Dates: 23 & 24 March 2017
United World College of South East Asia, Dover Campus, Singapore
Registration Deadline: 23 February 2017 


Strand B | Promoting Global Citizenship: Learning Objectives, Pedagogy & Assessment

Helena Sobulis | Strand Leader

Helena Sobulis has worked as an educator in Australia, the United States and Singapore. Presently she is a member of the CIS team working as a School Support and Evaluation Officer supporting over 70 schools attain school accreditation in nine countries including Australia and South East Asia. Helena has played key advisory roles in education at state and national level in Australia including Senior Education Adviser to the Parliamentary Secretary assisting the Federal Minister for Education. As a first generation Australian of Polish and Latvian descent, living in a culturally rich and diverse environment that resembled a microcosm of the world, Helena developed an early interest in the issues of identity, belonging and connectedness. Due to her personal background and international experiences, she developed a particular interest in people with cross-cultural childhoods that has led to her exploration of the concept of global citizenship. Helena currently is completing her PhD studies examining the lived experiences of people who have had cross-cultural childhoods. Helena is based in Adelaide, Australia.

Global Connections, Local Context and the Business of International Mindedness

Presenter: James MacDonald
Organisation: GEMS Education

International schools started as independent local organizations, often not-for-profit and governed by parent boards. As has been well documented, these traditional types of schools are no longer being created in great numbers, rather much of the growth is driven by for-profit organizations. The largest for-profit organization in the world in the K-12 space is GEMS education, based in Dubai with the majority of its operations in the UAE. In the last 5 years, GEMS has opened a global network of GEMS World Academies (GWA’s) in the US, Singapore, Switzerland and, of course, in the UAE. These schools offer three IB programmes on campuses with impressive facilities. 

Given how these schools have developed, we have an interesting lens of analysis for how international mindedness develops within a local connect. We also can explore the tension between finding and implementing meaningful points of connection within the network (and beyond the IB programmes), while encouraging the leadership of each school to develop according to the needs of their unique community. Another question, which may be the modern elephant in the room, is what impact does the fact that a large for-profit organization oversees the network have, and what, if any, impact does this have upon the embedding elements like international mindedness? It is someone ironic that for many years international education was developed by local independent organizations which were connected to each other by relatively loose and voluntary networks. Now we are seeing growth driven by global organizations who must localize their school offerings. This presentation aims to explore a variety of issues and questions, using the GWAs as a case study.

Human Technologies: A New Key in Global Citizen Education

Presenter: Toby Newton
School: International College Hong Kong (ICHK)

Human Technologies (HT) is a curriculum strand that we have been running at ICHK for four years. HT offers a novel perspective on human beliefs, practices and activity. The programme suggests that what makes us smart is not our brains in themselves, but the fact that our brains – and the thinking they generate – are able to benefit from the accumulated wisdom of our peers and forebears. In this view, language is a technology, mathematics is a technology, the scientific method is a technology. So, too, are conversational skills, giving constructive feedback, “selling” a presentation to an audience and knowing how to enthuse people as a leader. Handwriting is a technology, the “rules” of good graphic design are a technology. Fashion is a technology to promote identity and money is a technology to promote trade. Mindfulness is a technology for mental health and enjoyable physical activity a technology for bodily health. The Human Technologies curriculum engages with all these topics and more in entertaining, provocative and accessible ways. It encourages students to think critically about which technologies they want to use and how they might use them to best advantage. And, equally, to identify which technologies they would like to leave well alone and how to go about developing the self-confidence to act on their decisions.

As such, Human Technologies provides a cross-cultural, panhuman approach to understanding and appreciating the ways in which our species has come to occupy the place that it has in the world. As an important aspect of this, it offers the critical distance to rethink and reimagine the ways in which we typically make sense of our lives within and between cultures. It has proven popular with students, been reported on favourably by CIS accreditation visitors in March 2016, and is a significant part of our efforts to promote global citizenship. Any presentation on Human Technologies would cover both its theoretical basis as an "alienation curriculum" and the practicalities of creating and delivering its programmes of study.

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

Presenters: Dr Dave Stanfield & Peter Welch
Organisation/School: Council of International Schools (CIS) & 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 on points of origin is problematic. The International School of Helsinki and the Council of International Schools (CIS) 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.

Theory to Practice: Developing an Interdisciplinary Global Citizenship Experience

Presenter: Cathy Jones
School: UWC South East Asia, Singapore

Identifying the concepts, creating assessment tasks and determining pedagogies to build Global Citizenship takes a team approach. Working with teachers from diverse curriculum areas, across school sections and with an NGO and local community, we are exploring how we create a learning experience that is authentic, encourages critical thinking and collaboration and scaffolds our students with the knowledge, skills and understandings needed by responsible and aware global citizens.

The workshop will start by looking at definitions of Global Citizenship and consider the conceptual understandings necessary to promote Global Citizenship. Then we will look at how a particular case study - how our school is beginning to work with one of our NGO partners to build a service experience linked to different areas of the curriculum and how we identified explicit knowledge, skills and understandings that promote global citizenship. How do we assess the learning, and which departments assess the learning? And what pedagogies and instructional strategies best support student learning of the knowledge, skills and understandings?

How do we evaluate the programme overall? How might we know if we are having a positive impact on our students, the NGO we work with, and the community we work with? The workshop will be divided into 4 main sections: 1. Defining Global citizenship - identifying the knowledge, skills and understandings; 2. Assessment - designing an appropriate tool; 3. Pedagogies in the classroom and in the community; 4. Measuring our effectiveness. Participants will be engaged through visible thinking routines in each section.

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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