I love the term ‘world classroom’. It makes me think of being a student of the world, the world is my classroom.
Did you know there really is a world classroom programme? It’s in an international school in China and its aims are…you guessed it, to broaden minds, instill cultural tolerance of all beliefs and nationalities, and to ultimately, create global citizens. One of the ways they do this is by taking children out of the bricks and mortar classroom and into the world classroom—bringing them to other countries where they can experience the world they’re studying first hand.
If I were designing an ideal learning environment for my daughter, this global education programme sounds pretty close to what I would create. I want her to grow up patriotic and loyal to her homeland, but I also want her to understand that other people and nations make decisions based on their cultural belief systems and backgrounds. Knowledge—and first hand experience, of these belief systems and backgrounds will help her to be more understanding and tolerant of others’ behaviours, and tolerance is the first step towards working more effectively together across this planet.
Besides the obvious benefits of simply learning about the world from first hand experience, another fantastic benefit of a programme that develops these abilities of understanding and tolerance is that she will be able to transfer this learning to any new people she encounters through her life, whether they are from another culture or her own.
These are all the benefits of an international education and schools like Yew Cheung International School Beijing is one example of an international school that offers such an education–check out this glowing news story “Cambridge Award For Excellence In Education”. For anyone interested in international education I would recommend reading about this school even if you’re not going to be living in Beijing. It’s an excellent example of an international school, and the information on it may help you in choosing a school wherever you move to.
Seriously, go check it out then come back. I have more to say–or, ask you, I should say.
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I would love to hear from people who have (or have had) children in international schools. What did you look for when you chose that school? Did you ever have to move your children from that school to another in the same area? Would you rather send your children to an international school or a local school? Have you ever experienced any problems with international schools?
This space on The American Resident was paid for by YCIS Beijing, but I have also used it as a space to ask questions I’m curious about with regards to international education for the eBook I’m writing for expats—please add your thoughts on international education if you’d like to share!