Dates: 23 & 24 March 2018
Location: Carlucci American International School of Lisbon, Portugal


STRAND B | Moving beyond international mindedness: Teaching and learning strategies for global citizenship

George Hobson | Strand Leader

George Hobson joined CIS as School Support & Evaluation Officer working within the School Support & Evaluation team in September 2014. Previous to this, George was the Headmaster and CEO at Academia Británica Cuscatleca in El Salvador, a school of 1,460 students from Pre-K to 12th grade with 200 staff. The school offers the IB Diploma, IGCSE, National Curriculum of England, International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and the Salvadorian Curriculum.

From 1996 - 1999, George was at St. Julian’s School in Portugal as Deputy Headmaster. He also served as their Vice Principal and IB Coordinator (1995 - 1996), and Head of the IB Section (1992 - 1995). George worked at The Bahrain School, Manama for ten years (1982 - 1992) as Mathematics Coordinator (K-12). Prior to this he taught in the UK.

George joined CIS with extensive experience as an Accreditation Visit Leader and Accreditation Report Reader/Advisor. He is partly a product of the international schools himself, starting off as a student at The British Schools in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Developing intercultural skills: Autobiographical approaches with children and adults

Presenter: Dina Mehmedbegovic, Lecturer
School/Institution: UCL IOE London

This session explores autobiographical approaches suitable for use in different subject areas with a range of age groups aimed at developing a range of skills crucial for intercultural awareness and communication. Dina will present a multimedia model, which encourages all participants of the learning community: children and adults, to explore, research and share their backgrounds. This model aims to create conditions for ‘Maximum Identity Investment’ types of learning to take place (after Cummins, 2001). In this process of sharing their own narratives with peers and teachers children experience diversity in a very personal way. As summarised by Wang and Yu (2006) autobiographical work provides the following benefits: “captures complexities of an individual life; b) exposes multiple layers of human experiences; c) shows identity in making, rather than as a static picture of the self; and d) provides intellectual and emotional  challenges  for critical self and social reflections.”

The theoretical underpinning is the ABC (Autobiography, Biography, Cultural analysis) model originally developed by Schmidt (1998) and further adapted by Finkbeiner and Koplin (2001) to ABCD, adding the aspect of developing the dialogue following the cross cultural analysis. This addition facilitates  moving from working on autobiographies to the exploration of the other through biographical writing based on interviews with participants in the class, which is followed by an analysis of similarities and differences between the self and the other. Identified differences and similarities are then used to analyse held attitudes. Finkbeiner and Koplin (2001) advocate exposure to personal narratives of peers from other cultures as a preparation for life-long intercultural learning.

This initiative enables educators to focus specifically on intercultural experiences and scaffold the process of attitude development by targeting reflection and analysis process on all four components of attitude formation: knowledge, belief, behaviour and action. A toolkit demonstrates ways of structured and targeted use of autobiographical writing in order to achieve goals of education relevant to global and local citizenship.

Education as a force for good: Enabling and empowering the voice of youth

Presenters: Valentina Fernandez-Stirling, The Kindred Project Coordinator & James McCann, The Kindred Project Coordinator
School/Institution: Sotogrande International School, Spain

As a learning community passionate about providing an International Education, Sotogrande International School (SIS), aims to encourage and inspire learning and intercultural understanding. Through an innovative approach to teaching and learning, the school has been able to promote Global Citizenship across the whole curriculum including Primary, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes. Students start to understand the world beyond themselves, the planet, all peoples and species with whom we share it; Demonstrate and promote values of compassion, respect and acceptance for all peoples, diverse cultures and beliefs; Take responsibility to find and interdependently create local and global sustainable solutions for a more peaceful and united world. This is achieved through various methods of experiential learning including Social Entrepreneurship and Service Learning.

In a visual and interactive session, we shall look at how the creation of a student-led Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) within the school, The Kindred Project, facilitates the promotion of active global citizenship by promoting education as a force for good by enabling and empowering the voice of youth as agents of positive change in their local communities and beyond. We will explore from our learnings how this approach is scalable within your own unique school environment, inclusive by demonstrating approaches to working hand in hand with your local & global partners and sustainable by the on-going journey of creating a passionate community of students and teachers who are agents of positive change.

Exploring economic diversity in a pluralistic school context

Presenters: Dr. Graham Ranger, Academic Director & Alexandra Holland, Academic Development Manager
School/Institution: The Aga Khan Academies

In 2000, His Highness the Aga Khan initiated the establishment of the Aga Khan Academies, an integrated network of schools to be located in countries across Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. The aim of the Academies is to develop future leaders with the skills and knowledge to support positive development in their own societies. The Academies achieve this by recruiting exceptional young people from all backgrounds and providing them with the highest international standard of education. Admission is means-blind and based on merit. Financial aid is available to ensure access for accepted students regardless of financial circumstances. The curriculum offered is a customised version of International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, customised by the Aga Khan Strands, including on ethics and pluralism. The Strands are the means by which the vision and mission of the Academies is actualised. Unusually, since admission is for students showing potential and leadership character but is means-blind, around 60% of the students receive financial aid.

This workshop draws on research carried out by the Global Centre of Pluralism (GCP) in Ottawa Canada and explores the extent to which curriculum and pedagogy need to be modified to the needs of students unaccustomed to many trappings of modernity. It draws on practical work carried out in the Academies in Kenya, India and Mozambique to enable participants to consider how the development of ethical leadership and service learning are contextualised within the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).

Key ideas explored are: societies are no longer divided by nationality; we cannot adopt a naïve universalism in emphasising what societies have in common; and this leads to an over-simplified and generalised view of culture and, at worst, threatens cultural identity. How do educators ensure their work in this area is meaningful and that learning in pluralistic contexts recognise, celebrate and capitalise upon the dignity of difference.

Human Technologies: An effective strategy for global mindedness

Presenter: Ross Parker, Director of Technology, Pedagogy and Assessment
School/Institution: International College Hong Kong

Human Technologies is a genuinely innovative approach to curriculum, which offers teachers and students a new way of orientating to knowledge and action. It has project based approaches and interdisciplinarity at its heart. The ramifications of Human Technologies are far-reaching, as the approach offers not new content but rather an entirely novel way of connecting with human enterprise and endeavour. The Human Technologies perspective can be applied to learning and knowledge in their widest interpretation and, once assumed and understood, can provide common ground from which issues of local, national and global significance can be explored, interpreted, analysed and critiqued. As such, Human Technologies is a solvent to otherwise intractable problems rooted in cultural and socio-political based change, transformation, convention and orthodoxy. However, while its scope is truly extensive, the basic theory behind Human Technologies is easy to grasp - making it a real option for schools to adopt and implement.

The session is interactive and includes practical examples and guidance, so that participants, if so minded, can leave the session feeling empowered to take the next steps in employing the Human Technologies curriculum at their own place of learning. For reference, Human Technologies is one of the keystones of a complex of innovations that led to ICHK being included in Cambridge University’s 2017 list of 100 “best practice global pioneers”:

Identifying and measuring the intercultural competencies of educators in international school settings

Presenter: Martha Ross, Head of Primary School
School/Institution: Amadeus International School Vienna

This EdD Thesis research project has sought the professional reflection of over 150 international educators on their perceived intercultural competencies, in the areas of intercultural awareness, understanding, sensitivity and pedagogy in four International School settings. Data resulting from this research project will be shared to indicate how the respondents reflected upon twenty pedagogical situations. The degree of intention and consideration of the students’ individual cultural knowledge, experiences was measured and the teacher's focus on equitable success in learning in the international school setting.

The hypothesis for this research was that, “all international educators are interculturally competent and adept at relating to students from many different cultures”. It critiques models such as the IDI,  (Hammer, 2011), that focus on a lack of skills and fixed progression through stages of intercultural adaptation. This research study uses a model adapted from the Cultural Intelligence Scale, (CQS) (Ang et al, (2008). In this research model respondents can indicate higher or lower levels of perceived skill in each of the 4 areas of intercultural competence, awareness, understanding, sensitivity and pedagogy. How all staff in an international school support students in the change processes created by their intercultural lives, to ensure success in learning, is a focus for this study. Students often move schools as a part of their school career and as a result have to adapt to new academic expectations, school cultures, languages and relationships with teachers and peers. Exchanges of information, learning instruction, support and academic feedback can be complex when interpreted through the filters of cultural interpretation, language abilities and previous educational experiences and expectations. The work of Kushner, (2015), and intercultural understanding in education informs this study, as well as Pearce, (2013), and the call for cultural differentiation and Tran and Nguyen, (2014), on the traditional pedagogical border and new practices created by the impact of student mobility and the effects this has on the 'contact zone' between teacher and student. By presenting my research I hope to raise awareness of the skills that international educators use to reach out to all students and engage with them for success in learning. These skills currently go unrecognized in teacher recruitment, retention and in job descriptions. To date there are very few teacher training programmes offering intercultural competency training, and yet we have educators who are able to engage with students from all over the world.

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