Before to start talking about international education, it seems appropriate to provide a definition from experienced analysts in this sector:” The interest in the field of international education has never been more intense. . . a speedily increasing quantity of institutions world-wide have been set up specifically to meet the demands of those parents who, through their own global professional activities, want their children educated in programmes predicated on international values and frequently in contexts other than their house country. Such classes have embraced the advertising of international education as one of the major goals. “(Hayden, Levy and Thompson 2007:1)
We also want to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that another researcher named Skelton also defines international education and international curriculum in relation to international academic institutions.
This is actually only one eye-sight and one definition of international education but they are the ones we have been interested in investigating with this task because we will review whether an international school, specifically ‘St Andrews International Institution Bangkok’, is near the ideal institution for international education.
‘St Andrews International College Bangkok is, as stated in the first definition above, a college that is made (in Thailand) to meet the demand for expatriate parents and wealthy local families who would like their children educated in programs based on international prices. ‘St Andrews International School Bangkok’, offers the international ‘IGCSE’ and ‘IB Diploma’ programmes ( we will make clear later what exactly are these IGCSE and IB programmes), and has, as main purpose, to promote international education as its objective declaration says: “Our objective is to provide an inclusive, international education in a happy, supportive and rousing environment, where all the needs of the average person learner are met and students are motivated to accomplish their full potential enabling them to be accountable global citizens”.
We will, of course further analyze the mission statement in later chapters whenever we will speak about ideologies, worth and global citizenship education.
What will we assess?
We described above our emphasis, which is “The International Colleges”. With this starting place, we must take a look at what exactly are the components of an international college. We will give attention to the next: the Values and Ideologies, the Curriculum, The Students, The Instructors, The administrators, the Mother board and the role of British terminology and other languages; compare and criticize each one of these points with what is said in the literature and our very own experience in the field. What we are going to evaluate is, of course, not all the components of an international college, but those most significant to analyze, to be able to answer our assignment’s question.
The worth and ideologies
In the syllabus, we read that Watson and Ashton (1995) explain that “Society will not await consensus before transmitting prices, and neither do universities. They convey beliefs every day, knowingly or unknowingly, both at the more explicit level of what is trained, and at the less openly acknowledged level of how the school is given () Education can’t be value-free. “
Indeed, we believe that the state curriculum and also the concealed curriculum (what goes on in the class, the partnership between educator and student and how they have interaction) will automatically transmit values.
In our college, the IGCSE curriculum transmits, clearly, the beliefs of the, THE BURKHA plus more specifically, THE UK. Even if the IGCSE allows version to the context, the curriculum will there be, with the knowledge to be sent, and this knowledge comes from THE UK.
The values sent, are humanists as we can read in our syllabus: “Humanism as an ideology places a high emphasis on knowledge. Some forms of humanism (think traditional humanism, conservatism, traditionalism, academicism) advocate the limitation of high position knowledge to at the very top minority: the selective grammar college/secondary modern college system of pre-1960s England, for occasion, typifies a traditional humanist approach. Other varieties of humanism, such as liberal humanism for occasion, while still placing a great emphasis on knowledge advocate that high status knowledge should be accessible to all or any. “
We discover that, indeed, the IGCSE curriculum focuses generally on knowledge. We also believe that they want this “high position” knowledge (an understanding that comes from Cambridge College or university) to be accessible, if not to all, to the largest amount of students, in another country, especially in International Classes.
Regarding the IB curriculum, it also transmits values, the ideals of openness, world mindedness, the kid is the center of his learning, the child must be educated, balanced, Inquirer, etc. (IBO website, learner profile)
These prices are clearly progressivist because we can read on the IBO website: “Progressivism as an ideology is actually child-centered, with the emphasis obviously on the individual child. Curricula like the International Baccalaureate’s Key Years Program (2008) are examples of a progressivist (or constructivist) approach to education. ” (Syllabus) Although we still do not teach the PYP program, these prices are the same in the IB Diploma and are implied throughout the schooling of students until they cross their diploma examinations.
In the syllabus, we read: “Halstead (1996), in the meantime, argues that “The values of academic institutions are clear in their organization, curriculum and self-discipline procedures, as well as in the interactions between educators and pupils. Worth are mirrored in what instructors choose to permit or encourage in the school room, and in the manner they respond to children’s contributions to learning. () Even the seating plans in a school room convey certain values”. It is true that transmits prices as well. In our college, students are always prompted to ask questions and to come to get the teacher after course for further justification. The students are seated in the class room in a group, to allow the exchange during the class. It really is clear that in cases like this, the professor is not the grasp of knowledge sent to the student, however the students are encouraged to seize control over their learning and there is a form of trust and closeness between your pupil and the instructor, to allow an optimal development of the knowledge.
To conclude this aspect, we browse the mission statement of our institution: “Our quest is to offer an inclusive, international education in a happy, supportive and revitalizing environment, where all the needs of the average person learner are met and students are encouraged to achieve their full probable enabling them to be responsible global individuals”.
We remember that the school wishes to be” inclusive “which ultimately shows we put a higher value on the acceptance of others. The mission statement also says we wish our students to be pleased to learn and, when learning, they receive all the required support from the staff. This is a value our school wants to transfer to the students.
We can finally see that people place a great importance on the average person and their learning, and we pray our students to become Global People. This shows that we give importance to the individuals but also to the entire population, gives an international perspective to the beliefs we try to instill.
St Andrews International Institution has students population of pretty much 680 children. You can find about 40 percents of Thai students, 15 percents of Japan, 10 percents of Indians and a big German and French community. Among the advantages of the international schools is the teacher’s students’ percentage, which is 1:25 by school’s insurance policy. It allows space for individual care. In any case, by the Thai laws, within an International Institution, there can’t be more than 30 students per course.
The Thai students
Regarding the huge percentage of Thai students, they may be mostly from rich families, the country’s elite families or possessing businesses. These family members have the choice of National Education (which is not respectable since there is an enormous disparity in terms of quality) and International Education, which is extremely popular with groups of these elites, as they want their children to get access to foreign universities to be able to have significantly more likelihood of success in this globalized world. These children will have an edge over other local children. Their parents put them in these universities as an investment for future years.
Langford says involving these students, that they could feel isolated and different, living on the neighborhood economy somewhat than enjoying the many benefits shared by their expatriate classmates. () or they could dominate the community to the scope that the school has to adapt practices to match their passions and the expatriates are made to feel outsiders. (2002:48) That is true in the sense the Thai students at ‘St Andrews International School’, live in Thailand and many of them have never resided abroad, unlike their friends who often have lived, generally, in more than two countries.
On the other palm, the Thai students are so much in majority (40 percent) weighed against other nationalities; that, indeed, this may be the expatriate students who feel like outsiders, especially those Thais students often result from very wealthy young families.
That said, after what I noticed, it seems the Thais students and those from other nationalities mixture well, talk and play together, through a family atmosphere which the Head of College, Mr Paul Schofield could install. It should also be known that students from our college have been there at least 5-6 years and feel, with the time, part of a family group.
The Expatriate students
The expatriate students are, in the vast majority, Globally Mobile Children that Eidse and Sichel define as having parents who are teachers, international business people, foreign service attaches, missionaries and military workers. The kids shuttle backwards and forwards between nations, dialects, cultures and loyalties. They live unrooted childhoods. (2004:1)
In our university, most students are from people as identified above and I would add, oftentimes, their parents improve NGO’s or in embassies. These children are also often better adapted to the coaching design of international schools in general. They also learn languages more easily than Thais students due to the fact they have lived in several countries and had to learn local languages each and every time.
The Special Needs students
Another important facet of the population of students in our school is the Special Needs students. As our quest statement says, our institution is “an inclusive institution inclusive where all the needs of the average person learner are attained and students are inspired to achieve their full potential”.
We have a particular Needs student inhabitants around 10 percents and we likewise have in place, a wonderful learning support program for these students, with licensed, dedicated teachers and coordinators for several different Key stages.
The Special Needs students are divided into two categories, those with learning difficulties and the ones with physical problems or syndromes such as autism or Down syndrome. It will also be known that each scholar has a Special Needs’ individual teacher who accompanies them in the mainstream classroom. Our philosophy is that every child gets the right to education.
At the same time, we must emphasize that to be accredited by the body including the CIS (Council of International Schools), if accreditation is to be given, that provision is made for the initial id of the learning needs of students and for the subsequent dealing with those needs. Therefore, does the institution really have a decision to execute such an application? It is clear that, from the beautiful school of thought of “we agree to everyone, even if they have learning needs” and the truth, that, to be licensed, we must put into practice an application of Special Needs, there is a gap. The partnership between your two is not so healthy. We think there’s a market concern because, nowhere else than ‘St Andrews’ we can find a college with an inclusive policy. Looking at this, we recognize that International Schools, in general, are businesses with the purpose of finding a market and earning money. Regarding our school, for the special needs children, it is effective, but it is not always the situation of other International School focusing on earning profits and not nurturing the students health.
With regard to the Gifted Children, ‘St Andrews International Institution’ does not have any program in place, which is, in my own view, inconsistent with the objective statement saying that all the students must realize their full potential. How can a student with superior features than others realize its full potential? We’ve only the differentiation as an instrument to work with the brightest students.
The transition for students, in one institution to another
Another area of concern for students in international universities is the “transition” from one school to some other. Regarding our college, unfortunately there is absolutely no transitional program for students from other countries or other international schools. Only teachers of these students can help them to integrate successfully into their new environment with techniques motivated by the mission declaration: our professors are fully been trained in teaching methods that promote an interactive approach to learning in a stimulating and organized environment where in fact the highest superior is placed on do it yourself- self-discipline and determination and our kids are self-confident communicators where they realize their full probable in an atmosphere of quiet assistance, tolerance and understanding.
At ‘St Andrews International Institution, we’ve a human population of instructors around 90 people. From these 90 educators, 70 are from Great-Britain, six instructors are from New-Zealand and the rest of the teachers from Japan, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Thailand etc.
The reason there are so many United kingdom teachers is certainly related to the actual fact that ‘St Andrews’ is a British isles school, following a British curriculum as well. These Britannic themes are instructing the core subjects at the institution, such as Mathematics, Science, History and Geography while teachers of Japanese, French, and Swiss etc. , instruct their native languages.
All the educators though, United kingdom or from another nationalities must keep at least a Bachelor’s Level, a coaching certificate with, usually, at the least a 2 yrs full-time teaching experience.
British International Institution, British professors?
M. Hayden cites Richards (1998: 174) who highlights a good point about this subject matter in a passing from a promotional brochure of a global university. He wrote: “Over 70 educators. . . share a wide international experience, coming from such countries as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States”. “Can we infer from the above”, Richards asks, “that no instructors are used (or employable?) from so-called less developed regions of the earth? Or basically that advertising such educators would not be considered a positive selling point for the school?”
When Richards says no teachers from developing countries are appointed, this is nearly true inside our institution as well, as 80 percent of the instructors are from developed countries. Maybe if the institution hired teachers in developing countries, it would not have a good image for the institution since it is a British School.
We think that one of the reasons is the parents from local individuals wouldn’t normally appreciate paying a pricey international school instead of a local school for instructors to be employed from less developed countries than theirs. At the same time, it is within contradiction with this philosophy of internationalism to show among tolerance and openness. We show our students to be people who have a global eye-sight of the world, tolerance and a global mindedness, and the school sets a poor example by discriminating resistant to the hiring of teachers, choosing only educators from so-called ‘developed’ countries because it ‘appears’ good. Others will say it is normal for a English school to hire most British teachers which is what parents expect. Both views can be justified but there should be the right balance between pragmatism and ideology.
The expatriate “overseas hired”, the expatriates “locally employed” and the sponsor national teachers
Another point we want to address here’s, at ‘St Andrews’, there is no segregation between your expatriate teachers appointed abroad and expatriate professors recruited locally. There is absolutely no difference in deal or salary, or extras such as go back flights and health insurance, which will not create jealousy among instructors and we believe that it is a good thing. Alternatively, host country countrywide educators are paid two times less than teachers from other countries, which sometimes creates a sense of injustice because they train the same volume of hours as instructors who are expatriates and they’re paid less. Again, this is a pity to note that we, as an International University should promote equality between citizens of the world and, used, we do not really do what we say. Some will say that if there is not an useful program for those expatriates, they would probably not leave their house country to come to teach overseas, when, for instance, host country nationwide teachers don’t need to leave their families behind and the comfort of their own country. So, again, both views can be justified.
I just wanted to add that, at ‘St Andrews” there are a great number of “Penelopes” (who have been at the institution for more than seven years), as Hardman says they are simply “those professors who continue to be faithful to the united states they have got adopted”. I think it is an excellent thing for the students as a gage of stability, where in some other International Academic institutions in Thailand, professors cannot stay more than seven years.
Speaking about educators, we should also speak about the period of induction of new educators when they reach an international university.
M. Hayden said: Any teacher who moves in one school to another within the International School’s system could sensibly expect some form of induction in at least the first stages of a fresh appointment. » (2006: 82)
Regarding ‘St Andrews International University’, the induction is four times. THE TOP of School spends four entire days and nights with new teachers, explaining all areas of the institution and the culture impact that awaits them from the Thai culture. This enables a smooth start in the new sponsor country.
However, the induction is not heading further. Never again, one’s organizes any ending up in new faculty to ensure that everything runs well. To summarize this aspect we cite here Hayden who says that “The question of how best support new recruits in a fresh cultural environment is by no means an easy one to fully answer. ” (2006:83)
The teacher’s appraisal
Dimmock and Walker say “Instructor appraisal is a contentious and divisive concern whatever the context within which it performs” (2005: 143). It really is true there is absolutely no recipe to produce a good appraisal, it is a hard process to implement.
At ‘St Andrews’, the appraisal system is rather simple and will not put too much pressure on the shoulders of teachers. Once a year, the top of department comes to visit the school room for just two lessons. At the end of the observation the top gives his responses to the instructor and they establish two targets for the following observation, the year after. The head of school come to see the teacher once per contract to give his consent for its renewal.
The method is easy, do not stress too much the professor, but at the same time, is it a good tool to judge the staff? Arriving at observe a lessons and give two focuses on for next season means that the rest is not important; the educator will focus only using one aspect of his coaching.
In our school, the latest reports, which date back 2 yrs and cover a period of five years, show that teachers remain at ‘St Andrews’ about five years. A couple of about four to five professors, from a number of ninety, who leave every year. We think this is an excellent sign because when a teacher remains five years in a university, we think it shows he is pleased to work there. Another factor may be that the instructor cannot find employment elsewhere or he is married to a Thai person and for that reason does not have any choice but to stay at the school, but our experience and conversations with teachers at ‘St Andrews’ have shown us that educators are usually very content with working as of this place. To be more complete, we ought to conduct a survey on why professors stay but it might be difficult to the lack of time.
At ‘St Andrews’, there’s a British Brain of School who administers the school of an budgetary standpoint and oversees other mind including the Brain of Keystage1, the top of Keystage 2 and the Head of senior high school along with his Deputy. These people participate in the so-called Senior Management. In the Middle Management, there are the heads of departments.
Under the Thai regulation, the sole Brain of College must be a Thai national. That is indeed the truth at our college. There’s a Thai Mind whose role in writing is very different from its role used. On paper, she’s to take educational and budgetary decisions but in reality she does indeed only manage the Thai teachers and the Thai curriculum. We find that it’s not good because the law states that a person in control must be a Thai Head of Institution. Our school is in writing to meet the Thai law and to meet the demand of parents who wish to see a overseas Head of College. In addition, the Thai Head is also paid as an area teacher, that is to say, four times significantly less than the foreign Head.
Littleford writes ‘Schools with healthy boards don’t have crises’, and we must agree with him regarding our university. In our college, the board is merely composed of a family group, Thai and incredibly rich. They will be the only ones to make big financial decisions for the institution development. They always follow the recommendations of the top of School and never intervene in the daily going of the school. There never was any turmoil between the Panel and the Head of School because the inception of the school and we welcome that truth.
‘St Andrews is currently approved by CIS (the Council of International Classes), the Thai Ministry of Education, which is in the process of being accredited by CFBT. The fact our institution is licensed by the Ministry of the web host country and by an internationally acclaimed body shows that we are in the expectations of international education.
We read on the web site CFBT “Accreditation with CfBT implies that your school demonstrates high standards of student success with an efficient curriculum, good use of resources, a successful leadership team and strong partnerships with parents. ” CFBT therefore targets quality of university student accomplishment, curriculum and associations with parents. We might wonder if the failure to check out the results of pupils is not only elitist. Shouldn’t International colleges give students a chance to improve? Another aspect that CFBT looks at is the curriculum, which is normal, however they should also look at internationalism, the worth, etc. The past point CFBT talks about is the partnership the institution has with parents. Inside our school we have a very productive group of parents who plan events of all kinds at institution and are much reinforced by our Head of College.
To go back to accreditation with CFBT, we feel that our curriculum deputy motivates us to only go through the CFBT criteria to fulfill them. We are able to therefore ask whether the accreditation system is not a little hypocritical. Yet we do a great job, skillfully, but we offer something completely prepared to CFBT, just to satisfy their requirements, which will not seem very honest or honest. Alternatively, accreditation can be useful tool, to give us enough time to think about our methods.
The British as a Second Terms and Mother-Tongue languages
English as another Language
Hayden says: ‘Many International Colleges offering an English-Medium education provide terminology support for non-native speaker systems of British (. . . ) the extent and mother nature of support plainly vary. ‘ It is true that inside our school, support comes down to placing these students within an ESL class several times per week, while other students have classes in French or Japanese, and these ESL students follow all of those other lessons in mainstream class where they understand almost nothing.
In my old institution, Hanoi International School, we’d ESL classes and on top of that, for mainstream classes, an ESL support instructor came into school to help students understand the instructions or the actual teacher explained. We imagine this latter procedure works more effectively because students get constant support and feel less pressured towards the English language because there is always someone to help them know very well what is said in school. After some time, of course, if the students made significant progress, they sign up for the mainstream course, without any ESL support any further.
About the provision of other languages, Murphy is in favor of a larger provision of support for the child’s first vocabulary in order to aid cognitive development for the reason that words, which would make the next language less complicated to acquire (Murphy, 2003: 36-7). That is precisely what our head of School take into account the fact that a pupil cannot have a good cognitive development with a language he will not control in any way if he will not get better at his own language. Children need intellectual development in their own terminology before they can grow intellectually in some other language. Inside our school, that is why we’ve an intensive program of mother-tongue terms. It is clear that such an application is not easy to implement, specifically for smaller schools that have limited financial resources.
Carder said: ‘There are certainly arranging and administrative problems in mother-tongue in finding teachers, and financial problems about whether to add it to the payroll or even to the parents to pay extra’. At ‘St Andrews’, it is certain that it’s not easy to administer this program of mother tongue and spanish as it creates a great deal of ‘clashes’ in the timetables. It is not easy either to find dialect instructors for French, Japanese and German in Thailand.
From a financial standpoint, the school request parents wishing to sign up their children in the first language program, a supplementation to the institution fees around 300 U. S. dollars. This program matches over time, more and more success because kids want to speak their mother tongue at institution, a few hours weekly; and parents are reassured that their children can easier reintegrate school in their house countries if indeed they move again there.
Dictionnaire – Afficher le dictionnaire
In the entire world, there are several international schools curricula. The most frequent are the United kingdom connoted ‘IGCSE’, and ‘IB’ which boasts to be more international. Before considering in more detail both mentioned curricula, we will dwell an instant on some definitions of curriculum.
Hayden cites Bulman and Jenkins in her publication “International Education, International Colleges and their areas”, which describes the curriculum, following three aspects: “The educational curriculum” or what is formally trained in colleges, the “pastoral curriculum ‘which includes communal skills, review skills, employment opportunities and counselling for the “hidden curriculum” that all these practices are not explicit in the state curriculum, such as teacher-student relationships, the guidelines in the class, the set ups rewards etc.
We will come back to these aspects down the road this chapter.
At ‘St. Andrews’, the educational curricula will be the ‘IGCSE’ and the ‘IB’. Our Brain of College says that people instruct the IGCSE in the middle school since it provides more importance to educational skills and for that reason prepare well for the IB which includes an approach to the whole child and organizing students for university and has a globalized world. To corroborate these claims, we will read the actual ‘IGCSE’ and ‘IBO’ say on the websites:
On the ‘IBO’ website, we can read: “Our challenging Diploma Programme evaluation is acknowledged by the world’s leading colleges. ” The IB diploma is not recognized in all universities, but by the “world leading” Universities. Does that mean, as some people feel that the IB is elitist?
They also write: “We encourage international-mindedness in IB students. To get this done, we think that students must first develop a knowledge of their own cultural and national individuality. All IB students learn another language and the abilities to live on and work with others internationally-essential for life in the 21st century. “
At ‘St Andrews, we encourage students to learn their culture and their first language. We have a big program such as First Dialect: Japanese, German, French and Thai, which allows these students in which to stay touch using their languages and cultures within the international institution. On the other hand, we do not provide first terms courses for those nationalities, creating a division between the dialects called ‘important’ while others, which results in a risk of partitioning students between ‘important’ and ‘not important’ dialects, which can cause frustrations. At exactly the same time, all students, without exception, learn another language. They are able to choose between Japanese, Chinese (extremely popular with Thai students), German, French and Thai. The range offered is large enough for second dialect lessons, allowing students to sample a new culture or language of these choice, permitting them, as mentioned by the IBO, to reside in, to communicate, to comprehend and to use others, internationally.
At ‘St Andrews’, we coordinate a global day, which allows students to see how their friends from other ethnicities dress (thanks to the international fashion show), what are the typical dishes of other countries (through the international buffet), which dialects are spoken, and therefore learn to know each other, which leads to some form of international camaraderie and tolerance. On that subject, we believe our school reflects well the beliefs of international IBO.
On the IBO website we can also read: “We encourage a positive attitude to learning by pushing students to ask challenging questions, to indicate critically, to develop research skills, and to learn how to learn. We encourage community service because we think that there is certainly more to learning than academic studies only. “
The curriculum is, as stated above, child-centered. The kid is accountable for their learning, urged to ask questions, think critically, research, and also to learn how to learn. All this sorts the “learner account” that the IBO tries to promote. This process is progressivist, as explained in the syllabus.
The IBO also promotes community service through this program, “CAS” (Imagination, Action and Service), because the IBO says that academic studies are not enough and we must consider educating the kid all together, it is therefore, certainly, not the same as the IGCSE which just consider the academics side of the training process. We privately think that the ‘CAS’ programme is effective for students because it allows these to be more open to the entire world, to take part in charity events, to help the most prone people, to be creative etc. , which leads to the heart of “world -mindedness “that seeks to promote the IBO.
The IBO also says “We ensure that our programmes are accessible to students in a multitude of schools-national, international, open public and private-in 140 countries. These IB World Schools form an internationally community where there is absolutely no such thing as a “typical” college (more than 50% of IB students are in state-funded academic institutions). IB World Classes cooperate in curriculum development, learner examination and the governance of the IB, causeing this to be a distinctive international cooperation. “
Here, the IBO will try to distinguish itself from its elitist image by declaring they are available to all the universities, including public institutions. We think it might be difficult for Thai public universities, for example, a subscription to the IBO, given the exorbitant cost of affiliation and the expense of examinations. However, in this paragraph, we think the point they would like to put an focus on, is the fact that the IB curriculum is trained in schools around the world for local people or expatriates, making this curriculum, de facto a ‘no / trans / multi / ex girlfriend or boyfriend / pan-national’ curriculum, or quite simply, a so-called international curriculum.
On their website, the IGCSE says: Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international curriculum for 14 – 16 season olds. Cambridge IGCSE is acknowledged by universities and employers worldwide. ” It would, therefore, appear that the main purpose of IGCSE curriculum is to be recognized by universities and employers worldwide and it generally does not discuss anything about the child-centered learning.
On Wikipedia, we read: “The International Basic Certificate of Secondary Education (abbreviated IGCSE or iGCSE) is an internationally recognized certification for school students, typically in the 14-16 generation. It is similar to the GCSE in England. ” They state that its certificate is internationally regarded. We can say here, thanks to our experience, that license, for example, is not accepted by the French-speaking colleges in Belgium, so could it be really internationally known? We also ask the question of how the taught curriculum is international, as they say this curriculum is comparable to the National Certificate GCSE. We will try to give an attempt answer below.
We read on Wikipedia: “Cambridge IGCSE allows instructing to be put in a localized context, which makes it relevant in different regions. It is designed to be well suited for students whose first terminology may well not be English and this is acknowledged throughout the examination process. ” The IGCSE is quite versatile on the “how” we teach the curriculum and using what materials. Teachers are free and motivated to place the taught subject in a ethnic framework that is well suited to students.
We could also notice from experience that the British level expected of students is probably lower than the amount of native speakers, rendering it accessible to the people in international academic institutions where the majority of students do not speak British as their first vocabulary.
We discover that, in terms of internationalism, the IGCSE does well in any case because the certificate is accepted in most universities on the globe, that it may be located in a social framework by the tutor and it has been customized for students whose first language is not English. We think, on the other hand, that unfortunately, the program does not take into account the child beyond school or his learning and cultural skills.
So we can go back to our launch on both of these curricula. Our Brain of School said that one ready well to the other one. We see, however, in what these two organizations say, what, in the IGCSE prepares the students well for the IB Diploma because the IGCSE will not show any concern with the complete child or what students do beyond the class. We believe that if the institution chose these two programs it is because we need a British curriculum, because of the fact we have been a British International School (it is probably a question of credibility) and we also have to contain the IB Diploma because, nowadays, it is crucial to offer it, in international classes. It is a question of market and a marketing and monetary aspect (for the publicity and trustworthiness of the institution with respect other colleges), as well as a philosophical aspect (because we truly have confidence in the merits of the curriculum).
To conclude this point about the curriculum, we would like to come back from what Bulman and Jenkin describe about the curriculum (1988):
The educational curriculum: what is formally taught, that is to say, in our circumstance, the IGCSE and IB.
The pastoral curriculum: including sociable skills, review skills, and guidance for careers. We’ve a ‘St Andrews’, a good pastoral curriculum. We have tutors for every class. Tutors coach the study skills and cultural skills every morning, for twenty minutes prior to the registration. And regarding the counseling careers, we have a school counselor who is available every day for students and we also have, every once in awhile, universities arriving to the institution, to describe their programs and entrance rules.
The concealed curriculum: the implicit, the teacher-pupil romance, the classroom guidelines etc. At our university, there is an implicit rule of admiration for other ethnicities, other ways to believe, for the special needs students etc. There is unquestionably a family atmosphere due to all or any these implicit components, creating a special feeling to be a global family.
Conclusion and recommendations
Is there a great international college? Some argue that the perfect international institution is one where student’s performance is the greatest; others say it is just a university where students feel safe and are happy to learn. However, in light of what we find out about international universities, we can now make an effort to answer about our college. For this, we looked at key components that define an international school; we likened and analyzed these using what the literature instructs about them. Out of this we is now able to say what is perfect or almost perfect at our university and what should be advanced.
About worth and ideologies, we discovered that we were blending with Western ideals from the British IGCSE curriculum and prices of a far more international curriculum from the IBO, which means that we encourage students to have a strong academic ‘Wester-British’ track record with the IGCSE plus more international principles with the IB diploma by the fact of going outside the school room to see what’s taking place, to be the responsible of their learning etc. We increase this note that our university is inclusive, it promotes students to know and agree to others using their differences and this everyone has the to education, and we work to ensure that students are happy learn. So, from a philosophical standpoint, I believe we’re on track so that our students acquire by the end of these studies, an education and moral prices of an international standard. Alternatively, all students sometimes do not stick to what we’re striving to teach them, but we do our best to help achieve whatever we say inside our mission affirmation. Our suggestion could be that maybe we ought to adopt the entire IB programme, I mean, the PYP, MYP and IB DP, to be regular with the international view of prices.
About the students, we found that local students had courses in Thai terminology and culture, which allows those to keep their identity while being steeped in the international framework where they operate. Expatriate students, on the other hand, come from a number of backgrounds plus they bring a global flair and a style of these country that they can tell others on different occasions. The program for Special Needs students is a high light of the school as we show them that everyone gets the to education. Around the down side, some might think that this program is a marketing tool for the school. We regretted the lack of an application for gifted students who cannot, as our mission declaration says, reach their full potential.
So we’d recommend to our school to put into practice such a program since it would be beneficial for students who’ve high capacity. To summarize this aspect, we also discovered that we’d no transition program for students from other countries and other academic institutions although this is something imperative to the child to match into the university and be successful academically. We suggest something of sponsorship. Each new university student arriving at college would be sponsored by an older college student (voluntary) and ultimately speaking the same vocabulary. The older students like, generally, to sponsor newcomers because they bear in mind how tense it was to reach in a new institution, sometimes speaking almost no English.
We discovered that nearly all teachers in our school were English or from developed countries. On the one hand, there is a tacit demand from parents that encourages to hire instructors from countries more developed than their own and on there is also our philosophy saying that international universities should be open-minded and especially available to other cultures. We have to try to communicate openly with parents about our selecting process and talk to them about the fact that employing teachers from different countries as well as perhaps less developed could be something beneficial to their children to whom we coach openness to the world.
We noted no difference in the agreement and pay between expatriate teachers recruited locally and overseas and we consider this is a good thing. On the other hand, the salaries of local teachers are 3 x less than ones of expatriates. We ought to, with the professors and the Head of College write a clear need to the Panel, so that it will change this discriminatory situation which creates pressure between your expatriate personnel and local staff.
The instructors at our college seem to take pleasure from it and stay for several years. Staff turnover is low which is generally a good to remain the morale of staff. Unfortunately we’ve seen that the induction for new professors was not quite complete since it ends following the first times of university. We advise that there must be several ending up in the top of College or the Head of Team in the first six months to ensure that the new tutor combines well to his new environment. We’re able to also look at a mentoring system for educators, like the one mentioned above for the students.
To conclude this aspect about the professors, we feel that the appraisal of professors should be more systematic and maybe we should think about employing a peer (of our own choice) appraisal system. The procedure would become more friendly and for that reason, more efficient.
About the administrators, we discovered that they were professional and incredibly effective but there was a difficulty with the status of the Thai Head. In fact, according to the Thai laws, the Thai Mind should be the true responsible for the daily management of the school, which is the situation on paper however, not in practice. We claim that the Foreign Brain should work with the Thai Brain as a team to show students and parents that we want equality between the local people and expatriates, even at the management level. Also, we have to increase her salary at the same level as the Foreign Head, for the sake of equality. And finally, about the Panel, we’re very fortunate because they are extremely supportive, they aren’t mixed up in daily jogging of the institution and they commit money when necessary.
We have found, about the English Language, that we had British as another Language training, only in very specific classes while other students experienced courses in spanish like French or Japanese. We think that this way to do is too simple and not suitable for those students who come to institution and speak almost no English. We imagine there should be ESL teachers who come with the students in mainstream classes to help them to comprehend what the teachers say and what’s expected of them in terms of study and home work.
Speaking about the curriculum, we observed our academics curriculum is a British ‘customized’ one, for the principal school, the IGCSE for middle institution and the IB for senior high school. We’ve, in the section on curriculum, detailed what advantages and disadvantages of both different programs. We would like to suggest that it could be beneficial in terms of academic uniformity; that the institution adopts the IB program completely (PYP, MYP, IB DP) and offers the IGCSE for students who ask for it. About the pastoral curriculum, we believe that the program is quite thorough, but we could, as we are in Thailand, occasionally take students to hear the wisdom of Buddhist monks, about family values and open mindedness.
So, is our institution close to an ideal school for international education? It depends upon what we compare it with. If we compare our university to the ‘International School of Bangkok'(the most well-known International Institution in Bangkok), in terms of resources, our university does not seem ideal, on the palm, if we compare ‘St Andrews’ to my old college in the Congo where the board had not been supportive whatsoever, they might not spend money on anything as the university fees were exorbitant, and the top of Institution was incompetent, did not know how to handle self-control problems and preferred the students from influential individuals; where students were not so motivated to learn by any means etc. , so yes, our school is very near to an ideal institution. From everything we’ve mentioned during this assignment, we found that many things were very good and naturally some issues would have to be resolved, but which institution has nothing to improve? We believe our university is not an excellent school for international education, but it isn’t very far from it.
Frederic Ronsyn, Bangkok, 06/01/2011