Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

How International Is You School?


Published on

MA International Education University of Bath assignment (Education in and International Context).

In this assignment I have tried to propose an original idea for helping schools define and measure the degree to which they demonstrate the values of international education.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

How International Is You School?

  1. 1. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) How international is your school? Proposing a web chart tool to visualize the degree to which a school promotes eight qualities (radials) of international education. Stephen Taylor MA International Education University of Bath This assignment was submitted for assessment in the module „Education in an International Context‟ at the University of Bath, as part of an MA in International Education. It is uploaded here with tutor permission and is shared as part of my professional blog/portfolio at
  2. 2. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 2 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Contents 1 Introduction & aims 2 Defining an “international education” 2.1.1Students 2.1.2Values & Ideology 2.1.3Policy & Governance 2.1.4Culture 2.1.5Curriculum 2.1.6Global Citizenship Education 2.1.7Action 2.1.8Faculty & Leadership Evaluation rubric for faculty & leadership radial 2.2 Spinning the Web: Designing the Chart 2.2.1Existing visualisations & analogies 2.2.2Construction of a web chart 2.2.3Demonstrating the Web British International School vs British International School Evolution of a small international school 2.3 Conclusion and Evaluation 2.4 References 2.5 Appendices 2.5.1Appendix I: Evolution of the web analogy and visualisation 2.5.2Appendix II: Construction of the web in Microsoft Excel 2.5.3Appendix III: Glossary of key terms used in this paper
  3. 3. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 3 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Introduction & Aims The webs of orb-weaving spiders (Araneae sp.) are complex and diverse, analagous to the characters of the growing population of schools in the ecosystem of international education. The shape of each web is the „fingerprint‟ of its species (Zschokke & Fritz, 1995), but they are all founded on radials, stretching from the centre and maintaining the integrity of the web, that are reinforced as they are revisited in the web-spinning process.Although all schools are unique, the strength of the international dimension of a school can be derived from connections and tensions between its many inter-related radials: the stronger the web, the more internationalthe school. This paper proposes a web chart to communicate the degree to which a school promotes internationalism, attempting to quantify the quality of eight inter-related radials. It is an attempt to generate an operable tool to marry research and practice in schoolsand, if developed with care and rigour, to be of use in the fields of comparative and international education and school evaluation. The scope of this proposal goes beyond a single masters-level assignment, and this paper gives but a brief overview and justification of the concept.I will draw on a range of literature germane to the topic to show how and why the web chart has been developed, including identification of the radials and some discussion of how descriptors may be developed. I will build on established definitions and visualisations related to the field before expanding on some radials to illustrate how they may interact. Finally I will evaluate the model and suggest areas for further research into a tool that will allow stakeholders to answer the question, “How international is your school?” Figure 1: diagram of the orb-web of Araneus diadematus, adapted from Nieuwenhuys, 2010
  4. 4. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 4 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Defining an “International Education” Every school is an international school. As a result of contemporary globalization(Robinson, 2003) we are preparing students for life in global markets: as leaders or workers, innovators or implementers, as children who may seek to study or work abroad or as those who are already overseas due to their parents‟ own work. As educational technology and internet-enabled pedagogies are „flattening the classroom‟ (Lindsay & Davis, 2012), exposing students to a greater world view, and as educational policies and decisions are formed with a local eye on the global economy, leading to an internationalization of education(Robinson, 2003, p.243), it becomes ever more difficult to separate the international from education. International education could be seenbroadly as “education for an international understanding” (UNESCO, 1968, in Hayden & Thompson, 1995), or more practically as “primarily as an instrument for the preparation of young people to cope with a life in an increasingly interdependent world” (Hayden & Thompson, 1995). Marshall (2007, p38) notes:“…teachers and global educationalists are currently drowning in a sea of seemingly similar terms. Global citizenship education, international education, education with a global or international dimension, development education, world studies, education for an international understanding – the list goes on.” Some elements of international education are therefore evident in any school setting, though the degree to which this is promoted in a school is highly diverse and worthy of description and quantitative evaluation. At one end of the spectrum lieideology-driven international schools such as the International School of Geneva (opened in 1924, perhaps the first true international school (Hill, 2001)), with a mission statement, student and faculty body and action-oriented curriculum that equip students towards thinking from multiple perspectives in order to consider issues of global, humanitarian and developmental importance. Opposite lie national schools with minimal diversity orinclusion of global issues in the curriculum, yet which need to shape graduates and workers for the global economy; systems that see education as more a
  5. 5. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 5 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) commodity of globalization than an ideology of internationalism (Cambridge & Thompson, 2004). There is a relatively small but growing body of research in international education, with strength in its central role ofpractitioners engaged in research(Dolby & Rahman, 2008). As this body of knowledge expands, I see an opportunity to better engage other practitioners in the „big ideas‟ of international education, and to that end propose that a visual, operable measurement and comparative tool be developed to connect research to practice. The International School Association‟s (ISA, 2001) self-study tool can be used to measure four aspects of internationalism in a school: cultural composition and community, governance and administration, philosophy, and curriculum(Hill, 2007), and is based on a system of self-study that can take various approaches (Cambridge & Carthew, 2007). The product is a useful description of the degree of internationalism promoted in a school, though may not be immediately accessible to all stakeholders. This is compounded by the difficulty of giving a clear and meaningful definition of international education,so I propose a visual representation in the form of a web- chart (Fig. 2) that allows an illustration of the extent to which a school promotes each of the qualities of the international dimension. In keeping with Nikel and Lowe (2010) I use the term qualitiessynonymously with characteristics, each of which is a named radial on the web.In a normative sense, each can then be evaluated for a degree of quality, the extent to which it is evidenced in the school‟s documentation and practices. An important caveat: there is no guarantee that a more international school facilitates a higher quality of student learning than a less international school; the overall evaluation of the standard of a school is not the purpose of this tool. Figure 2: The proposed structure of the web, with eight radials representing inter-related qualities of the international dimension of schools. The degree of quality of each is represented by the scale 1-5, radiating outward from the centre of the web.
  6. 6. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 6 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) How can we measure “International‟? “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein (Harris, 1995) Although some quantitative data for evaluation may be drawn directly from empirical sources (enrolment, examination scores, budgets etc.)we must avoid McNamara‟s fallacy(Basler, 2009) and ensure that data collected are of genuine value and that robust methods of evaluation are developed for qualities that are not as easily measured. This will require further work in three or more stages, beyond the scope of this assignment: a rigorous literature review of each of the proposed radials, identifying and describing elements of each radial deemed important enough to measure; the development ofkey performance indicators for each of the radials‟ potential metric tools or sources of evidence for achievement of varying levels of success; and, the development of reliable and operable descriptors for each degree of quality for each radial. For many of these radials, a self-study process,such as the ISA‟s self-study tool, might inform data collection, balancing the voices of stakeholders with empirical data and allowing schools to „speak for themselves‟(MacBeath, 1999 in Cambridge & Carthew, 2007). Students Belle-Isle (1986), states that a school “cannot claim the status of an international institution simply because 70 or 80% of is clientele represent a variety nationalities, races and cultures.” (in Hayden and Thompson, 1995), yet interaction with a diversity of students has a large impact on students‟ perceptions of the extent to which their education was international (Hayden & Thompson, 1995). In a metric for this radial, we should consider how students‟ experiences, cultures and values are brought into the curriculum and how they are used to shape instruction. Beyond whole-school demographics we can look at diversity within classes and year-groups, the structure of social and extra-
  7. 7. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 7 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) curricular groups, and the extent to which these groups are encouraged in the school. The nature of the students should also be measured, building on Sampson and Smith‟s (1957) (or subsequently Hett‟s (1993), in (Zhai & Scheer, 2004)) scales to measure global-mindedness. These inventory-based scales generate quantitative and comparative data pertaining to student values. As a result, they can be tracked over time, and further studies in the school context can attempt to attribute causal relationships where appropriate. Furthermore we might consider questions such as: Is there a tendency for homogeneous groups to form as a result of scheduling constraints (they „travel‟ together as they are in the same language class), or do cliques form based on nationality? To what extent is the student population rooted locally or are they more transient global nomads with “an extensive knowledge of the world and a broad perspective on issues […] several languages and much broader career opportunities…?” (Hayden & Thompson, 1995). How are transitions supported for immigrant, emigrant and extant students and how are the learning needs of all students met? Values & Ideology “The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” Statement (IB, 2012a) (emphasis mine) TheInternational Baccalaureate Organisation‟s (IBO) Mission Statement leaves no doubt about the ideologic nature of their aims, echoed in the missions statements of many international schools around the world. A concise overview of how this might be measured is articulated in the ISA‟s self-assessment tool for matrix I: school pholosophy and values (ISA , 2001, pp.9-10). The values and ideology of a school should be apparent in their published mission statement or
  8. 8. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 8 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) equivalent and so analysis of these documents and policies may be used as a comparative tool. Mission statements including terms such as international- minded, peace and compassion could be identified as representing a higher degree in this radial than those focusing on individual excellence, achievment, single-faith doctrine or national citizenship. Beyond this there would need to be evidence of these values and ideology in practice, some of which connects with the radials of curriculum and action, others from faculty and leadership, in evidence of professional development, hiring practices and culture. To what extent is the mission of the school evidenced in practice in administration, curriculum, development and teaching? Is the mission measured in student action and if so, how? Policy & Governance The governing body of a school is generally responsible for formulation of policies, mission and core values in the school, including input in strategic planning and budgeting. These inputs are a line of evidence of the values and ideology in action: policies on hiring faculty, adopting curriculum frameworks and allocating budgets to the various operations of the school can facilitate (or severely limit) the degree to which the school promotes international education. Again, the ISA‟s self-study matrices are informative in this stage, with sections devoted to governance, administration, admission, public relations and facilities (ISA , 2001, pp.20-23). To generate evidence for this radial, one might consider the connections between the mission and the decision-making processes evidenced in minutes and annual reports; the balance of the budgets dedicated to curriculum, instruction, outreach and service; policies on hiring of faculty, in particular policies that may limit the nationalities or family situations of applicants; policies on admission of students in terms of nationality, academic ability, faith or special educational needs.
  9. 9. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 9 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Culture An emergent property of schools, culture can be defined as “features which produce the school‟s ethos” (Marsh, 2009, p.9)arising from interactions between all the stakeholders, policies and curriculum. It is informed by local, national and international context, as well as market forces or the „purpose‟ of the school. Peterson (1987, p.36, quoted in Hayden & Thompson, 1995), suggests: “one would expect a special influence of the host country,” especially if a significant number of faculty and students are admitted locally. This might lead to a bias towards local cultural norms, curricular aims and attitudes towards other cultures. Attempting to quantify culture might run into limitations of reliability if dependent on perception data alone, yet the culture of the school can play a strong role in enhancing (or limiting) success in the promotion of international education and a carefully-designed self- study may help in articulation of cultural influences. Small but key changes in faculty, leadership, political or economic stability can have significant impacts on the culture of a school and the teaching and learning that take place; this is a radial that may be more abstract and more challenging to measure than the others, yet is worthy of further investigation and discussion. Curriculum “… The school curriculum (in the wider sense) is essentially a selection from the culture of a society.“ (Lawton, 1975)(emphasis added) This quote resonates strongly in the discussion about what makes an international school: from whose culture are we drawing when we write the curriculum and to what extent does the curriculum that emerges truly represent an international education? By adopting IB curriculum frameworks are we buying in to the culture of the IB, in essence globalizing the notion of internationalism in schools? (Cambridge & Thompson, 2004) Is this “…embedded in a Western humanist tradition of thinking?” (Walker, 2010).
  10. 10. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 10 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) So to avoid international education becoming little more than a „globally branded product‟ (Cambridge, 2002 ), with schools the franchisees in the „McDonaldization of society‟ (Ritzer, 1983), we must ensure that the curriculum delivered by the school draws not only on recognized international standard but on the unique cultural qualities of the school, its demographics and setting. By doing this are we moving into less concrete knowledge outcomes and how might this impact the reliability of assessment and therefore the marketability of our students? This radial may interact with the faculty and leadership and students radials as recognized curriculum frameworks may act as a draw towards a school, impacting recruitment and retention. Global Citizenship Education There are clear connections between this radial and many others, most obviously values and ideology and curriculum, though is set aside for the purpose of clearly differentiating international schools from schools in an international context. It includes the planned and experienced curriculum(Kelly, 2004, p.5)with regard to evidence of ideals such as “a culture of peace and sustainable development” (UNESCO, 2011) and creating “a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect” (IB, 2012a). According to OXFAM (1997, quoted in Davies, 2006), global citizenship education has three components: knowledge and understanding of the background to global problems; skills such as cooperation and conflict resolution; and values and attitudes. Where global education (or world-mindedness) can be delivered in an abstract fashion, my intention here is that global citizenship education is action-oriented, evidenced through curriculum, teachers‟ practices, student work and even „global citizen research‟ (Davies, 2006). This would interact with the Students radial through attempted measurement of the degree of global citizenship exhibited by students, perhaps building on the Global Citizenship Scale (Morais & Ogden, 2011), itself grounded in three interacting concepts of social responsibility, global competence and global civic engagement.
  11. 11. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 11 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Action Where the written curriculum is an articulation of the concepts, content, pedagogies and assessment that takes place in the school, action could be defined as the changes that these interventions have caused: changes in mindset, ability, attitude or behavior. Just as the discipline of international education can be seen as „more explicitly applied and action-oriented‟ than that of comparative education (Crossley, 1999), a more international education tends to combine the purely academic with action-led learning: the evidence that learning has taken place and had a desired impact on the student. Consider the A-Level system of England and Wales in comparison with the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP): where there is no requirement for service in A-Levels, the Creativity, Action and Service core component of the IBDP is a passing condition. Similarly, IBDP students are expected to complete a Theory of Knowledge course, culminating in an essay and presentation that explore the nature of knowledge and learning from multiple disciplinary and cultural perspectives. A school might have an active Global Issues Network or International Award group, or might simply draw from current affairs as a regular part of teaching and learning. In all of these examples, there is significant visible evidence of student action: from service (and the reflections on it) to the response of students in assessment tasks, we are able to identify evidence of the quantity and degree of quality of this radial. Faculty & Leadership This radial includes teachers, principals and academic support staff responsible for the implementation of curriculum and assessment and with direct connection to students, teaching and learning. It does not include the board of governors or local/ national accrediting bodies. The Head of School has diverse roles, including those in governance, but any pastoral or visible leadership elements of their role would be considered here. There will likely be a clear connection here between diversity of faculty and hiring policies or market forces, and as with the point made by Belle-Isle (above, 1986), we should beware of equating only diversity in the faculty with an international education.
  12. 12. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 12 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Similarly, we should recognize the limitations of the „international circuit‟ in promoting a truly international education. Table 1 shows an example rubric for evaluating the degree of quality of the radials of the web, using faculty and leadership as an example. It is made up of component elements, each described on a 1-5 scale of degree of quality and draws on some ideas from the ISA‟s Matrix 3 (ISA , 2001). When evaluating a radial, the evidence provided by a school against each element would be considered against the descriptors and a level given. A best-fit criterion-related method would then be used to determine the overall degree of quality for the radial. Evidence for this radial could be drawn from curriculum documentation, teacher observation and evaluation evidence, student feedback and work exemplars, records of professional development, policy documents or evidence on hiring procedures. The first element of diversity is the most obvious sign of an international school. However, as contemporary globalization(Canterford, 2003) drives the rise of international schools, and these schools seek to sell the „product‟ of an IB education (or equivalent), the labour market for teachers has been segmented; there is much greater demand for English-speaking teachers and leaders, than for those from other nationalities (in some countries, visas are dependent on nationality) (Canterford, 2003). In hiring there is a preference for experience in the programme of instruction, which paradoxically might reduce the degree to which a school promotes internationalism: hiring exclusively from “the circuit” could create an echo-chamber of ideas, or a single mobile faculty lounge of suitcase-toting teachers. For these reasons, we need to look beyond diversity in devising our metrics for the faculty radial. I have included further elements of recruitment, curriculum, pedagogies and professional development in this radial to show not only how the hiring and development of teachers can influence the international dimension of a school, but also how their classroom practices (Davies, 2006) and role as “change-agents in the school,” (Kelly, 2004, p.116), have a significant contribution. As a faculty develops professionally with regard to curriculum mapping and international education, we would expect to see growth in these elements and therefore on pedagogies, leading to an overall improvement in the radial – even if the school
  13. 13. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 13 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) is for some reason limited in its hiring of a diverse faculty. These connections extend beyond the elements of the radial and out across the whole web. Tensions and modifications in some strands of the web can felt across the whole school, including the faculty and leadership radial (Fig. 3): the role of policy and governance in hiring and faculty diversity, the ownership and implementation of the curriculum by the faculty, the resultant student action as a result of the pedagogies of their teachers as examples. Figure 3: Examples of tensions and interactions between the Faculty & Leadership radial and other elements of the web. This is illustrative, not exhaustive.
  14. 14. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Table 1: Evaluating the Faculty Radial Degree of quality evidenced by school Elements of the Faculty Radial Diversity Recruitment Curriculum Pedagogies Professional Development 5 Very high Very highly diverse& experienced in international education. Multiple cultural perspectives and first languages valued & have impact on student action. Recruitment of experienced international educators from diverse sources and backgrounds, without limitations on nationality. Faculty collaboratively writes curriculum, drawing from experience and including multiple international perspectives & global issues. Inquiry-based, led by student inquiry and investigation of global issues. Reflective and meet needs of all learners. Result in significant student action based on learning. Active PD highly differentiated, international education issues included, evidence-based, ongoing.High impact on classroom action. 4 High Many (20+) nationalities represented on faculty, with minimal bias towards a few nationalities. Highly experienced overall. Recruitment of experienced international educators from diverse sources; minimal limitations on nationality. Faculty have input in curriculum development, planning and assessment, including some global issues or perspectives. Generally inquiry-driven, including global issues and reflection on practices. Student action arises from learning. Active PD builds on faculty needs. Includes discussion of international education. Generally improves classroom practices & student action. 3 Moderate Some diversity in faculty (10+ nations), though biased towards western passports. Faculty generally experienced in international schools. Active recruitment from overseas (e.g. job fairs), based on best fit for school and experience where possible. May be limitations based on passport nationalities. Faculty updates curriculum, with minimal ownership. Some inclusion of international perspectives may be required. Some evidence of inquiry- driven practices and best- practices in assessment. Some differentiation and/or discussion of international perspectives. PD includes some aspects of international education, such as programme workshops or „sit and get‟ one-off sessions. Moderate impact on classroom action. 2 Low Skewed to one or two nationalities, may have limited overall experience internationally. Recruitment based on market forces (e.g. western teachers or affordable English speakers), experience of new hires may be limited to local contexts. Faculty has some flexibility in delivery of prescribed syllabus content. Generally content-driven pedagogy, some differentiation or flexibility. Minimal action arises from learning. PD has low impact on student learning with regard to internationalism or best practices. Generally passive. 1 Minimal (Near)-homogenous, local or nominal* faculty. Faculty recruited only locally (or nominally). Faculty delivers prescribed curricula, lessons & assessments. Dominated by didactic, teacher-centred (or exam- focused) pedagogies. PD minimal or biased towards administrative or narrow- focused tasks. *Nominal: nationality of school name, for example a British school overseas might hire only British faculty and leadership.
  15. 15. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Spinning the Web The web chart communicates two dimensions: the identification of qualities (radials) and the degree to which each quality is evidenced. The rubrics and descriptors for each radial form the third dimension, which themselves may be supported by a further level of support materials, exemplars or measurement tools. The construction of this model has been inspired in part by each of three different representations: Stobart‟s (1989) concentric circles of international education, the IBO‟s programme models and Nikel and Lowe‟s (2010) fabric of quality in international education. Stobart‟s (1989) proposed concept of internationalis represented alternately in Hayden and Thompson (1995) and Hill (2006) as a model of concentric circles, with each level linked to “the level of intensity of „international living‟” (Hayden & Thompson, 1995) (Fig. 4). These alternate representations are easily interpreted, though essentially one-dimensional: a linear scale of progression captured in a circular image. For the purpose of the web, a higher degree of quality as the radial moves outward is more easily interpreted and adds to the analogy in that a greater overall area represents a „more international‟ experience. Figure 4: Stobart‟s (1989) concept of international as presented in Hayden and Thompson (1995, left, intensity increasing from outside to centre) and Hill (2006, right, with intensity increasing from inside to outside).
  16. 16. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 2 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) The International Baccalaureate‟s programme models can be interpreted as a visualisation of thetotal curriculum(Kelly, 2004, p.5)with the learner at the centre, surrounded by core programme elements, the learner profile (a set of value statements) and academic components. Similarly, the web aims to capture all that is international in education at a glance, with the aim of clarifying the concept of international education for the reader. Although the web chart shares visual similarities to the IB models in that they are both clear representations of many elements of international education, the IB models are not evaluative and the web should not be interpreted as being biased towards IB schools. Nikel and Lowe‟s (Fig. 5, 2010) representation proposes a piece of fabric as a metaphor, anchored by seven conceptual dimensions arranged “to emphasise our view of the quality of education as being like a „fabric‟ that is „stretched‟ or maintained in tension.”The arrangement shows these qualities in tension, the pull of each representing a degree of quality, though no normative scale is applied. The authors seek “a contextually relevant balance among the seven dimensions, where „balance‟ does not imply a simple equalizing across all seven”(Nikel & Lowe, 2010). In the web model I have attempted to allow for this whilst maintaining a uniform, easily-interpreted structure with a uniform 1-5 format for degrees of quality of each radial(Tague, 2005, p.438). To allow for an overall balance rather than equalizing or skewing scales, some components have been separated. For example, instead of weighting the curriculum radial more heavily than others, action and global citizenship education, which could be included as part of a total curriculum, have been separated out as their own qualities, each of unique importance to education in an international context. The fabric model suggests “relations of both tension and complementarity among the dimensions so that ‟adjustments‟ to one dimension have implications for the others in a system of tension”,(Nikel & Lowe, 2010); with the examples in figures 6 and 7 Figure 5 The „fabric‟ of quality in education (Nikel & Lowe, 2010).
  17. 17. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 3 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) below I will demonstrate how the changes in the degree of quality of some radials of the web create tension in others, causing interaction. Although the term radar chart is most common for this shape of data visualisation, web chart is more valid in this context with the discrete multi- variate nature of the data represented on the radials(Tague, 2005, p.437). The evolution of its shape and structure can be seen in Appendix I with guidance on how to create it in Microsoft Excel provided in Appendix II. A range of achievement-levels from 1-5 is typical (Harding et al., 2008) allowing for differentiation and growthwithout overwhelming the user with descriptors. Initial versions of the web (see Appendix I) used a 1-7 scale, now shifted to 1-5 to avoid perceived bias towards the IBO‟s 1-7 assessment system. The most closely related radials are placed next to each other, where possible, to allow for a more natural interpretation of patterns in the data(Tague, 2005, p.439). Demonstrating the model Figure 6exemplifies a comparative use of the web, comparing two hypothetical schools with similar names but different approaches to international education. The BRITISH International School is a stereotypical example of an “expatriate national school (overseas school) … firmly rooted in a national tradition,” (Hayden & Thompson, 1995), with enrolment limited to a few nationalities and policies, students, curriculum, faculty and culture virtually indistinguishable from its equivalent in the UK. On the other hand, the British INTERNATIONAL School may be considered a more diverse and authentic international school, with the name remaining as a vestige of years past. It is the comparison between education in an international setting and an international education.
  18. 18. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 4 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Figure 6: Example of the web-chart as a comparative tool. The two hypothetical schools share a name, but are very different in nature. Figure 7 is modeled on a retrospective evaluation of my own experience in the development of a small private school in Jakarta moving towards becoming an established IB World School (andmight also illustrate the path of development of the more international school in Figure 6). It is summarized below. Before Programmes (such as introduction of IB MYP), we see a small, homogeneous school that adheres to local or national curriculum and governance requirements. There are few expatriate teachers or students, and an ethos that is more strongly nationalistic than international. As the school moves through the Pre-Authorisation and Authorisation phases there is a need to re-evaluate the philosophy, mission and curriculum of the school to fall into alignment with
  19. 19. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 5 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) the IB‟s Programme Standards and Practices(IB, 2012b). The school may hire some expatriate staff and invest in professional development for teachers that includes a philosophical element of international education. Figure 7: A web chart illustrating the growth of the international dimension of a hypothetical school form small national school to established international school. Once Authorised, the school had a „seal of approval‟ of the IB, and potential freater marketing power in recruitment of students and faculty. Through cycles of evaluation and moderation, the programme implementation and degree of global citizenship education improve, along with an action-oriented curriculum and dedication to service. As the school becomes more Established, it continues to develop, further attracting a diversity of students and faculty and becoming recognized as a model by its contemporaries.
  20. 20. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 6 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Although this example is perhaps exaggerated and idealized, it demonstrates the spiralling nature of school improvement through measurement of the radials. As some are improved, so others may strengthen, though some radials may act as limiting factors on the overall international dimension of a school. For example, if policy or local law dictates that only faculty with approved passports may be hired, the faculty and leadership radial may always act as an overall limiting factor, though strengths can be made up elsewhere. Conclusion and Evaluation The web chart is not intended to replace the work of others before, such as the ISA‟s self-study tools, but to build upon them and visualize the abstract notion of international education. It is easily-interpreted (Tague, 2005, p.438) and could be used in a comparative manner. The natural interpretation of a greater arearepresenting amore international school adds strength to the analogy.It shows qualities of strength or weakness and can be used to plot change over time or be used for comparative purposes. With a clearlydefined rubric for each radial, the web chart could be used in formative evaluation of a school‟s international dimension, to be followed by setting targets for future development within a school or publication in stakeholder documents or websites. Ongoing assessment of the targets against the rubrics, with defined success criteria, will allow for a visualisation of progress and evaluation of the success of the school in achieving its goals. This early incarnation of the model is highly limited. If the tool is to be used with validity and reliability for comparative purposes across schools and organisations, significant work needs to be put into developing a set of robust and operable descriptors for the each of the radials. Indeed, the radials themselves would need to meet consensus approval, as would the measurement system. The current structure of the web necessitates an equal number levels for each of the radials, although there are no rules to prevent individual radials being adapted for what might be considered a more appropriate individual set of levels (Tague, 2005, p.439). However, this is likely to lead to confusion in
  21. 21. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 7 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) interpretation of the diagram as data are skewed awkwardly and is impossible to achieve on Microsoft Excel. I have attempted to address this limitation by separating some components of radials, such as curriculum, global citizenship education and action, as explained above. This negates the need to weight the curriculum radial more heavily than others. A fourth dimension of support material could be added to the model, such as exemplars for evidence and key performance indictors for each radial, with the purpose of improving the reliability of model when used for comparative purposes. Where some easily-accessible quantitative data can be generated for most radials, imagination and sophistication will be required to develop descriptors and support for more abstract sources of evidence. As the web develops in complexity and operability, it must also be subject to ongoing evaluation for fitness for purpose. It will need to be tested in a diverse set of contexts and should form the basis for much further discussion. Thanks Thank-you to John Lowe for his enthusiastic guidance and encouragement. Thanks also to Mary Hayden and Jeff Thompson for their words of support with this idea. Thanks also to DJ Condon, Head of School at Canadian Academy and International Education enthusiast.
  22. 22. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) References American Society for Quality, n.d. Radar Chart. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 13 July 2013]. Apple, M., 2004. Ideology and Curriculum. [online]. Routledge Falmer. Basler, M.H., 2009. Letter: Utility of the McNamara fallacy. British Medical Journal, BMJ 2009;339:b3141. Belle-Isle, R., 1986. Learning for a new humanism. International Schools Journal, (11), pp.27-30. Bunnell, T., 2008. The global growth of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme over the first 40 years: a critical assessment. Comparative Education, 44(4). Cambridge, J., 2002. Global Product Branding and International Education. Journal of Research in International Education, 1(2), pp.227-43. Cambridge, J. & Carthew, C., 2007. Schools Self-Evaluating their International Values: A Case Study. In M. Hayden, J. Thompson & J. Levy, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Research in International Education. London: SAGE Publications. pp.283-98. Cambridge, J. & Thompson, J., 2004. Internationalism and globalization as contexts for international education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 32(4), pp.161-75. Canterford, G., 2003. Segmented Labour Markets in International Schools. Journal of Research in International Education, 2(1), pp.47-65. Coates, H., Rosicka, C. & MacMahon-Ball, M., 2007. Perceptions of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme among Australian and New Zealand Universities. ACER. Crossley, M., 1999. Reconceptualising Comparative and International Education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 29(3), p.255. Davies, L., 2006. Global citizenship: abstraction or framework for action? Educational Review, 58(1). Special Issue: Global Citizenship Education. Davy, I., 2011. Learners Without Borders: A Curriculum for Global Citizenship. [Online] IBO Available at: borders-a-curriculum-for-global-citizenship/ [Accessed 23 July 2013]. Dolby, N. & Rahman, A., 2008. Research in International Education. Review of Educational Research, 78(3), pp.676-726.
  23. 23. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 2 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Harding, A., Kaczynski, D. & Wood, L., 2005. Evlaution of blended learning: analysis of qualitative data. In Proceedings of the Blended Learning in Science Teaching and Learning Symposium (2005). Sydney, 2005. Open Journal Systems. http://ojs- Harding, A., Kaczynski, D. & Wood, L., 2008. Using radar charts with qualitative evaluation Techniques to assess change in blended learning. Active Learning in Higher Education, 9(1), pp.23-41. Harris, K., 1995. Collected Quotes from Albert Einstein. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 19 July 2013]. Hayden, M. & Thompson, J., 1995. International Schools & International Education: a relationship reviewed. Oxford Review of Education, 21(3), pp.327-45. Overview of international schools & education from 1995. Sets up some descriptions of the field. Hayden, M. & Thompson, J., 1995. Perceptions of International Education: A Preliminary Study. International Review of Education, 41(5). Sets up a small but intersting questionnaire on perceptions of international education from high school graduates. Could be replicated now using online tools? Hett, E., n.d. The development of an instrument to measure global-mindedness. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of San Diego. Scale outlined in Zhai and Sheer, 2004. Hill, I., 2001. Early stirrings: The beginnings of the international education movement. International Schools Journal, 20(2), pp.11-22. Hill, I., 2006. Student types, school types and their combined influence on the development of intercultural understanding. Journal of Research in International Education, 5(1), pp.5-33. Hill, I., 2007. International Education as developed by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. In M. Hayden, J. Thompson & J. Levy, eds. The SAGE Handbook of Research in International Education. London: SAGE Publications. p.26. IB, 2012a. Mission and strategy. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 20 July 2012a]. IB, 2012b. How to become an International Baccalaureate® World School. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 30 July 2012]. ISA , 2001. Self-assessing internationalism: an instrument for schools. Geneva: International Schools Association. Kelly, A.V., 2004. The Curriculum: Theory and Practice. [online]. London: SAGE Publications. Lawton, D., 1975. Class, Culture and the Curriculum. [online]. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd.
  24. 24. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 3 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Lindsay, J. & Davis, V., 2012. Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time. Columbus, Ohio, USA: Pearson. MacBeath, J., 1999. Schools must speak for themselves: the case for school self- evaluation.. London: Routledge. Marsh, C.J., 2009. Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum. Teachers' Library Series. [online]. 4th ed. London: Taylor & Francis. Marshall, H., 2007. The global education terminology debate: exploring some of the issue. In M. Hayden, J. Levy & J. Thompson, eds. The Sage Handbook of Research in International Education. London, UK: Sage. p.Chapter 3. Morais, D. & Ogden, A., 2011. Initial Development and Validation of the Global Citizenship Scale. Journal of Studies in International Education, 15(5), pp.445-66. Nieuwenhuys, E., 2010. The construction of a wheel web. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 22 July 2013]. Nikel, J. & Lowe, J., 2010. Talking of fabric: a multi dimensional model of quality in education. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 40(5), pp.589- 605. OXFAM, 2006. Education for Global Citizenship: A Guide for Schools. [Online] Available at: bal_citizenship_a_guide_for_schools.ashx [Accessed 7 August 2013]. Peterson, A., 1987. Schools Across Frontiers. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court. Ritzer, G., 1983. The "McDonaldization" of Society. Journal of American Culture, 6(1), pp.100-07. Robinson, J., 2003. Contemporary Globalization and Education. In S. Bartlett & D. Burton, eds. Education Studies. London, UK: Sage. pp.239-64. Sampson, D. & Smith, H., 1957. A Scale to Measure World-Minded Attitudes. Journal of Social Psychology, 45(1), pp.99-107. Spring, J., 2008. Research on Globalization and Education. Review of Educational Research, 78(2), pp.330-63. Tague, N., 2005. The Quality Toolbox. 2nd ed. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA: ASQ Quality Press. Thompson, J. & Hayden, M., 1998. International Education: Principles and Practice. 401774th ed. London: Kogan Page. Thompson, J. & Hayden, M., 2011. The Middle Years Programme. In Thompson, J. & Hayden, M. Taking the MYP forward. Melton, UK: John Catt Educational. pp.13-18.
  25. 25. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 4 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) UNESCO, 1968. Guiding Principles Relating to Edcuation for Internaitonal Understanding. In Recommendation no. 64 adopted by the Interntational Conference on Public Education at its 31st session., 1968. UNESCO, 2011. Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. [Online] Available at: non-violence/ [Accessed 7 August 2013]. Walker, G., 2010. East is East, West is West. [Online] IBO Available at: [Accessed 7 June 2013]. Zhai, L. & Scheer, S., 2004. Global perspectives and attitudes toward cultural diversity among summer summer agriculture students at Ohio State University. Journal of Agricultural Education, 45(2), pp.39-51. Zschokke, S. & Fritz, V., 1995. Web construction patterns in a range of orb-weaving spiders (Araneae). Eur. J. Entomol, 92(3), pp.523-41.
  26. 26. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 5 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Appendix I: Spinning the Web - Evolution of the idea. Web 1.0: Radar showing seven elements, each with seven levels. Tweeted on 9 July 2013 Web 1.1: Ideology added to the Values element, with Leadership added to the Faculty element. Shared on a blog post 10 July 2013: school
  27. 27. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 6 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Web 2.0: Eight elements, five levels at each. Policy and governance have been given their own element, and the number of levels has been cut to five. Seven suggested too many descriptors, as well as a possible bias towards IB. This version has been created in Microsoft Excel, which gives more options for customization that
  28. 28. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 7 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Appendix II: Construction of the Web Chart in Microsoft Excel This representation is simple to construct, using the the Charts  Other  Filled Radar option: Radial categories form the first column Each following column represents a further data set – many can be added, though after four clarity is lost. Scores are added under the column headings Right-click on the default scale on the produced graph in order to set the maximum y-axis value (in this case 5). Custom lines and fills can be used for each data point. For the purpose of clarity in colour and b/w printing, I have chosen differently-patterned perimeter lines and a gradient of part- transparent blue-shaded shapes.
  29. 29. Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Education in an International Context 8 © Stephen Taylor (@IBiologyStephen) Appendix III: Key terms used in this paper Glossary of key terms(as used in this paper) International domain: the sum total of the inter-related radials of the school that relate to the promotion of education in an international context. Radials: individual qualities of the international domain of the school that can be described and quantified. These are identified as: Values & Ideology, Faculty & Leadership, Policy & Governance, Students, Culture, Curriculum, Global Citizenship Education and Action. Elements: individual qualities that contribute to each radial. For example Students considers not only the diversity of the student population but also the extent to which their cultural perspectives inform teaching and learning. Web chart: diagrammatic representation of multi-variate data, also known as a radar chart (Tague, 2005, p.437), but in this case used to represent a degree of quality of each of eight radials. Degree of quality: a 1-5 scale of the increasing extent to which a radial is evidenced. This does not necessarily suggest that a high degree of quality of the international dimension suggests a better school overall.