SCHOOLING INTERNATIONALLY notes
Schooling Internationally: Globalisation, Internationalisation and the Future for International Schools. Edited by Richard Bates. Routledge, New York, NY, 2011.
Compared to other collections I have read, this group of essays takes a more Marxist approach. I don’t mean it to sound radical; it puts more emphasis on economic class access/power and educational imperialism than other collections.
Introduction. Richard Bates, Professor Education at Deakin University.
“There is now an international school industry.”
- 5,000 schools. 400 millions “global middle class” have access to travel, automobiles, and international levels of education. It will grow to 1.2 Billion by 2030.(World Bank, 2007)
- US overseas revenue from international education was $15.54 billion.
- The public disasatisfaction with one-size-fits-all schools is an opportunity.
Education systems are being asked to produce capable workers, not necessarily capable citizens.
Tensions exist between global cultures and local cultures, and between the demands of global markets and calls for global citizenship.
“There is no prospect of a morally homogeneous society, still less a homogenizes world. … A central task of government is to work out an denofrce a framework whereby they can live together.” (Gray, 2008)
Multicultural education usually appears in national settings, and international education emphasizes a supra-national view with interdependence of nations. (Where differences of culture are the norm) **I need to look at the United World Colleges.**
International schools were established in response to the transnational capitalist class.
-How much do they interact with the local community?
They are often founded with the assistance of Western governments for the purpose of educating the children of their employees. Largely led by white educators and staffed by native English speakers with a western curricula. >>> This leads to the concept of educational imperialism.
Transnational companies comprise roughly 64,000 firms. Of the largest 100 economies, only 49 are countries. TNCs have revenue of $14Trillion and employ 47 million people. They need extra-economic benefits such as education in order to grow globally. This creates international curriculum driven by TNCs such as PISA.
The WTO’s GATS process can establish a set of education rules within national territories.
-It is possible to see how the norms of a global civil society are not left to the demands of the market, but are governed by notions of public good on a global scale. Markets do not nurture concern for social justice nor solve pressing global problems such as environmental degradation, growing inequality, instability.
-Develop allegiance to ‘overlapping communities’—local, regional, national, multinational?
Ch. 2. Global networking and the world of international education. Michael Wylie, Director of the International School of Nice, ECIS Heads Committee member, IB examiner.
“Being connected to the information society is a privilege for an emerging global middle class, both locally and globally.” ICT and teachers are merging to transmit knowledge that has become essential to the membership of the transnational capitalist class.
Today’s globalization is of money, images and products rather than people. Gov’ts are blocking people.
“International education involves communication between students, teachers and curriculum writers in all parts of the developing and developed world.”
International education has a colonizing influence. Is international education part of a new global imperialism? Or is it another franchised commodity to be sold in ever-expanding markets?
“Transnational defines groups, institutions, discourses that cross borders and identify with no one country or state. Transnational has emerged as a class that propagates a Western capitalist ideology.”
Global Civil Society:
- Eradicate poverty
- Inclusion in decision-making and economic equity
- Social justice: gender equity, labor & human rights, fair & independent judicial system
- Respect for nature and culture
Ch. 3. The political economy of international schools and social class formation. Ceri Brown and Hugh Lauder, University of Bath and Victoria University-New Zealand.
International schools are “implicated in the creation of a transnational ruling class” and “the global positional competition for credentials and access to the worlds’ elite universities.
Those involved from the outset in developing international schools emphasized the foundational values of peace, respect and equality as underpinning an ethos of international schooling.
-polarizatoin of wealth leads ruling classes to enroll their kids in hope that they will gain access to their parents class of the global labor market.
English is the lingua franca of globalization, thus it is key in most internat’l schools.
“North American schools are using the IB qualification as a way of gaining advantage in national positional competition for credentials.”
-It’s a program for public schools to raise academic standards.
The relationship between international schools and the countries in which they are located has been of fundamental importance for the UWC. How can host culture be successfully integrated?
Third country kids: grew up in a country but not integral part of that country. Parents are from one or two countries, but the kid has no strong connection there, either.
-They can speak a number of languages, have cross-cultural awareness and a three-dimensional world view.
As production becomes globalized, so ruling classes become divorced from nation-states and operate upon a global scale. It’s a class –in-itself. Can create national interests vs. transnational class interests. (China will face this soon.)
- When schools are created outside national systems, citizens don’t participate in competition for credentials. Those schools become reliant on the wealth and wishes of the parents. (sounds like private schools in US)
- EG: Turkey, China, SKorea restrict international schools in their country.
Weberian: key states become stronger in terms of the power they wield across a global platform. See the leader players in the creation of WTO rules.
Ch. 4. International Schools and Micropolitics: Fear, Vulnerability and identity in a fragmented space. Richard Caffryn. University of Bath; Head of Research for the IBO.
Teacher autonomy & specific expertise, together with departmental interests, lead to prevalence of micropolitics. This leads some to see all decisions as conflict-based.
In international schools, many perspectives and stakeholders, the isolation of schools can all enable political conflict. How do they bring a multidimensional staff together as one? Need “to develop an approach to school and organizational politics that takes into account not only issues of power and conflict, but emotions.” Notably fear and vulnerability.
Both emotion and politics are part of the identity of each teacher.
Headship: have a vision and involve all stakeholders within it.
Ch. 5. Teachers for the International School of the Future. Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson, Center for Study of Education in an International Context (CEIC)-University of Bath.
1991 – Most teachers in international schools were British or American. (or Commonwealth countries from what I have seen.)
Predicts by 2015, 8,000 international schools with over 4MM students
-greater growth in schools that cater to expats, established for profit by an individual owner or commercial organization. (see Meritas)
-demand from increasing numbers of affluent and aspirational middle-classes who want a competitive edge for their kids.
-these numbers would really grow if host countries such as China let their kids attend international schools.
Predicts a growth of 221,000 teachers (2009) to 320,000 (2020) in international schools.
-Parental pressure exists to recruit native English speakers.
Bilingualism with English and one other will become the norm for many more years.
The growth in cultural and linguistic diversity of international schools seems set to continue.
Can learning be supported electronically from the other side of the world?
- Experiential learning central to international-mindedness
- Western liberal, student-centered, constructivist approach will pose challenges to those trained in a more didactic style. (That’s been some of our problems with foreign-born/raised teachers.)
Skills and attributes for future international school teachers. (And what the teachers need support in…)
- Some ability to support the needs of EAL students in the “regular” classroom.
- The trait of intercultural awareness and sensitivity.
- How to support those experiencing transition.
- Ideologically ready to prepare students “to be global peace-makers who will promote respect and understanding across cultural and linguistic borders, help to break down the barriers that arise through prejudice and ignorance, and feel responsibility for finding solutions to those global problems that transcend national borders.”
- The Western liberal, child-centered, constructivist approach, and the curriculum requirements.
- The Doctorate now becomes the competitive edge. Used to be the Masters.
- Also: International Teacher Certificate (ECIS)
Ch. 6. Teaching and Learning in International Schools. Helen Fail, International Schools at Oxford.
Essentialist and non-essentialist views of culture:
- Essentialist: each culture has a identifiable list of characteristic behaviors and customs.
- Non-essentialist: cultural influence is one of many factors affecting cross-cultural interactions.
Cultural dissonance leads to intercultural learning. (reminds me of the pattern-learning article)
The teacher has to be a lifelong learner and professional constantly improving her practice.
Each culture picks the content and how it should be learned.
-teachers need to be aware that what they are asking students to produce may be at odds with the way they were encouraged to learn in other classrooms.
Should international schools pass on culturally specific values? (US boarding schools do.)
Would that make them bastions of cultural imperialism.
Big question: how are EAL students judged? (That’s really left unanswered officially now, but you know teachers adjust their grades for EAL writers, etc.)
Third culture kids
- Have adaptability. They behave differently in school than at home.
- More international, multilingual, cross-cultural skills, more confident.
- More meta-learning skills because they have been exposed to more than one way of doing something.
Ch. 7. International Curriculum. James Cambridge, University of Bath.
“What should be the forces of inquiry in the study of international curriculum?”
-What is and how it is taught
-what are the reasons for those choices?
-what’s the relationship between the chosen knowledge and skills?
Purpose: socialize the child? Reproduce national culture? Transmit specific knowledge and skills? Social mobility?
IB learner profile looks at behaviors/habits.
- The IB also requires that values and attitudes about curriculum and pedagogy be shared between teachers.
Kurt Hahn: commitment to action and service.
UN and UWC: peace and conflict studies
Production model vs. competence model
- Influence by global diffusion of capitalist economics, meritocratic competition
- Quality assurance through international accreditation
- Portable and transferable educational qualifications
- International educ. as a globally branded product.
- Customer choice is important
- The promotion of peace and understanding between nations
- Progressive and person-centered experiential philosophy
- Recognizes moral development and service to the community of responsible citizenship
- Celebrates diversity and internationally minded outlook and a supra-national frame of reference
Rather than a collection of examined subjects, assessment should display a structure and coherence
Ch. 8. Assessment and International Schools. Richard Bates.
Qualification frameworks are transforming traditional demands on education systems. “First, the role of education in socializing the individual into the adult role of citizen … is being altered to a narrowed focus on socialization for work.” Second, “the selection and allocation of individuals in various hierarchies of talent on the basis of common examinations.”
“Those who have a strong multilingual (including English) and cultural background will have a head start in this war for talent.” (Lauder, 2007)
- Thus international schools spread because their assessments increase the chance of admission to elite universities.
2007. 1,837 Universities have an agreement with the IBO. 1,243 in English speaking countries. Japan(305) was the only country with a significant number of such agreements.
“The IBO encourages schools to view assessment as being integral with planning, teaching and learning.” Also, international-mindedness.
What are any standards for international-mindedness.
The Cambridge program is not integrated like the IBO. Same with the US College Board.
PISA and ISA and CEMC provide for comparative assessment to allow people to adapt their systems.
“Schools can surely only legitimately call themselves international if they are committed to the encouragement of global citizenship and if their curricular, pedagogical and assessment practices demonstrate such commitment.”
Ch. 9. The International Baccalaureate. Tristian Brunnell, International School of London and Copenhagen International School.
“The IB has always been open to attack as too elite, too academic, too Western, too idealistic, too much linked the United Nations, and growing too fast.”
“The IB has emerged as a global brand.” Schools are customers rather than members.
Its roots are in the Cold War. Second, it has links to the UN. Then to serve the transnational class.
It provides a global quality-assured and branded certification process to an elite group of candidates.
Challenges: economic access, linguistic access, geographical access.
The IB is an international player, but not a global player.
As it grows, it is more difficult to ensure support and in-service training.
Ch. 10. Education for Global Citizenship: Reflecting Upon the Instrumentalist Agendas at Play. Harriet Marshall, University of Bath.
“This chapter sets out to explore and expose the tensions between different agendas and calls for what is loosely called ‘global citizenship education.”
Demands for schools with global mindedness come from governments, NGOs, intergov’t bodies, the media, voluntary and business sectors. (business demand is near the top) “Schools are part of global networks and flows of information, goods and people.”
Different views of global education:
-social(IT), cultural(movement of people), economic(goods), political(systems), environmental(resources)
- Develop an identity and attachment to the world as a global citizen
- Create a pragmatic, neo-liberal understanding of legal structures, rights and responsibilities.
- A different conception of global relations where the world’s diverse people are part of the same moral universe.
- Give offspring a competitive edge in the global social/economic arena. Global corporate interests are increasingly international.
- Learn economically useful languages. Selling social advantage, not social justice.
- The world has a single economic market, with free trade and minimal political involvement as its mantras…
- Global reformers
- Social justice, conflict resolution, human rights, diversity…
- Current forms of global interconnectivity serve some interests and ignore others.
- Oxfam education wants students to be “outraged by social injustice” and to have “a sense of personal indignation” about certain conditions in the world.
- Global networkers (leisure networks)
- Global environmental managers
- An educ for sustainable development assumes that this is an agreed knowledge base—hard to identify that.
- Cosmopolitans: openness toward other cultures
- Developing a frame of mind and positive attitudes and behaviours
- Engage confidently among different nationalities, locations, readings, etc. Engage actively.
- Social competencies become economic advantages…
These may clash
Schools need to develop pedagogical and curricular responses to one or more of the above aims.
“’pragmatic realism overrides the IB’s humanitarian and socially just ideals’ with the result that ‘student identities are being reconstructed along individualistic lines as these schools teach the skills required of the entrepreneurial individual in the corporate workplace rather than a socially responsible citizen.” (Whitehead 2005:10)
An instrumentalist agenda sees education as a means to an end, not as ends in themselves.
Vital, healthy, legitimate democracy needs social capital: acquiring and mobilizing certain resources and social connections for a particular end. Social capital and citizenship weave together. (normative compliance)
Who decides what is important and useful information, and what are useful and important skills? Much of that is dictated by how a school defines global education.
“How can school subjects and subject boundaries remain when the global context appears to be calling for more fluid knowledge forms?”
- Recognize subjectivities of teachers
- Recognize the realities of the current school context
- Recognize that people do not like being told what to think, be and do.
- Recognize the sorts of global citizenships and global imaginaries that young people are already adopting.
The complexity, uncertainty and risk of life in an increasingly interconnected global environment make doing the right thing very difficult to identify.