By Nick Yates, ISB Communications
What makes an International School of Beijing (ISB) education uniquely valuable in preparing students for their futures? ISB is "Different by Design," offering carefully thought-out programs unlike those in place at more traditional schools, and it's now created a new series of talks for the community to learn more about those programs and the thinking behind them.
Parents will learn from a variety of experts from both inside and outside of the school, and there will be opportunities for discussion and questions. The launch event on Thursday, September 6 involves a screening of Most Likely to Succeed, a thought-provoking documentary film on US education that reveals the shortcomings of conventional teaching methods in today's innovative world.
Other events in September include a briefing on how families can create agreements on technology use, and an update on the school's Chinese curriculum.
Throughout the year, ISB will be inviting education experts under a themed program of events. October's focus will be Student Wellness, and attendees of the parent talks will hear from Kevin Hawkins (pictured, left) and other leaders of Mindwell, which advises schools on best practice in social and emotional learning and mindfulness.
More details of the program can be found here (ISB community members only).
Stacy Stephens, ISB's Director of Learning, explained that the talks are designed to inform the school's diverse group of parents about the decision-making that goes into the school's courses and activities. As a progressive school, ISB is prepared to adapt what it does based on the latest research.
"Many of us have been brought up in different education systems all over the world. The parent education series is about recognizing that school looks very different now from when many of us were studying," said Ms. Stephens.
"Why does it look different? If it looked the same as schools 20 years ago, we wouldn't be following best practice, what we know is best for students when it comes to teaching and learning. ISB offers a very distinctive conceptualization of what education is today, and the talks will explain why.
"Why is it, for example, that we believe kids shouldn't have an excessive amount of homework? Why do we support language development at home so much?
"We want people to be confident about what we are doing and confident we are doing what is best for their children. We feel confident in the choices we make; this is an opportunity to share that with parents who otherwise may not get that window into why we do what we do."