I’m really looking forward to giving a keynote at the ECNAIS conference in Athens tomorrow.
‘Feeling the tension’- The impact of globalisation is leading to more diverse student populations in our schools, yet there has and continues to be an emphasis upon standardisation in different educational systems. This session will highlight some of the connected talking points.
I really wonder about the balance between external influences that enhance or distract education programmes in schools?
For this trip I’m also joined by my wee boy, this photograph that I took this morning has really sparked some reflective thought about the civilisation that gave birth to democracy with an emphasis towards what it meant to be a citizen. Here we are in he 21st century with many of us of the opinion that we must look well beyond narrow examination results when judging the success of education and economic results when judging the success of a civilisation. Global citizenship or similar notions are frequently mentioned in school or policy documents but perhaps it is time to look for new measures for the success of schools and society. If we were to use the measure of how quality time families had together, I wonder how various countries might rank?
In between facilitating my learning group I managed to squeeze in Darla Deardorff’s course ‘Exploring intercultural competence through intercultural encounters: from research to practice’. Darla is one of the most prominent thinkers in this field of research and as an international educator and a father to a ‘third culture’ child this is an area of personal and professional interest. There are a number of terms that I come across that are closely related including international mindedness, global citizenship, global consciousness, global competences, global citizen etc. Recently I was asked by the International Baccalaureate to share my own explanation of international mindedness that you can find below.
In the course Darla asked a number of provocative questions and discussion was rich as we started to imagine what competences someone who is globally competent would demonstrate. From my perspective I wonder what global incompetence also looks like and how much related unlearning needs to happen as a consequence of adult influences.
With the continued impact of globalisation including the movement of people global competences will surely have even greater need in the future of learning. Recently I read that only 25% of email traffic crosses borders leaving plenty of space for the need of global competences in the digital world. Connecting to the work of Carrie James who is the author of ‘Disconnected- Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap‘ it is a struggle for young people to apply ethical behaviours from real-life to the digital world.
Darla talked about ‘cultural humility’ and I wonder what conditions are needed in schools and family homes to ensure ‘cultural humility’ thrives and becomes a norm.
Fortunately this is my fifth consecutive year to be involved with the Future of Learning (FoL) summer institute at Harvard. Although this week comes at the end of an incredibly busy academic year as Headteacher at the Berlin British School for me this institute is like an intellectual massage that annually rejuvenates me for the year ahead.
In the plenary with David Rose (CAST) he shared some examples about the failure of standardised testing. The evidence is clear that there are many influencing factors (plus the general design of tests) that make the data from many tests invalid. As David Rose shared, even the personal details that might be completed at the beginning of a test can influence performance. Everyone has an emotional history and these emotions impact test performance. Therefore we are not necessarily accurately assessing reading, writing, mathematics etc. – we are starting by assessing emotions. David Rose is well known for his work on Universal by Design and I appreciate his mindset when children are failing. Rather than focussing upon ‘What’s wrong with the student?’, Rose asks the question, ‘What is wrong with the way that we teach?’ From my perspective if we were to universally adopt this approach in schools then we would see far more evidence of effective learning, attainment, achievement and this would be reflected in positive societal changes.
Recently I was invited by the International Baccalaureate to share what international mindedness means to me. You can view this and another 9 perspectives via the link below.