I carry this quote with me to remind myself always to consider other perspectives. I believe that in true international education we have an incredible opportunity to impact the future of the world. With well structured learning experiences encompassing academic challenge, intercultural understanding, sustainable development, service learning and personal reflection, we can develop confident, adaptable and creative life long learners, with the attitude and aptitude to take self directed action no matter what the future brings.
I am an absolute advocate of inquiry based education, and believe that children are capable of investigating and drawing conclusions from an early age. Emphasis on prior knowledge and the creation of links between subject areas are vital to enhance student achievement. Exploratory experiences and the opportunity to make mistakes develop strong building blocks for learning and to support children in making sense of the world. Engagement is stimulated when they are able to develop and answer their own questions, and when both context and purpose are thoughtfully provided.
A collaborative planning approach ensures that teachers’ focus remains on student learning, while consistency and understanding is built throughout the school. Sharing within a true professional learning community inspires me to take risks in their practice and continue to grow as a professional. With reflective practice we learn what impacts learning and develop carefully constructed next steps.
Assessment based practice ensures that gaps in knowledge and understanding can be identified easily. Instruction can be planned to meet the varying needs of learners, both for scaffolding knowledge and extending understanding. Children progress when they are constructing their own learning, and developing awareness of how and when they are learning. The most powerful input we can give them is regular, timely, specific feedback, and opportunities to reflect on how and why they are learning. It is also vital for students to be involved in the assessment process through self and peer assessment.
I believe that parent education and home-school communication play an important role in ensuring a positive experience for everyone. Educators, parents and students need to have a common understanding of what is being achieved and how to move forward with the next steps in learning.