ISD is home to world class educators who inspire and motivate our students every day. Each instructor has a wealth of experience and expertise to share with our students – we are a fortunate school!
However, even the best instructors require time to reflect, learn and expand. Since the start of the school year, several ISD educators have been around the world, sharing what we do at ISD and learning more about the possibilities that exist in educating our students.
Below are excerpts from the experiences our educators have had along with a glimpse into the topics they shared with other international educators.
In 2020, we will continue to learn and share at the Association of German International Schools (AGIS) where over 24 of our educators will present to their peers. And, ISD is happy to be hosting a Numicon Workshop on 7 December, 2019 and the Outdoor Learning (OLE) Conference on 15 and 16 May, 2020. Learn more about these events here.
Samantha Ward and Michael Stanger: International Baccalaureate (IB) World Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE 24 – 27 October, 2019
This Conference was a larger than life experience. From the grandeur of the conference hall to the passionate enthusiasm of the IB alumni and current IB student speakers to the engagement with other innovative, creative colleagues from around the world.
We were honoured to present on behalf of ISD’s Our Living World Grade 6 Team. Our focus was on how the team combines science, humanities, and theatre to provide students with varied and creative learning opportunities that challenge them to view the world through different, complex perspectives.
The response from attendees was very positive. Teachers and administrators from other international schools have reached out to learn more about our programme, as well as the other co-taught, transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary work that is happening in both the elementary school and senior school.
David Lyttle: International Baccalaureate (IB) World Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE 24 – 27 October, 2019
This conference is the largest annual gathering of IB educators around the world, with more than 1500 attendees from more than 500 International Schools participating. I was also lucky to attend many wonderful sessions: instructional coaching in IB schools, flexible learning spaces, diagnostic assessments, changing the culture of teaching and learning, and what universities of today are looking for in school graduates.
My breakout seminar was on “How the brain learns mathematics”. This session reviewed the latest neuroscience developments, and linked this to implications of teaching mathematics in an elementary school setting. More than 75 people attended, of which about 20 of them contacted me wishing to further the conversation and learn more.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and opportunity, to network, to learn, to present, and I look forward to keeping many of the conversations started there going.
Gisela Rabearisoa and Lynn Scherpel: The Alliance for International Education Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, 18 – 20 October, 2019
The Alliance for International Education Conference “Rethinking International Education: Values and Relevance” united educational practitioners, administrators, researchers and university students from around the world in presentations and breakout sessions. The main focus was to consider global transformations and the future of education.
Our presentation “Rethinking Teaching and Learning: How Flexibility Impacts Learning Outcomes” showed the substantial changes we implemented in teaching German at ISD in recent years. These include using flexible learning spaces, applying flexible learning groups across ability levels, using authentic literature and resources exclusively, and allowing students’ voice and choice in meeting the learning outcomes.
At this conference, held at the Western Academy of Beijing, schools from all over the world came together to discuss and share how they are reimagining, redesigning and reengineering school. We heard from thought leaders like Sir John Jones, redesigners of learning spaces like Rosan Bosch, and role models for future generations like Jane Goodall.
In the sessions and conversations that I took part in, my overwhelming feeling was that schools all over the world are on this journey together. It was affirming to see that many of the major changes that we have adopted here at ISD are consistent with those that are happening across the world. The common themes of personalised learning, collaborative learning communities, and skills mastery were apparent from Snells Beach, New Zealand to Hangzhou, China.
As we continue to search for ways to make learning more effective and relevant in the future at ISD, we must remember that we are not alone and that schools worldwide are taking this journey with us.