Go global in outlook

15th September 2006 at 01:00
How can teachers create successful learners, confident individuals, responsible global citizens and effective contributors? TES Scotland reporters look at innovative methods being adopted in the steady drive towards A Curriculum for Excellence

Anew brigade of champions is to be created to combat the patchy provision of international education in Scotland. Initially, two teachers will be recruited by each of the 32 local authorities to attend a masterclass in international education later this year.

The recognition that all Scottish children, regardless of where they live, must be given a global dimension to their education, has led to the creation of the course, which will be delivered by Learning and Teaching Scotland and funded by the Scottish Executive.

Delegates to the Scottish Learning Festival will be given a preview by John Christie, an education consultant involved in the course development.

"The training will help to build expertise, which can then be shared with other schools in the authority," he says. "It is up to each local authority how they use these experts."

Those chosen to participate will attend a residential masterclass organised along the same lines of the successful ICT masterclasses. The course runs for three days in November at the Stirling Management Centre, with a follow-up day at a later stage.

It is open to both primary and secondary teachers, from classroom to senior management level.

Another course will be held in 2007, resulting in up to four champions in each authority.

Local authority co-ordinators for international education have already been involved in a similar course, where they were able to feed into the development of the teachers' course.

The masterclass promises to be a practical-based course with a focus on existing good practice in Scottish schools.

Colin McAndrew, the principal policy officer at Learning and Teaching Scotland, says: "We want to demonstrate examples offered by schools beyond exchange trips to France. We want to show how international education can permeate the whole curriculum."

The course will also look at the use of new technology to help international education, including contacts with schools abroad. Glow, the newly named Scottish schools digital network, is expected to play a major part.

Recruits will also consider how the various strands of international education hang together and contribute to learning outcomes.

"International education must become an integral part of citizenship, allowing the children to have a global perspective from their classroom,"

says Mr Christie.

He points to some excellent practices when it comes to weaving globalism into the curriculum and warns that more will be expected under A Curriculum for Excellence.

Schools will be expected to work with partners, such as the Ideas Network, and to encourage individual teachers to take up opportunities such as those offered by Link Community Development. This charity has been building on the historic connection between Scotland and Malawi. This year it sent 12 Scottish teachers to work in 12 primary schools for five weeks.

Teacher exchange programmes are available through the League for the Exchange of Commonwealth Teachers and the British Council Scotland.

Many schools have worked hard in recent years to build their own international links to enrich their curriculum. St David's High in Dalkeith works with a charity in India, while James Gillespie's High in Edinburgh has linked up with a school in Umlazi, South Africa's second biggest township.

Anderson High in Lerwick, Shetland, has succeeded in building extensive international links despite its remoteness. Last year its global learning programme won it Schools of Ambition status.

LTS and the Scottish Executive are now determined to make such provision available to all children.

Su Clark


International Education Masterclass by John Christie, Thursday, 10.30am

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