Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Collaboration Between Cultures

We will be looking at collaboration first hand during the upcoming year.  Teachers from the Sinarmas World Academy in Jakarta, Indonesia and our literacy/technology committee will begin their plans this week on collaborative projects between the two schools.  Some will be at the pupil level and some at the teacher level.

The teachers will follow the process with reflections that will help us to fine tune the rubric we are building to assess collaboration in the classroom.

We are all eager to explore this avenue during the 2010-2011 year.  

Please follow us as we record our journey on this blog.

Following is some information on the academy that will be teaming with us.  Enjoy!

The Sinarmas World Academy is located in downtown Jakarta, Indonesia - a large, modern, industrial city.   Here it is at rush hour.

The school is a new and has recently been expanded, incorporating all of the most up to date technology available.

Here are photos of the new library followed by an article from the Jakarta Post written by Bruce Ashton, Elementary Principal of the Sinarmas World Academy.  He will be our contact for our literacy and technology pilot.

The Jakarta Post Logo


Quality education must be relevant to today

Bruce Ashton, Contributor, Jakarta | Sun, 05/02/2010 9:42 AM | Focus
A | A | A |
As a society our basis for what quality is always falls close to home as the style in which we learned was such that we achieved success. This in most cases is because our learning style enabled us to read, write, comprehend, retain facts and formulas and regurgitate them back upon demand. Our learning style was one where we showed strength logically and linguistically and fortunately for us our society valued schools set up to support children with these strengths. Unfortunately this type of thinking has a glitch, and as time and technology have moved forward we have begun to question why some of the world’s most successful businesspeople, such as Bill Gates or Richard Branson, never completed higher level mathematics, or even graduated from high school. Surely their success must be an anomaly or perhaps a freak of nature? Their inability to succeed in a traditional way was in fact their greatest asset as their learning in a different way provided opportunities to succeed. In 1983 Dr. Howard Gardner of Harvard University came forward with eight different intelligences to account for a broader ranger of human potential in children and adults. These intelligences were Linguistic (“word smart”): Logical-mathematical (“number/reasoning smart”) Spatial (“picture smart”) Bodily-Kinesthetic (“body smart”) Musical (“music smart”) Interpersonal (“people smart”) Intrapersonal (“self smart”) Naturalist (“nature smart”). Dr. Gardner’s multiple intelligences provided eight different potential pathways to learning. Suddenly educators were having ‘Aha’ moments as this really made sense. Forward thinking schools that were having difficulty reaching students in the more traditional or logical ways of instruction began to apply the theory of multiple intelligences using several means in which the material presented made learning possible and more effective. Quality schools that believe in what is best for student learning seized this opportunity to better meet the needs of all children, examining all potentials and developing all opportunities for success. With the knowledge explosion growing at an exponential rate our need for a multi-talented workforce increases. No longer do we require an employee who can do just one thing, but rather a person who can operate in a variety of ways in a multitude of situations. Quality schools focus on producing 21st century learners that are internationally minded, multi-lingual, collaborative, knowledgeable, risk takers, creative and problem solvers. Wealth creation today is all about being creative, collaborating and the communicating of new ideas or products, not just reproducing or copying the same old things from days gone by. The challenges of today’s global society demand that quality schools provide opportunities to learn in way that best utilizes how students learn. These opportunities must be relevant and meaningful and in an environment that not only challenges but also stimulates. Quality education must be relevant to today and not follow the model of the past based on testing, retention of knowledge or ranking. By continuing to do this, our children and our societies will be left behind while others who have embraced change forge ahead. We must let go of our old beliefs of what quality is and begin challenging our education systems to develop quality schools that best meet the needs of all learners for the 21st century. The writer is elementary principal of Sinarmas World Academy. For more information you can go to these websites on the academy:   www.swa-jkt.com
Over the next two weeks, I will be working at the school and posting on a daily basis.  Please join in and feel free to comment and ask questions.  Darlene

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