Thursday, August 22, 2013

Global nomads

Some great, thought-provoking comments to read... thanks to all my colleagues.  As Daisy and several others have noted, working overseas in an international school affords an opportunity to work with students who have experienced multiple cultures, countries, experiences and perspectives.  When I was in London in the late 90's, students who grew up having lived & schooled in multiple 'homes' were referred to as "3rd culture kids" and "global nomads".  Most of these students had experience in "other perspective taking" (as noted in the CCSSO/Asia Society chapter):  they grew up learning to ask about others' lives and experiences; they expected to face novel situations in the classroom--from peers and from the classroom content; and they were frequently stepping outside of their comfort zones.  How do we bring more of this global experience into the classroom, the curriculum and the community at BB&N?

Much of what I have read parallels some of the conversations I've had this summer with former colleagues from other schools.  Two examples stood out:
1) a math teacher (who just finished a full year sabbatical!) spoke about the constantly changing curriculum in MATH---or what SHOULD be the changing curriculum.  As technology, statistics and opportunities to explore real-world applications have expanded exponentially, he and his department are finding themselves reviewing the "conventional curriculum"--discarding dated topics (e.g., synthetic division) and finding ways to introduce more creativity, exploration and analysis.
2) a Spanish teacher at an independent day school spoke about the upper school's pilot program this coming year:  every 9th grader will be expected to come to school with a "device" (laptop, ipad/notebook) each day.  They will expand to 10th next year, then 11th & 12th over next 2 years.  As with any attempt to work towards greater globalization in the curriculum, they are doing significant prof. dev't across ALL domains to examine what they are teaching and why
I'm eager to hear from both as the year progresses... and eager to see BB&N ask the tough questions about think about what changes we might implement.    

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