It is was this question that I was reminded of when reading Ron Ritchhart's excellent new book 'Creating Cultures of Learning'. In this, Ron Ritchhart uses a quote by Diane Ravitch's New York Times article How to Remake Education 'The single biggest problem in eduction is that no one agrees on why we educate.' As Ritchhart goes on to say in his book "Ultimately, our definition of a 'great school' or quality eduction matters because it will define what we give time to and what will become a priority in the day to day life of the classroom."
This particularly resonated with me since at my school, ISS International School Singapore, we have been working hard over the last couple of years to draft our Strategic Objectives. These objectives are aimed at clearly outlining the purpose of education as our school values it. Since I know many schools are going through a similar process I thought people might find it useful to understand our thinking behind the objectives we choose.
To do this I've placed the objectives below and hyperlinked some of the key phrases to additional materials that helped our research in choosing that phrase.
I would really welcome feedback and comments and hope that it will help other schools as they try to clarify 'What's the point of school' for their students.
Obviously the links are not intended to be exhaustive but will, I hope, enable people to kick off the process for themselves.
An ISS education occurs within an inclusive learning culture that nurtures all learners, differentiating instruction to empower them with the range of competencies and characteristics they require to become skilful, active and fulfilled global citizens.
An ISS education empowers all learners to become skilful thinkers and creators. Learners who are able to both pose and solve problems, researching and expressing their understanding using multiple forms of literacies. Learners who can manage their own learning and collaborate with others to achieve shared goals. Learners who can apply their learning to new situations with creativity and innovation.
An ISS education inspires all learners to become active, socially responsible global citizens with an understanding of their responsibilities within their local community and as global stewards.
An ISS education nurtures all learners enabling them to be fulfilled individuals. Learners who move through life with a growth mindset and an entrepreneurial passion for encountering the opportunities that await them.
An education that makes a difference by developing learners who are able to make a difference.