CIS SYMPOSIUM ON INTERCULTURAL LEARNING | AMSTERDAM

Dates: 9 & 10 March 2017
Location: The International School of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Programme

STRAND B | PROMOTING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP: LEARNING OBJECTIVES, PEDAGOGY & ASSESSMENT

Stuart McLay | Strand Leader

As Associate Director of School Support & Evaluation, Stuart is based in Leiden and works with a portfolio of schools across the world in relation to the CIS membership and accreditation process. After starting his career in the UK, Stuart thereafter embarked on a twenty-year educational journey which included senior leadership roles in schools in Thailand, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, India and El Salvador, before finally enjoying a six-year tenure as Principal of Kinabalu International School on the island of Borneo. During his time overseas Stuart served on the Heads Executive Committee of the Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA), as well as supporting the work of a number of different International accreditation and inspection organisations. Having spent much of his working life experiencing a wide variety of cultures and education systems, Stuart was a natural choice to lead the new CIS International Certification Service which uses an inclusive project-based learning structure to effectively support and validate a school community’s commitment to global citizenship.

Beyond Vision to Action: Student Leadership, Intercultural Learning and Service

Presenter: Rebecca Butterworth & Lydia Eckstein
School: The Inter-Community School, Zurich

Formal structures of student leadership in schools often reflect traditional democratic structures of government and lead to a focus on instrumental changes (e.g. more common rooms and events such as dances and proms). Embedded in these structures are notions of positional power and a hierarchy of leadership that can lead to a disconnect between what we aspire to cultivate as student voice and agency in schools, and the reality realized through action (or inaction). Importantly, these traditional structures often reside on ideas of charismatic leadership and thereby privilege certain voices and ways of being over others. While as educators we want to cultivate democracy and student voice in pedagogical change, and in the process celebrate difference, the formal structures we have impact our ability to realize this vision and generate sustainable change. At the Inter-Community School Zurich, we are witnessing powerful examples of student leadership that are service orientated, globally and locally connected and organically driven by students. We are finding that students move from vision to action when they are inspired by the journey of others, see the local in the global (and vice versa), and are supported with models of collaborative leadership. These moments of powerful leadership are occurring outside of traditional structures, such as Student Councils. Our Student Councils are struggling to generate a sense of agency and belonging for students and to realize ideas that are connected to learning and global thinking.

In this workshop we will share with participants our change process, both the successes we have encountered and the challenges. We will explore questions such as: How do we create authentic opportunities for student voice in pedagogical changes that engage with their reality as global citizens? How do we create, with students, structures that take into account the more organic, sometimes messy, moments of powerful leadership? How do we ensure every student has a voice and the opportunity for action? How do we utilize the power of technology to engage with wider communities, break down traditional management models and sparked innovation and creativity?

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • Engage in a dialogue about student leadership structures that foster service leadership, student voice in pedagogical change and student agency,
  • Deepen understanding of the character traits at work in notions of service leadership and how they interface with ideas of global citizenship,
  • Co-construct models of student leadership that build student efficacy as they become drivers of change in schools.

Global Citizenship: Youth Perspectives

Presenter: Dr Sophie Cranston
University: Loughborough University

The world is currently witnessing the increased effects of climate change, the rise of far right parties, increased divisions between the richest and poorest, a refugee crisis and so on. The answer to solving some of these issues is arguably for countries to work together in order to think of how to achieve a better humanity for all, or put simply: thinking about how we can act as global citizens. Addressing what global citizenship is, the forms that it takes, and how it can be fostered are critical questions to address in order to meet the challenges of living in an increasingly globalised world. Within this, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) highlights that schools are a central place to nurture the skills and competencies involved for global citizenship. One of the unique selling points of international schools is exactly this—they promote global citizenship as an ethic. Yet, how this actually works in practice as opposed to rhetoric can be unclear.  One issue here is that accounts of what global citizenship is, and how a global politics can be developed, is defined by adults. This is despite the fact that the young people in international schools are seen as our future global citizens.

This research (to be carried out in January 2017) seeks to address this gap by looking at the ways in which young people in international schools understand what it means to be a global citizen. It will ask the students to produce cartoons (using software) to explore what they think being a global citizen means, followed up with a discussion of the cartoons. The goal is to explore the global politics that they aspire to, and the barriers they think they might face, developing a tool kit with them in how to understand and promote global citizenship. Ideally, the young people will be empowered to use this tool kit as a method to think about how their global politics can be enacted. This session will draw upon this research project. As well as providing an overview of the research, it will have interactive elements such as:

  •  providing audience with the cartoons produced by young people;
  • looking and comparing audience’s comparisons with young people’s comparisons
  • discussions of the tool kit.

Intercultural Encounters Between Children Through Storycrafting Exchange

Presenter: Oona Piipponen
School: St. John’s International School

With our globalising and increasingly interconnected world, the value of intercultural education in every kind of school system is becoming increasingly important. However, most research into intercultural competence is focused on the adult sojourner and is of limited relevance to a teacher in a primary school classroom. The goal of this action research was on the one hand pragmatic: developing a project that the teacher-researcher could use to introduce intercultural learning in an authentic way into her classroom. On the other hand, this research also aims to shed light on children’s understandings of culture and intercultural encounters, using the participatory Storycrafting method to enable the children to lead the exchange of stories with peers in a different country. Making personal connections with individuals from different cultural backgrounds can develop intercultural understanding, if the encounter is meaningful and relevant to the students’ lives. In this case, the experience of an encounter is mediated through the exchange of children’s stories. The stories are seen as vessels of culture that give the children a glimpse into their peers’ experiences, ideas and imaginations, and are invited to take the perspective of another. The stories and other ethnographic material are analysed inductively to identify cultural markers of children[?]s culture. In conclusion, this project provides a practical method that promotes intercultural encounters between children in a primary school classroom. It forms a starting point for investigating how children come to understand the culture of another.

Leveraging Students' Cultural Diversity and Learning Preferences: A Practical Tool for International Schools

Presenters: Dave Stanfield & Peter Welch
Organisation/School: Council of International Schools & International School of Helsinki

Each new student who enrolls at an international school arrives with distinct values, assumptions and approaches to learning. Yet generalizing teaching strategies to address culture based points of origin is problematic. The International School of Helsinki and the Council of International Schools collaborated to develop a questionnaire that identifies students' cultural dispositions and learning preferences that can be used by teachers and leaders to positively influence teaching and learning. The survey was specifically designed with international schools in mind with a focus on supporting a globally-mobile student population.

During the fall of 2016, the instrument was piloted with students from 17 diverse international schools from across the globe. The survey consists of 50 questions across 5 domains: student-teacher relationships, student motivations, student learning styles, student communication style, and cross-cultural communication. The results of the survey were shared with each school through an online interactive dashboard that allowed teachers and leaders to easily explore the culture and learning preferences for individual students, on a classroom level or across an entire grade or school.

The presenters will share the outcome of the pilot, including real-world examples of how the survey was used in schools, areas identified for improvement, and insights gathered from aggregate data across the pilot group.

School Perceptions on Assessing International Mindedness

Presenter: Dr Bradley Shrimpton
Organisation: International Baccalaureate

This presentation reports on a global study examining the activities and practices used by IB World Schools to support student development of 'International Mindedness' (IM). Drawing on nine case studies undertaken on four continents, findings will be shared regarding how IB schools themselves define international mindedness and attempt to enact IM in school policy, curriculum, activities and events. A strong focus of the presentation will be to explore how schools view the assessment of IM and to detail what types of assessments of IM are used by schools. The presentation will also be used as an opportunity to address challenges such as taking IM beyond superficiality, and tensions between school and state policies, reported by the nine IB World Schools who participated in the study.
KEYNOTE & PLENARY SESSIONS
Languages and Hyperspheres in our Brains: Towards a New Paradigm for Intercultural Learning?
Speaker: Bruno della Chiesa
Institution: Visiting Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  

Educating for 2030
Speaker: Michael Stevenson
Institution: Senior Advisor, Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD)

  

Educational Universality Through a Humane Lens: We ≠ You + Me
Speaker: Haifa Hajjar Najjar
Institution: Senator in the Upper House of the Jordanian Parliament (Jordanian Senate), Superintendent of Ahliyyah School for Girls and Bishop's School for Boys Amman


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