International schools, particularly under the auspices of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), are unique hothouses of K-12 Education. These 4937 schools are situated in various contexts across the world and are required to deliver a challenging curriculum that is concept based and inquiry driven. At the middle years and diploma level, this includes compulsory components of critical thinking, active service and academic research. As teacher trainers who are exploring global citizenship and international mindedness, we hope to share the possibilities and challenges that face all institutions grappling with the delivery of authentic, transferable skills for the 21st century. This presentation explores the challenges and the possibilities of using the loose guidelines provided by the IBO, to build an honest, robust and resilient program of exploration. Students need to be challenged to use their critical thinking as a framework for intercultural understanding and global engagement. The possibilities of building a multicultural society must be explored through the use of multiple languages as the repositories of culture and knowledge across diverse peoples. The challenges include using technology as a tool to foster the possibilities of diversity rather than as a tool of standardisation and limitation. The challenges of creating a personal identity in a globalised world through language, the arts and history need to be addressed. Students need to be actively taught to foster resilience and security through connecting mind, body and the spiritual self at a time when mental health among young adults, is particularly precarious.
Shubha Koshy, West Island School - ESF, Hong Kong
Carol Inugai-Dixon, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Stream: Challenging & Preserving: Culture, Inter/Multiculturalism & Language
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