According to its website, the International School of Geneva is ‘[a] not-for-profit foundation established in 1924 … [It] is, with its 4,300 students, the oldest and largest international school i

According to its website, the International School of Geneva is ‘[a] not-for-profit foundation established in 1924 … [It] is, with its 4,300 students, the oldest and largest international school in the world’ (Fondation de l’Ecole Internationale de Genève, 2011). The school consists of three campuses offering both primary and secondary bilingual education in French and English. The school has a varied curriculum offering qualifications from both international and different national systems. The qualifications include the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP), The International Baccalaureate Career-related Certificate (IBCC), the Maturité Suisse, the International GCSE (IGCSE) and the Diplôme National du Brevet (DNB).
The school was the first to offer the International Baccalaureate in the late 1960s, and so has a unique perspective on what international education is. The mission of the school is ‘to provide a distinctive high quality international education through which all our students are helped to develop their abilities to the highest level of their potential. We respect students’ individual and cultural identities, encouraging them to become independent learners eager to carry on learning throughout their lives.’ As such, it has defined the main principles of international education as follows:
• Encouraging important international values
• Supporting the student’s language development
• Ensuring an international dimension to the curriculum
• Recognising the importance of global issues
• Showing respect for, and integration with, the host country
(Fondation de l’Ecole Internationale de Genève, 2011)
Have a look at the curriculum guides of the schools which are available under the tab that says Learning at Ecolint, and then look at the programmes at: www.ecolint.ch/learning-ecolint/programme.
• What makes the curriculum international? How does the curriculum contribute to the schools’ vision of what international education is?
• One of the principles of international education is to encourage important international values. What do you think those international values might be and how are they demonstrated in the curriculum and the numerous activities the school offers?
• What global issues are of utmost importance and can international schools contribute to the resolution of some of these issues? If so, in what ways?
• Have a look through the website pages of the school. Can you find evidence of its commitment to ‘recognising the importance of global issues’?
• Is it possible that international schools actually contribute in some way to the creation of global issues?
• Do you feel that the International School of Geneva is a good example of a truly international school? Give a rationale for your answer.
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