By Tom Collins, Regional MIT Lead for North America
One of the ways Nord Anglia Education sets itself apart from its competitors is the opportunity for staff to attain their master’s in international education through King’s College London (KCL). This two year course, consisting of weekly online seminars, reading, reflection tasks, and assignments, is proving to be incredibly stimulating.
Twice a year, staff are invited to King’s College London for face-to-face lectures in a weeklong residential. These intense weeks are great opportunities to discuss topics such as international mindset development in students, globalisation, and third culture kids, to name a few. For the duration of the week, instructors at King’s College London placed each staff member in a group and assigned a tutor who served to answer questions, support and facilitate the course.
Of course, having a 50 member cohort each year brings a welcome opportunity for collaboration. We are fortunate that Nord Anglia Education is a family of 46 schools worldwide, each with their own identity on the international stage. This course gives us rich exposure to different teaching practises, school cultures, and various curricula allowing us to share expertise, and build a strong sense of community.
Among the course tutors for the programme are Dr. David Pepper, who has researched assessment involving comparative and international education and mathematics education. Another tutor, Dr. Nicola Savvides, illuminated intercultural teaching experiences and international and comparative education.
These experts, and others, have opened our eyes to what it means to be an international school, how to look for ways to internationalise a curriculum, build an international mindset in school communities, and gather and analyse data.
This inevitably leads to an impact on our practise and thus, the students we teach. We are in a unique position as international educators to tailor learning opportunities that suit our global community of students. With access to the most up-to-date educational research, course participants are able to ensure their classroom practise is at the forefront of international education.
Heading into year two brings with it a new set of modules. Topics include second language acquisition, leadership and management in international schools, research methods, and the international education research project and dissertation. Our assignments include learning a second language, keeping a log of experiences with reference to academic literature, and personal reflection on leadership and management. These assignments promise to keep the second year as thought-provoking and interesting as the first.
For my part I have gained a network of peers across Nord Anglia who I can reach out to for support and share ideas and readings. I have expanded my mind to think outside of my own experience and consider the bigger picture of international education.