key dimensions need to be considered to ensure your investment will stand the test of time. Think teachers, not features I can’t stress this enough. If your decision is built around ‘having the most features’, your focus is already in the wrong place. Instead, start by thinking about your teachers on the frontline. Do they have the time to use

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The learner-focussed approach When it comes to choosing an LMS, I’m a huge advocate for a learner-focussed approach. This strategy centres the search around the system’s capacity to impact teaching and learning. A good LMS will foster a learner-focussed approach by supporting your school in three key areas: Learning, Progress and Achievement. The National College for School Leadership article, Learning-centred Leadership: Towards personalised learning-centred leadership (n.d), identified the following structures and systems that make ‘a difference to the quality of learning and teaching in classrooms’: • Transparent planning processes where units of work and lessons can easily be accessed and reviewed, along with individual students or groups of students, classes and year groups • Setting targets for individual students or groups of students, classes and year groups • A seamless communication system – not only with teachers, but also with parents and students • Sophisticated tools for monitoring and analysing student learning data and providing feedback The key here is to find an LMS that provides transparency to the teaching and learning process so that everyone, from the top of the school to the bottom, can view lessons, units of work, student results, feedback and wellbeing information, which will enable appropriate targets to be set. The LMS must include a communication system that allows teachers to seamlessly communicate the above information to parents, students and teachers. Finally, the LMS must have a sophisticated tool for analysing student learning data, helping schools to find out what is really happening behind the curtains. A high-level analytical tool supports schools to expose trends and identify potential issues before they happen, enabling them to work proactively for better learning outcomes. The missing piece If we jump back to the jigsaw analogy, the ‘missing’ piece of the LMS puzzle is commonly the software’s ability to support the school’s strategic vision and goals. For example, if one of your goals is to boost the quality of the teaching and learning programme and, as a result, improve student learning outcomes, then you should firstly identify: • How will the new system enable this? • Will the students’ learning be visible? • Will teachers’ planning, lessons, marks, feedback and reports be accessible 24/7? • Can teachers teaching the same programme easily

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collaborate and share expertise and resources? • Can this collaboration reduce teacher workloads? • Can students and parents have access to all their teaching and learning information at the click of a button so that student progress, achievements and learning are communicated continuously and not solely at the semester reports? • Can student well-being information be easily accessed by relevant staff so they can make informed decisions? By extrapolating the software’s capabilities within the context of your unique strategic goals, you maximise the chances of finding a system that will put your school on the path to success. Planning for success Once all the aforementioned boxes are ticked, then the final piece of the puzzle is to identify how the system will be implemented so that all parties are still talking to each other at the end of the process. If there’s one thing you take away from this article, then make it this: Don’t ignore the teachers who have to implement the system. Yates (2013) identifies several key operational and organisational parameters that are critical in successfully managing a complex change. The operational parameters focus on the task, strategies, tools and measurements for success. The organisational parameters focus on the people issues – the process and structures, training and development of a system culture that permeates the school. Yates symbolises this as a growing grid. Those familiar with Fullan (2006) may have heard of a concept known as ‘the implementation dip’ – which he defines as ‘literally a dip in performance and confidence as one encounters an innovation that requires new skills and new understandings.’ My question to you is, have you factored this into your plan? How will you navigate changing teachers’ practices when they do not believe in the change or don’t understand it? What is your plan to address the dip? As Fullan (2006) states: ‘behaviours change before beliefs’, so make sure you respect the human element of what can often be a heavily financed and IT-influenced decision. If all above has been considered and a detailed implementation plan has been created, then congratulations – your likelihood of success is much greater! This approach will help ensure your new teaching and learning software will support the cultivation of a learning-focussed approach where improved student outcomes are at the centre. References Fullan M (2006) Turnaround leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. NCSL (n.d.) Learning-centred Leadership (Pack II). Nottingham: NCSL Yates M (2013) Retrieved 12 May 2019, from https://www.leader-values. com/index.php

Kim Edwards is an IB Workshop Leader, IBEN Lead Educator and School Visit Team Leader Email: learnmore@seqta.com.au SEQTA software: https://seqta.com.au Spring |

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this tool correctly? What value does it actually offer? What does this contribute in the context of the wider system? It’s a minefield, but if you start by looking at what your users actually need, you’ll limit the risk of spending your budget on new toys that no-one wants to play with.

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Full-time and parttime studies through the University of Bath Mary Hayden gives an overview of the courses offered In the half century and more since its foundation on a hill just outside the city of Bath, the University of Bath has gone from strength to strength in establishing itself as one of the most highly regarded UK universities. With more than 18,500 students currently enrolled, representing over 130 nationalities, more than 30% are from outside the UK and around 5,000 are postgraduates. The university’s research grants and contracts portfolio is worth approximately £150 million, in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 87% of our research was defined as world-leading or Autumn

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internationally excellent, and in the most recent national Teaching Excellence Framework exercise (TEF) we were awarded Gold (the highest) status. Ranked 4th overall out of 122 UK universities in the THE Student Experience Survey 2018, and 6th best university in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020, the University of Bath consistently attracts high quality students across the range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses offered through its School of Management, and Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Humanities & Social Sciences.

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Postgraduate Certificate in International Education (PGCiE) Part-time

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Give yourself an edge in international education by choosing this specialist part-time qualification from the University of Bath. • Learn how to engage with academic theory and apply concepts to your own practice. • Explore issues relating to education in an international context. • Study in a way that suits your lifestyle; face to face at Summer Schools and Study Centres, completely online, or a combination of your choice.

Explore the course: go.bath.ac.uk/pgcie

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Sponsored content It is the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences in which the Department of Education is located, with its range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level and its research interests in – amongst other areas – international schools, international curricula and international education more broadly. While our undergraduate BA Education with Psychology attracts great students from the UK and more widely – including, regularly, students from international schools and alumni of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (indeed we currently have around 1,000 IB Diploma alumni as undergraduates across campus), it is postgraduate courses to which our international education-related research interests largely contribute. For those who are able to join us on campus for 12 months of full-time study, three taught Masters degrees run between September and August each year: the MA International Education & Globalisation, the MA TESOL, and the recently launched MA English Medium Instruction, in addition to the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Master of Research (MRes) course and the MPhil (research Masters degree). At doctoral level, the full-time PhD takes between 3 and 5 years to complete. For part-time study, many readers will be familiar with the well-established MA Education and its related pathways specialising in international education, leadership & management, and learning & teaching. With a current enrolment of over 700 teachers and leaders worldwide, the MA Education is offered on a part-time basis through modes including Summer School on campus each late June/ July, Study Centres in a number of locations worldwide, and online distance learning. For those who have experience of teaching one or more of the IB programmes, it is possible to link MA Education study with working towards one of the IB Educator Certificates. While successful completion of 5 units (modules) plus a 15,000 word dissertation leads to award of

With a current enrolment of over 700 teachers and leaders worldwide, the MA Education is offered on a part-time basis.

a doctorate, which involves completion of 4 units offered on campus during late June/July or January, followed by a 45,000 word thesis. Teaching and supervision on all courses offered by the Department of Education is led by research, and by tutors who are themselves active researchers. Students are encouraged in their coursework assignments not only to demonstrate their familiarity with literature and to engage critically with research and theory, but also to draw on their professional experience and expertise in relating theory to practice. For those working in international schools, their studies may therefore be directly relevant to their role as classroom teacher or leader – and indeed may lead to publication of articles in International School magazine and elsewhere! Find out more through the following links: University of Bath: www.bath.ac.uk Department of Education: www.bath.ac.uk/departments/department-ofeducation/ MA Education: https://www.bath.ac.uk/campaigns/ma-education/ IB Educator Certificates: www.bath.ac.uk/education/postgraduate/ international-baccalaureate

the MA Education, successful completion of 3 units leads to the award of the Postgraduate Certificate in Educational Studies, and of 5 units to the Postgraduate Diploma in Education. A related and recent addition to our suite of parttime postgraduate courses is the Postgraduate Certificate in International Education (PGCiE), awarded for the completion of 3 units with a particular focus on international education. At Doctoral level, the PhD may be completed on a part-time basis. Most of our part-time doctoral students, however, opt for the EdD (Doctor of Education) route to Autumn

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PGCiE: go.bath.ac.uk/pgcie EdD (Doctor of Education): www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/doctof-educ/ Department of Education academic staff: https://www.bath.ac.uk/teams/ department-of-education-academic-staff/

Dr Mary Hayden is Professor of International Education in the Department of Education at the University of Bath, UK Email: m.c.hayden@bath.ac.uk

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To find out how we can help your school, visit StAndrewsLean.com

To learn more, visit collegeready.rice.edu.


Book reviews

Education in China Philosophy, Politics and Culture by Janette Ryan Polity Press (2019) Reviewed by Malcolm Pritchard Education in China is an ambitious title for a challenging project that attempts a comprehensive survey of education across six millennia in the world’s most populous nation, condensed into 242 pages. This book is a brave and creditable attempt to achieve this. The author draws heavily on her personal experience from the 1980s of living and working in Jiangsu Province in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to introduce some of the political and social forces shaping China at the time. The narrative covers the genesis, development, and current state of education in China, from its deeply Confucian roots, through the exacting scholarly labors of the social elite during the imperial examination era, to the dynamism, innovation, and contradictory imperatives driving education in the economic powerhouse that China has become in the 21st century. What emerges is a very useful survey of the past, a snapshot of the present, and some speculation about future directions. The six-chapter structure of the book offers a chronology of the philosophical, social, and political forces that have shaped education in ‘China’ from its imperial past to its communist present, journeying from the Confucian past through revolution, reform, and resistance to the challenges, inequalities and contradictions evident in contemporary Chinese education. While perhaps not clearly defined, the term ‘China’ used throughout the book refers to the PRC and as such does not seek to extend its scope to the political complexities of ‘greater’ China beyond that context. Given the relative brevity of the work, and its perspective – drawing largely on English language sources, published both within and beyond China – the author has achieved an impressive balancing act. The structure is generally helpful, with some key questions that aid the non-expert in developing an understanding of education in China, as seen from the author’s perspective. Throughout the book, key terms are described and presented in both Hanyu Pinyin and simplified characters for reference. Considerable effort has been made to balance Chinese ‘exceptionalism’ against more globalist perspectives that view China in the 21st century as a threat to the global order. In taking this approach, the author certainly avoids some of the more glaring vices of typical western perspectives on China. Ryan offers a relatively evenhanded analysis, despite its limitations of scope and content, in sifting through the essential aspects of education that Autumn

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cannot be omitted from any competent account. The opening chapter considers the genesis of contemporary Chinese education, paying attention to the ubiquitous influence of Confucian thought on Chinese culture and its legitimizing role in the exercise of political power; the centrality of Confucianism also features prominently in much of the discussion in following chapters. Helpfully, the author corrects a common misconception about Confucianism as a philosophical framework, not a religion. The imperial examination system, abandoned at the turn of the 20th century, is also given a thorough treatment. Some interesting anecdotes from the early years of the Republic, such as the interactions between Chinese academics and the American educationalist John Dewey, provide the reader with useful historical perspective on the influences and tensions within the field of education in post-imperial China. The historical survey ends with a brief description of the years following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with a summary of education during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), and the revival of the modern incarnation of the Chinese examination system, the Gaokao. Subsequent chapters take the reader through various aspects of education, an understanding of which is essential if one is to grasp the reality of contemporary Chinese education. For example, a chapter is devoted to the national and provincial governance, policy, and administrative structures relevant to education. Within this framework, the author offers some discussion of the aspirational and hypercompetitive nature of contemporary Chinese education, at a national, societal and institutional level, examining the inevitable distorting and corrupting impact of these forces on curriculum and classroom pedagogy. A survey of the national education system is examined by sector, from pre-school through to adult and vocational education. This survey, however, tends towards generalizations that are probably most appropriately applied to senior high school or undergraduate tertiary education. ‘Reform and Resistance’ considers the various competing forces that seek to innovate or conserve the education system, pulling administrators and educators in different

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Book reviews directions. The complexities and contradictions associated with reformist policies and practices are illustrated with some anecdotes reflecting the personal experiences of the author in visiting schools in China. The tensions between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ education are considered, along with the friction generated by clashes between imported foreign concepts and existing internal practices. ‘Inequalities and Disparities’ explores the highly complex, often fragmented, and multidimensional nature of modern Chinese society which is broadly reflected in its education system. Throughout the book, the references cited are almost exclusively from English language documents, articles, reports, or translations. It is therefore arguable that the perspectives and evidence presented reflect an external view of China and its education system, one that is largely constructed from evidence intended for foreign audiences (such as the China Daily), or compiled by foreign academics and observers. This is not to suggest that the evidence is inaccurate, intentionally biased, or unrepresentative, to a point, but it does necessarily reflect the limitations imposed on the narrative. Ideally, the presentation of a counter-balance – a more sympathetic view from within a wholly Chinese worldview – would enhance the book. This approach is one that looks

at the overwhelming challenges faced by the Chinese government in attempting to harmonize disparate ethnic groups, promote national unity, stabilize unrest, eliminate inequality, and maintain social order, all while creating a literate, productive citizenry of 1.4 billion people. Depending on the perspective of the reader, some of the discussion – drawing on English language sources – focuses on intellectual, cultural, and philosophical debates in which external, largely western thinking is pitted against Chinese values and views. The contest thus described, while fascinating, it not necessarily entirely representative of how these questions are viewed from the inside by Chinese thinkers, educators, and leaders. In summary, for those seeking to know more about the field of education in China, the book offers an account that is highly readable, factually rich, and interesting. Its strengths lie in its commitment to balance and judiciously selected detail, albeit within the limitations imposed by its sources and authorial perspective. Malcolm Pritchard is Head of School at The Independent Schools Foundation (ISF) Academy, Hong Kong Email: mpritchard@isf.edu.hk

The leading global guide to international schools – are you featured? John Catt’s Guide to International Schools and www.internationalschoolsearch.com • Check your school’s listing and let us know of any updates needed • Promote your school with up to 800 words, logo, photo and social media links • Feature on new ‘country profile’ sections, exploring the international education sector across the globe • Read news about international schools and articles from school leaders, teachers, universities, consultants and associations

The 2019/20 edition of John Catt’s Guide to International Schools is now available www.internationalschoolsearch.com is updated every day! Contact: enquiries@johncatt.com or call +44 (0) 1394 389850 Spring |

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Book reviews

Offline

Free your mind from smartphone and social media stress by Imran Rashid and Soren Kenner Capstone (2019) Reviewed by Finja Kruse In Offline, Imran Rashid and Soren Kenner take us on a research-based journey of subconscious manipulation, and spark an international debate around the influences of social media. The book explores the effects of devices and social media on our behaviour, using scientific evidence and additional publications as a backdrop for the scary reality of using technology, tech companies’ manipulation and the evolutionary changes we subconsciously undergo. Though the size of the book suggests an easy ‘afternoon read’, the content makes us question our awareness of how technology influences our behaviour. It isn’t until we put the book aside, and pause for a moment to reflect upon what we have read, that we suddenly realise how unaware we are of mind hacks and their effects. Whether parents, teachers or educators, digital knowledge is essential when we want to succeed in bringing up new generations of digital natives. Why it is that we rarely challenge the effects of social media usage, even though questioning the world around us is a human habit? Rashid and Kenner introduce us to mind hacks (tricks that companies/devices use to capture and keep our attention fixed using ‘addictive design’) in an eye-opening sequence of evolutionary change through digital manipulation. They provide us with some background as to why they decided to write the book, and introduce terms such as DFRAG (digital fragmentation syndrome) that describes digital interactions as the cause of constant fragmentation of humans’ experience of time, space and consciousness. They categorise these symptoms into physiological, psychological and social symptoms as the unintended and unpredicted consequence of what they describe as ‘digital pollution’ (side effects of digital manipulation strategies). The book is divided into seven chapters and introduces us to tech industries and the evolutionary change of our brain. It begins with the exploration of human needs and the effect of digital hacks, and reaches its destination in a guide to counteract the pollution, and tear down unwanted digital habits. In the first chapter the authors refer to the internet and its complementary technologies as the biggest cultural tsunami since the industrial revolution. The shift towards information overload and the transformation of purpose-oriented tools towards digital distractions pose a major challenge for teachers and parents with children growing up within this environment. The next three chapters elaborate on the evolution of consciousness, understanding mind hacks and the human need for socialisation which causes DFRAG symptoms to accelerate as mental health is affected by the lack of human interaction, anxiety about missing out, and sleep deprivation due to time spent online. Autumn

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The next couple of chapters focus on the scary reality of how much the tech industry and advertisers know about us and their strategies to keep us riveted to their services. In Chapter six the authors revisit a large number of studies indicating a wide spectrum of detrimental effects caused by social media usage, and call attention to unintended side effects. Rashid and Kenner conclude with the revealing truth that ‘[T]he road ahead is all about the choices you make’. The final chapter intends to facilitate conscious decision-making about the usage of digital devices and social media, and the choice as to when and where to take a break and simply go offline once in a while. While the changes are simple, taking the step to go offline is not easy. For educators in the digital age the use of technology seems inevitable, and while the book does not demonize social media, smartphones, tablets or the internet, it acknowledges the growing opportunities for classrooms, schools and 21st century teaching and learning. However, in order to use these as a medium for purposeful education, a solid understanding of the risks and mitigation strategies to embrace the positives and diminish the risks is utterly important. Realising that our ability to focus, mental health and time management are possible zones of danger, we can counteract these risks by using the school environment to engage actively in making conscious choices of going offline, taking a step back and evaluating the use of devices and resources with students. The authors emphasise the importance of forming healthy digital habits rather than trying to get rid of technology or abandon its tools. International schools have the power to embrace these healthy habits and promote a better understanding of technology and its associated dangers. Ergo, students’ awareness is enhanced, and they can reapply their understanding outside of the school environment. As a final point, it should be noted that the majority of studies in this area stem from ‘western’ contexts. It would be valuable if further studies could include greater diversity in order to achieve a broader range of depth and cultural insights. Finja Kruse is a Lower School teacher of Art and PE at Dwight School London Email: finja.kruse@outlook.com

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If you are interested in writing an article for International School magazine, we would like to hear from you! The editors of International School, Prof Mary Hayden and Prof Jeff Thompson, would like to encourage teachers and leaders/ managers/administrators to consider how they could contribute to this magazine. We would love to hear from you with your article ideas. Articles have as their focus the sharing of ideas and good practice which may be of relevance to others with an interest in international education in schools – whether international schools, or national schools and other organisations encouraging an international dimension to education. We will be pleased to receive articles relating to international education including: • good news stories • articles about good practice • articles about interesting initiatives • provocative articles that will stimulate discussion and debate Please get in touch with us at editor@is-mag.com. We look forward to hearing from you. Articles should be submitted as Word files, ideally accompanied by a good quality photograph, to editor@is-mag.com [Please note that a photograph relevant to the theme of the article is preferable to a photograph of the author(s)] A onesentence biographical note about the author(s) should also be provided, as well as email address(es), which will be included if the article is accepted for publication. Please also include a postal address so that, if the article is published, a copy of the relevant issue of International School can be posted to you. When including photographs for publication, please note that: • photographs need to be of high quality (at least 300dpi, file size at least 6MB), and supplied in JPEG or TIF format. Images taken from the internet are not suitable. • photographs must be submitted as separate files from the Word file article to which they relate, and cannot be reproduced if they are embedded in Word or any other programme. • the article author(s) need(s) to have obtained permission to publish the photograph from anyone who can be seen in it.

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