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Unintended Outcomes of Service Learning: Being on the right side of the tide

by Ann Straub, International Advisor, Council of International Schools

The Council of International Schools has at its core, global citizenship. A vital aspect of global citizenship is taking action to benefit humanity in order to create social sustainability. This action often manifests itself in the form of service learning. What better way to engage our students than with helping other children around the world? However, as stated by Emmanuel Werner from Friends-International, an NGO with programs in South-East Asia and Switzerland, “Service learning has to be done the right way. It is recognized that good intentions are not enough and volunteering may cause more harm than good if not well thought out.”

Emmanuelle goes on…

Posted by CIS on Thursday July 20 at 15:09
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The Self-Study Process

By Neil Bunting, Greenfield Community School, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Having just completed the self-study process for accreditation at Greenfield Community School (GCS), Dubai, I thought it would be useful to share some of the benefits of the process for our school, and also, from what I have seen from other schools that I have visited as part of the visiting team.

First, and foremost, the self-study process enabled all of our school community – all stakeholders – to contribute and give their opinion and thoughts on life at GCS. These contributions were invaluable in establishing a 360-degrees, holistic view of the school.

HAVE A VISION

The schools that I have observed that have made the best use of the self-…

Posted by CIS on Friday July 7
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What are the realistic expectations for Intercultural Learning to occur in Schools?

By Martha Ross, Vienna International School

The CIS Symposium on Intercultural Learning provided the forum for interested educators like myself to reflect on the importance of intercultural competencies within the field of international education. We shared examples of good practice, current research and discussions about student experience, which contributed to interesting debate and raised the consciousness of us all. For two days, we lived in the ideology of intercultural learning. We heard from impressive student key note speakers from The International School of Amsterdam, who reinforced the effects that intercultural learning has had, and will have, on their lives.

After attending the first Symposium last year, I had the opportunity…

Posted by CIS on Friday June 23
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Beyond Vision to Action: Student Leadership, Intercultural Learning and Service

by Rebecca Butterworth and Lydia Eckstein, Inter-Community School, Zurich

Setting the Scene…

“I experience learning as coercive.” When one of our student ambassadors made this statement at a leadership conference about the future of learning, it gave us good reason to pause. As committed educators we believed that students were at the heart of our decision-making. How could this be that learning was coercive? Were we truly that controlling?

According to this student, yes. Choice in what and how to learn is limited, and even more so as students move through the system and sit final examinations. This student was articulating that her experience of schooling reflected a top-down power structure where the adults ‘…

Posted by CIS on Friday June 9
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Language instruction through an asset-based approach: Understanding what students can do with languages

By Lorena Mancilla, PhD, Director of WIDA Early Years

Language is intricately tied to our identity. However, far too often multilingual students are subjected to implicit, and at times explicit, messages that devalue their home language and/or language practices. Such deficit-based messages can be detrimental to a student’s identity and can negatively impact their learning and language development.

In her seminal work on borderland identity, Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) wrote, “So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity—I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself.” Recognizing that language and …

Posted by CIS on Monday June 5
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