I have set up this blog to post thoughts on my project for the Holderness School Chair Program. The posts are in order of appearance, so you may want to start from the bottom. I welcome comments from others. Comments help improve my thoughts.
Below is my proposal as written last April:
April 24, 2011
HOLDERNESS SCHOOL CHAIR YEAR PROJECT
During the 2011-2012 school year, I plan to live in Europe and study international schools. The work would stem from key phrases in the Holderness Strategic Plan, the NAIS work on 21st Century Schools and NEASC accreditation guide for international schools. Ultimately, I would produce a report to help schools become more effective global educators.
The Holderness Strategic Plan includes goals such as:
- “incorporate into [the School’s] scope … a more global perspective”
- “support a curriculum that encourages the development of global citizens”
- “Support a multiplicity of perspectives in regard to a curriculum reflecting the complexity of a world in which we live”
- “Explore a relationship with a school in another country and/or an urban school, and explore first-hand opportunities for students to be immersed in another culture”
The NAIS “21st Century Imperative” includes among its goals the need to develop a global perspective, specifically:
- Learn from, and work collaboratively with, individuals from diverse cultures, religions, and lifestyles in a spirit of mutual respect and open dialogue
- Use technology to connect with people and events globally
- Develop social and intellectual skills to navigate effectively across cultures
- Use 21st century skills to understand and address global issues
The NEASC accreditation guide has several excellent guiding questions including examples such as:
- The school has created an engaging and contextually appropriate definition of internationalism/interculturalism in education … and has put that definition into action.
- Students shall benefit from a curriculum and related activities that shall be enhanced by the cultural diversity of both the host country and the school community.
- The school actively promotes and models global environmental awareness and responsibility across its community.
Finally, international students are strengthening our schools in many ways and we want to best support the exchange of students and cultures.
I hope to study how international schools effectively address these issues.
The project would start by forming a set of essential questions about international students in independent schools and boarding schools. These questions will stem from the items above, but also from interviews with people from NAIS, TABS, NEASC, the Klingenstein Center, Carney/Sandoe, other boarding schools.
- How do schools define and effectively implement the best practices of a Global Curriculum? What are the challenges and success stories?
- How do schools with students from many different countries create a productive, caring community at the school?
The project would include a literature survey of previous work on this topic.
The project would include visits to international schools on different continents. Some of these visits would be with a NEASC accreditation team and some as personal visits. One goal of the visits would be to gain information on the essential questions.
The project will include creating partnerships between other schools/organizations (both in the United States and abroad) and Holderness.
The final goal would be to produce a written report and/or workshop that can help Holderness, other schools, and school organizations better serve international students, become more effective global educators, and benefit from the exchange of cultures and people.
Jory Macomber: Assistant Head of School/Dean of Faculty