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The Self-Study Process


by Neil Bunting, Greenfield Community School, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Having just completed the self-study process for accreditation at Greenfield Community School (GCS), Dubai, I thought it would be useful to share some of the benefits of the process for our school, and also, from what I have seen from other schools that I have visited as part of the visiting team.

First, and foremost, the self-study process enabled all of our school community – all stakeholders – to contribute and give their opinion and thoughts on life at GCS. These contributions were invaluable in establishing a 360-degrees, holistic view of the school.

HAVE A VISION

The schools that I have observed that have made the best use of the self-…

Posted by CIS on Thursday July 6
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What are the realistic expectations for Intercultural Learning to occur in Schools?


by Martha Ross, Vienna International School, Vienna, Austria

The CIS Symposium on Intercultural Learning provided the forum for interested educators like myself to reflect on the importance of intercultural competencies within the field of international education. We shared examples of good practice, current research and discussions about student experience, which contributed to interesting debate and raised the consciousness of us all. For two days, we lived in the ideology of intercultural learning. We heard from impressive student key note speakers from The International School of Amsterdam, who reinforced the effects that intercultural learning has had, and will have, on their lives.

After attending the first Symposium last year,…

Posted by CIS on Friday June 23
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Beyond Vision to Action: Student Leadership, Intercultural Learning and Service


by Rebecca Butterworth and Lydia Eckstein, Inter-Community School, Zurich, Switzerland

Setting the Scene…

“I experience learning as coercive.” When one of our student ambassadors made this statement at a leadership conference about the future of learning, it gave us good reason to pause. As committed educators we believed that students were at the heart of our decision-making. How could this be that learning was coercive? Were we truly that controlling?

According to this student, yes. Choice in what and how to learn is limited, and even more so as students move through the system and sit final examinations. This student was articulating that her experience of schooling reflected a top-down power structure where the …

Posted by CIS on Friday June 9
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Language instruction through an asset-based approach: Understanding what students can do with languages


by Lorena Mancilla, PhD, Director of WIDA Early Years

Language is intricately tied to our identity. However, far too often multilingual students are subjected to implicit, and at times explicit, messages that devalue their home language and/or language practices. Such deficit-based messages can be detrimental to a student’s identity and can negatively impact their learning and language development.

In her seminal work on borderland identity, Gloria Anzaldúa (1987) wrote, “So, if you want to really hurt me, talk badly about my language. Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity—I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself.” Recognizing that language and …

Posted by CIS on Monday June 5
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Value and Values: CIS Tour Participation as Investment in Yourself, Your Institution, Your Community


by Sam Dunlop, Portland State University, Portland, United States

There I was again. Attempting to moderate a friend’s reaction to my recent international trip, this time assistant leading the CIS Africa tour. “You have a dream job,” he says.

“There are many dreamy parts of my job,” I say. “But not all of it is as glamorous as it sounds. I promise.”

To him, and many of my friends and family, I leave the comfortable (and delicious) bubble of my Portland life for a three week holiday in the ever-exotic and mystical land known as “Elsewhere.”

Of course, Elsewhere, at least to all my friends and family, is based on the snapshots I share through my well-curated stream of Instagram …

Posted by CIS on Tuesday April 25
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Working with Multilingual Families


by Susan Stewart, International School of London, Surrey, United Kingdom

Language acquisition, of a single language or two languages simultaneously, is an innate and naturally occurring phenomenon. In recent years, the press has done much to highlight the advantages of being bilingual, which is an improvement on the negative messages in the 1960s and 70s. However, the myths of previous years linger on, and many questions and concerns surrounding the use of languages stem from some common misunderstandings about the process of language acquisition.

Creating a Common Understanding

As Head of Languages at the International School of London (Surrey), I run regular workshops entitled ‘Raising your Bilingual Child’ to ISL Surrey …

Posted by CIS on Friday April 21
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Interviewing the Interviewers: How our recruiters get to know our candidates


Communication style, sense of humor, reactions to challenges—these dynamics help recruiters to get to know the person behind the CV. CIS Career & Recruitment Services takes the time to discover what makes an educator unique in order to lay the groundwork for a positive relationship between candidates and school. The personal connections that CIS has within their community of educators and schools make that possible. Starting in August 2016, CIS announced, among other service enhancements, that each candidate will have a video interview with a member of the CIS Career & Recruitment Services team. Two Recruitment Advisors, Becky Hazlett and Tanja Janjic, recently discussed how important this interview step is to both educators …

Posted by CIS on Monday March 20
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“How can I make the people around me do great things?”: Leadership development for an interconnected world


Are the teachers and leaders in your school interculturally competent? Does it really even matter? Gavin Hornbuckle’s research, highlighted below, demonstrates that we shouldn’t assume international school staff are culturally competent. Explore this topic in-depth at the CIS Symposium on Intercultural Learning in Amsterdam (9 & 10 March) or Singapore (23 & 24 March). More information here.

“You should be predisposed to other people's power -- how can I make the people around me do great things. If they do, then, by definition, I'll succeed, because that's my job, is to get this team moving in the right direction.”

President Barack Obama, 
Remarks at a Town Hall with Young Leaders of the UK, April 23, …

Posted by CIS on Thursday January 26
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Language in international schools: Moving away from the monolingual monolith

Eowyn Crisfield, an expert on bilingualism in international schools, will lead a workshop at the upcoming CIS Symposia on Intercultural Learning in Amsterdam (9 & 10 March 2017) and Singapore (23 & 24 March 2017). International school leaders and teachers interested in learning the latest research and gaining practical advice on effective language development in international schools are encouraged to attend. More information here.

A role of many international schools is to provide an English-language education for international students from a variety of backgrounds. Underpinning this belief is the implicit assumption that the school is responsible for teaching non-English speaking children to speak English, and to succeed in …

Posted by CIS on Wednesday January 11
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The Importance to School Communities of Accreditation Award Ceremonies


by Graham Ranger, Director of School Support & Evaluation, Council of International Schools

We often say, in accreditation circles, that the process is as important, if not more so, than the accreditation award. Of course, there are many reasons why a school chooses CIS International Accreditation but the most important drivers are those which help the school provide a better international education for its students. We achieve this by asking the school to engage with its community in consultation, through the CIS Community Survey, as part of the Self-Study process through which all constituents are represented and all groups (students; faculty; support staff; Board members; leadership; parents; and sometimes alumni) are involved. It …

Posted by CIS on Thursday December 22, 2016
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