BIG Thinks & Education SuMMits

BIG Thinks & Education SuMMits

During 2015/2016 the ACS International Schools Heads of School Committee, in partnership with the Centre for Inspiring Minds and the Central Education team, held a series of events and activities aimed at enabling the collaborative development of a shared education philosophy statement and a set of learner outcomes – an updated definition of what constitutes an ACS-style programme of education.

These events resulted in an ACS wide school Philosophy and Expected School-wide Learning Results (ESLRs) (click here to access).

BIG Think activities and events

A series of BIG Think activities and events took place in autumn 2015.  The purpose of these events was to introduce and discuss some of the perennial and emerging big ides in international education, in preparation for the Education SuMMits, planned for January through March 2016.

Literature Review I: International School Education for a Changing World
Published 1 September 2015
International School Education for a Changing World: A literature review, was written by Research Schools International, a project of Harvard Graduate School of Education staff members.  It addresses the origins and current global trends in the development of international schools. It also describes methods that schools and similar organisations use to develop plans for future development in light of uncertainty and change.
Literature Review I | Consultation
Closed 23 September 2015
The consultation provided an opportunity for everyone in our school community to submit a written response to the literature review.  The consultation response prompts were based on a Project Zero Visible Thinking routine.  Consultation responses were analysed using qualitative data analysis methods.  Results were reviewed by participants at BIG Think I and published in the Practitioner Insight Report.
Practitioner Insight Report (pp. 13 – 16) | pdf document
Twilight Seminar I: International School Education for a Changing World
Presented 16 September 2015
The Twilight seminar provided an opportunity for everyone in our school community to hear the literature review author present and explain the peer-reviewed academic literature included in the publication.  Individuals, attending in person or via a video web-link, had opportunities to ask questions about and discuss the ideas presented.
Twilight Seminar I | audio file
BIG Think I: International School Education for a Changing World
Held 30 September 2015 | ACS Hillingdon International School
This first live event involved representatives of the ACS International Schools community, invited by the members of the Heads of School Committee.  The one-day event was driven by a series of presentations by internal and external specialists, providing the stimulus for discussions about: teaching and learning, student demographics, teacher and administrator characteristics, leadership and governance, and global trends in international schools.  Through a series of structured activities, participants used their own experiences and expertise and the research evidence presented to share their insights into international schools and international school education. A record of the BIG Think I event is presented in the Practitioner Insight Report.
Practitioner Insight Report (pp. 17 – 38) | pdf document
Literature Review II: Teaching and Learning for a Changing World
Published 13 October 2015
Teaching and Learning for a Changing World: A literature review, was written by Research Schools International, a project of Harvard Graduate School of Education staff members. It addresses four aspects of teaching and learning in international schools, including: responsive teaching, learning for understanding, learning skills and learning dispositions.
Literature Review II | Consultation
Closed 4 November 2015
The consultation provided an opportunity for everyone in our school community to submit a written response to the literature review.  The consultation response prompts were based on a Project Zero Visible Thinking routine.  Consultation responses were analysed using qualitative data analysis methods.  Results were reviewed by participants at BIG Think II and published in the Practitioner Insight Report.
Practitioner Insight Report (pp. 41 – 43) | pdf document
Twilight Seminar II: Teaching and Learning for a Changing World
Presented 28 October 2015
The Twilight seminar provided an opportunity for everyone in our school community to hear the literature review author present and explain the peer-reviewed academic literature included in the publication.  Individuals, attending in person or via a video web-link, had opportunities to ask questions about and discuss the ideas presented.  Individuals attending in person also had the opportunity to participate in an Open Space session where they proposed and discussed topics of their choosing.
Twilight Seminar II | audio file
BIG Think II: Teaching and Learning for a Changing World
Held 11 November 2015 | ACS Cobham International School
This second live event involved representatives of the ACS International Schools community, invited by the members of the Heads of School Committee.  The one-day event was driven by a series of presentations by external specialists, providing the stimulus for discussions about responsive teaching, teaching for understanding, learning skills and learning dispositions and their links to post-secondary learning and employment.  Through a series of structured activities, participants used their own experiences and expertise and the research evidence presented to share their insights into the kind of teaching and learning that is needed to prepare learners for life after school.  A record of the BIG Think II event is presented in the Practitioner Insight Report.
Practitioner Insight Report (pp. 44 – 68) | pdf document
Horizon Scanning: A report about emerging ideas in education
Published 16 November 2015
This supplemental report was written by Research Schools International, a project of Harvard Graduate School of Education staff members. It presents a brief introduction to representative ideas emerging in education, teaching and learning. In was developed to address questions arising from the literature review consultation responses.
Practitioner Insight Report
Published 1 December 2015
This report provides a comprehensive record of the BIG Think activities and events that took place during the period of May through November 2015.  It includes live links to all the BIG Think documents, as well as photo galleries and informal video clips from the live BIG Think events.

Education SuMMit activities and events

A series of Education SuMMit activities and events are planned for January through march 2016.  The purpose of these activities and events is to engage the ACS School Community in discussions aimed at developing a shared ACS International Schools philosophy and a set of shared learner outcomes.

Education SuMMit Survey
Opened 6 January 2016 | Closed 20 January 2016
The survey was open to all members of the ACS International Schools community. In preparation for the Education SuMMits, the existing school philosophy statements from all four ACS International Schools campuses were analysed and mapped against eleven questions commonly used to frame school philosophy statements.  The survey was designed to gather information about the extent to which current elements of the schools’ philosophies are relevant to a shared philosophy and identify other elements, not present in the current philosophy statements, which merit consideration in the new shared philosophy statement.  The results from the survey provided important data for Education SuMMit I on 26 January.
Education SuMMit I | Towards a shared philosophy
Held on 26 January 2016 | Runnymede Hotel
Education SuMMit I produced the elements for a new shared ACS International Schools education philosophy.  Participation in Education SuMMit I was limited to a representative cross-section of ACS International School community members, invited by the Heads of Schools Committee.
Towards a shared philosophy | Consultation
Opened 1 February 2016 | Closed 22 February 2016
The consultation was open to all members of the ACS International Schools Community. The outputs of Education SuMMit I – proposed elements for a shared ACS International Schools education philosophy – were presented for review and comment. Consultation responses were used to refine the proposed elements, in preparation for the work of the drafting committee.
Education SuMMit II | Towards shared learner outcomes
Held on 1 March 2016 | Runnymede Hotel
Education SuMMit II  translated the elements of the new shared school education philosophy into expected learner outcomes. Participation in Education SuMMit II was limited to a representative cross-section of ACS International School community members, invited by the Heads of Schools Committee.
ESLRs Skills | video
Towards shared learner outcomes – Consultation
Opened 7 March 2016 | Closed 21 March 2016

The consultation was open to all members of the ACS International Schools Community. The outputs of Education SuMMit II – proposed elements for shared expected learner outcomes – were presented for review and comment. Consultation responses were used to refine the proposed elements, in preparation for the work of the drafting committee.

ESLRs | video

The outputs of the Education SuMMit process were entrusted to a drafting committee, appointed by the Heads of Schools Committee. The drafting committee were responsible for translating the work of the ACS International School community into a new education philosophy and a set of learner outcomes, to be introduced at the start of the 2016 – 2017 school year.

For more information about the BIG Think events and the Education SuMMits please contact us.