As you might expect, many international school communities espouse the values of international awareness or international understanding, and rightfully so. Many of us believe that the world would be a much kinder and safer place if more children could have the opportunity to attend an international school. Indeed, Kofi Annan is credited with saying exactly this when he addressed a Model United Nations delegation.
But, I wonder if awareness and understanding are enough in today’s world? Here at the British International School of Houston, several of our Strategic Planning committees pondered this very question as they set the future educational direction for the school. More impressive is that a group of students took it upon themselves to create our new Learner and Leader Profile in conjunction with our new plan.
In that profile, our students also came to the conclusion that awareness or understanding were simply too passive; they wanted to set the bar higher than that. In our new Learner and Leader Profile, students point to enriching ourselves through our differences and acting to make a positive impact, locally and globally.
For me, this is about ensuring our students are globally engaged; which goes beyond awareness or understanding and speaks more to student collaboration and action. It puts students at the center of their own learning and makes them active participants rather than passive recipients.
It’s no accident that this philosophy was designed by our students as they created our new Learner and Leader Profile; they have been active participants right from the start.
We have many examples of this more active, student-centered approach already in action at school. In a recent student assembly (organised and run completely by students), I was amazed to see over 15 examples of service learning projects completely run by our students.
As we move forward, you will see more of our projects, events and trips become more focused on student ownership, service learning and global engagement. The students themselves have told us this is the approach they want. Who are we to stand in their way?
Enrichissons-nous de nos differences