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A Complex Systems Approach to Educational Change and Innovation

by Kevin Fullbrook, Al-Bayan Bilingual School

Innovation and change in education is hard work. It makes some people uncomfortable – stepping off the edge into the unknown. It involves taking some risks. Often, the change or innovation that takes place is not sustainable in the long term, or doesn’t end up having the impact and effect that we had hoped to see.

Sometimes this is not necessarily because of the change or innovation itself. Its failure (or lack of impact) could be a reflection of the process itself, not the product. At Al-Bayan Bilingual School (BBS), we are looking at the change and innovation process through the lens of complexity theory.

Why are we using this approach?

“A complicated problem, once …

Posted by CIS on Monday February 12
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Embedding Transdisciplinary Learning into QR Codes

by Jason Hanslo, International School of Gabon Ruban Vert

During my university days I always had a soft spot for technology. As a student, on a student budget, I would spend a great deal of time finding out the cost of groceries by scanning their barcodes. The fact that those zebra stripes of varying lengths could hold a lot of information at once was mind-boggling at first, but after much research I started understanding their applications. The idea to use it one day was short-lived by the introduction of QR codes.

Quick response codes were invented in 1994 as a quick response to finding newly manufactured vehicles. It has evolved from being just another barcode by being user-friendly in that it can be scanned using a smart phone. QR …

Posted by CIS on Friday February 2
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Predicting Student Mobility

by Katryna Snow, Assistant Director of Higher Education Services, Council of International Schools

Students today have more options than ever when it comes to study outside their home country. They can take many factors into consideration when deciding where to study—language of the host country, tuition costs, distance from family, availability of degree programmes, and more. But how can universities best predict which students might be interested in them? 

University recruitment and admissions offices have finite resources—both budgets and staff—to use when trying to connect with the right students. Consequently, universities rely heavily on data to make decisions on where and how to recruit prospective …

Posted by CIS on Tuesday January 23
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How challenging global standards for school improvement led to Al TARBIYEH

by Chris Durbin, Associate Director for School Support and Evaluation, Council of International Schools

HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, on behalf of the ABS Board of Trustees, welcomes the IB/CIS Evaluation Team to ABS

How A school community embraced school improvement and committed to child protection training in Arabic to meet the needs of its community.

Amman, Jordan provides a fitting location for the first CIS International Accreditation Team Evaluation using our new truly international protocol. This is a nation that is committed to global citizenship, committed to helping out its neighbouring peoples who are racked by conflict. Jordanians are exposed to dilemmas of global citizenship in their daily lives.…

Posted by CIS on Wednesday November 22, 2017
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If you’ve ever attended one of our Higher Education events, you will have noticed the fondness and collegiality that extends over our networking tables. Our university admission representatives love our guidance counsellor members. And our guidance counsellors love our admission reps. These bonds often start in one part of the world and can last for years, through various global relocations and career moves. 

So what happens when an admission representative wants to switch sides of the desk? As a part of the CIS community, they are surrounded by a very supportive network of schools and counsellors. We spoke with some of our members that have made that leap from university admissions to university guidance and found an …

Posted by CIS on Monday October 16, 2017
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developing your intercultural competency in your career search

It’s time to take another step forward in your career, for personal and professional growth. Let’s assume you are open-minded and eager to learn from being immersed in another culture. How do you maximize the opportunities this offers by becoming interculturally competent? And, what is intercultural competence anyway?

Chances are that if you’re interested in teaching abroad, you’ve considered the potential pitfalls and opportunities that intercultural communication can invite. (At least, we hope.) But diving deeper into intercultural competency will help you be more prepared to form relationships in a new environment and do your job at its fullest potential. For a definition of intercultural competence, it seems …

Posted by CIS on Monday September 18, 2017
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Culture and Learning - A new and engaging questionnaire tool to support international educators

by Peter Welch, Director, International School of Helsinki, Finland

This year, CIS continues its groundbreaking research into the relationship between culture and student learning and communication preferences. Working in partnership with my school, International School of Helsinki, our shared ambition is to provide students, educators and school leaders with relevant, accessible information on the cultural dynamics in our communities. We want to provide an engaging, practical tool that helps us work effectively within culturally diverse schools.

Last year, about six thousand students worldwide piloted a new online questionnaire. This questionnaire draws from cultural theory and applies this to common learning and communication …

Posted by CIS on Thursday August 31, 2017
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Unintended Outcomes of Service Learning: Being on the right side of the tide

by Ann Straub, International Advisor, Council of International Schools

The Council of International Schools has at its core, global citizenship. A vital aspect of global citizenship is taking action to benefit humanity in order to create social sustainability. This action often manifests itself in the form of service learning. What better way to engage our students than with helping other children around the world? However, as stated by Emmanuel Werner from Friends-International, an NGO with programs in South-East Asia and Switzerland, “Service learning has to be done the right way. It is recognized that good intentions are not enough and volunteering may cause more harm than good if not well thought out.”

Emmanuelle goes on…

Posted by CIS on Thursday July 20, 2017
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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.


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

Posted by CIS on Thursday July 6, 2017
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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, 2017
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