Families who join an international school community have an enriching opportunity. By definition, international education serves a global community with dozens of nationalities. Students experience a daily fabric representing the diverse tapestry of the world. With the number of international schools increasing rapidly, students and parents have many options of schools from which to choose.
When selecting an international school, families must consider various factors. Of chief importance is that learning focuses on student growth. Education is only as valuable as its lasting effect on students’ passion for learning. Each family should develop inquiries based on the individual child’s interests, goals, and aptitudes. In addition, these five questions help identify schools that develop lifelong learners.
1. How does teaching support learning?
What to look for: Student growth results from a pedagogy emphasizing good habits, great books, and guided discovery. Inquiry and exploration should form the basis of learning activities. For example, rather than students asking “why” so that teachers can fill their heads with facts, teachers should be asking “why” then guiding students on a journey of discovery. Aristotle asserted that “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Look for practices that help students develop positive habits for life.
2. How does the school extend learning beyond the classroom?
What to look for: Education should connect students to the world through learning and service. Look for meaningful outreach opportunities, including service projects and travel abroad. Schools ideally provide a range of global languages, co-curricular activities, and practicums such as internships, job shadowing, or work-based learning. In addition, practical life skills such as woodworking, gardening, culinary arts, and speaking opportunities are enriching on many levels.