Taking the PYP Forward - What will characterize international education in public schools?

This chapter was hard to relate to.  The majority of my teaching career has been in international schools, and my pre-service teaching was in a city that is very multi-cultural, even more so than the international schools I have worked at.  I do have a great deal of experience in Japanese schools, which one could certainly categorize as not very international.

I do see the internet as playing a huge role in international education.  The world online is a much different place from the borders of a school-yard, and it can open up means of communication and inquiry that would normally be closed to many of our students.  Last year, my class had pen pals in PEI Canada, Skype meetings with a school in Australia, and a joint wiki with a school in Toronto.  If fostered properly, and I am not sure if I did that, these relationships could be very beneficial to students in discovering more about other cultures.

The most striking thing about this article however, is the socio-economic issues of such an approach to pedagogy.  Internationalism is a fantastic goal, but for a public school that can barely afford new chairs, let alone 1:1 laptops or web-cameras, this complicates things.  They have different baskets with different items in them.  Teaching the rich to be international makes perfect sense, they can afford it.  They can visit new restaurants, go to foreign countries, and have access to books and resources that can pique their curiosity.  It is a different world from an inner city school where putting food on the table is the major concern from month to month.  It changes the way education is viewed by the community, and it provides a different approach to teaching.  I always wonder at the difference, and how we can help our kids to not only be more international, but more aware if the privileged that they have.  How can you apply that privilege to make the world a better place?

Basket of nothing


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