嘉洋理念丨理解和应用 : 国际教育的独特焦点
What is it that makes a school
an “international” school?
I am often asked what is it that makes a school “international”? Often, we think of different characteristics that “make it international”. These might include the following, is it:
What is a better way to describe
When asked how International Education is different, often the answer is: We teach “critical thinking”, and other soft skills. This is a vague answer, as people are often not sure what is meant by “critical thinking” or how to teach it. To me it is not a great way to think about the differences. Instead, it is better to think in terms of assessment. A school’s style of assessment tends to define its way of teaching.
· Chinese schools typically focus on preparing for the final exam as the key assessment. The teaching focuses on preparing the students for that exam.
· International Schools focus on the “process of learning” and assess that process as well as the final exam. The assessments tend to be varied and assess different aspects of the student’s learning.·
It is important to note that both styles of teaching are effective, has similar results, and hold students to high standards. I would argue that the skills learnt in an international style of teaching create more flexible students when it comes to things such as problem solving and adapting to new things.
International Education has a Different
Focus on Assessment
International schools also have a final exam, but different types of assessments along the way are as important. The key thing is they have a focus on the process of learning, and whether students can understand and apply the knowledge to new situations. Great schools focus on how they know if a student is understanding and applying what they learned, and doing different teaching strategies to achieve that:
Effective teachers use different strategies like Bloom’s Taxonomy and De Bonos Six Hats to teach “soft skills” to help students in the process of learning.
The Challenge for Teachers
This approach places a lot of pressure on the teachers. To teach well they need to:
An exam or test tells you what they remembered but doesn’t always tell you what a student understands or if they can apply knowledge.
The challenge for ALL teachers is how do they take their teaching to the next level? I would suggest that they:Focus on the process of learning, and whether students can understand,and apply the knowledge to new situations.This means as teachers we must constantly ask how do I know if the student:
As teachers we need to be constantly learning and growing. One way to do this is by reading and researching good teaching practices. If you want to know more about a teaching approach based on evaluating what a student understands and can apply. I recommend reading about Understanding By Design or “backwards planning”. These approaches help teachers to reflect on their teaching, and to better know how students are learning through understanding