Where next for international education is all about the student
Deborah Eyre, Founder and Chair of High Performance Learning
Prefer to receive your digest through your ears than your eyeballs? Hit play above or click the link to listen in a podcast app. Kindly narrated by Jason Lasky.
International education has the potential to provide the best educational experience. It can create world class education but also has a unique opportunity to develop in its students, global competence – a skill defined by OECD as being vital to preparing our youth for an inclusive and sustainable world (OECD 2018).
So, where next for international education is all about the student.
It must reflect what we know is possible for students and it must provide a strong preparation not just for examinations but for life.
How that is achieved will make good use of emerging technologies and may involve some changes to structures and working practices in school, but what needs to change most is the school culture.
Culture trumps structures when it comes to world class education.
What is needed is a relentless focus on creating the conditions that enable all students to thrive and an accountable culture within the school where the school has its own vision and is constantly measuring its own progress towards that.
So where next is doing what we do now, but doing it better and in a way that more purposefully reflects what we know is needed and is possible.
The question is not so much the ‘what’ but rather ‘how’ are we going to secure this in international schools and do we have the appetite to do what it takes?
We now know that ability is not inherited. The brain is plastic and can be developed so in international schools we should move away from expecting only a minority to get the best grades and instead expect it from everyone, regardless of background or starting point.
We should pro-actively ensure that students are equipped with the values, attitudes and attributes that will serve them well in university, the workplace and their life. Not just as a ‘nice to have’ but rather as a fundamental part of a rounded education, planned for and measured.
We should expect to deliver this demanding level of outcome consistently year on year regardless of changes to context or circumstances and that requires buy in and commitment from the entire school community of staff, parents and support staff.
So we need a leadership and staff culture that is relentlessly dissatisfied, always looking for improvements and unwilling to accept second best. But such a culture is not punitive, it’s not about monitoring and punishment, it is about commitment and passion and the thrill of surprising ourselves when we achieve the impossible.
Right now, as schools start to recover from COVID, school leaders, owners and governors are at a seminal moment.
A stark choice faces them.
Focus exclusively on operational recovery and the return to largely business as usual or manage the operational side but at the same time see this as a unique opportunity to be bold, to build back better and rethink what the school can achieve.
The best school leaders are seeing an opportunity.
They are looking forward and asking:
“How can I energise my staff and students and make the return to normal schooling a compelling and refreshing opportunity for staff and students where we focus on an exciting future ahead?”
At High Performance Learning we are seeing record numbers of school leaders seeking a better future for their students and taking bold steps to achieve it.
Founder and Chair at High Performance Learning Services Ltd (HPL), Deborah Eyre is an education thought leader, leader, influencer, researcher and writer leading innovation on teaching and learning in brave and ambitious schools
She can be contacted via:
INTERESTED IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION?
The Teacher’s Guide is getting around!
Seen here in Thailand with a happy reader - and his new best friend. When we said ‘a companion to your international adventure’ we didn’t quite mean that kind of companion!
Jason Lasky is a published playwright, lauded theatre director, and 14-year international teaching veteran who holds an MEd in IB Education and an MFA in Writing for Stage and Screen. He is the co-Artistic Director of J.Lasky Productions, a grant-winning international theatre company, and the founder of J.Lasky Voices, his voiceover production studio.
He currently resides in Dilijan, Armenia with his family.