Think Global School- Breaking out of the Mold

Laura Malbogat

Laura Malbogat

I was thrilled to meet Laura Malbogat last week while at the Curriculum Mapping conference. Laura is the curriculum writer for Think Global School. A new type of school, that will open with 15 students for the 2010/2011 school year. These students will travel with their teachers over the next four years (12 trimesters) to 12 countries to live, learn and experience the people and cultures in addition to their IB based academic classes.

Laura, an experienced international educator, college & guidance counselor has the fortune to create a curriculum map from scratch. From what I learned from talking with her, the school is set on creating a “new kind  of school”, to break the notions how traditional schools are “supposed to be”, to break out of the mold and to expand the rigid concept of education some (many?) still hold on to. This does not stop by providing new types of learning opportunities, but also needs to continue with creating new types of assessments. This new innovative way of learning cannot be measured the same way it has been measured for the last hundred of years. If it cannot (should not) be measured in the same way, than how do we compare? How do we “show” that globally connected learning is a way to prepare students for the world?

Some very fortunate 9th graders will embark on an educational journey of a lifetime come September.  They will learn the skills that Kim Cofino talks about in her keynote presentation: Going Global: Culture Shock, Convergence and the Future of Education. They will learn by doing, learn by experiencing, learn to become tolerant, flexible, adaptable, mobile, immersed, and connected.

Reality is, that not every student will have an opportunity to learn in a school like that. BUT… I can’t wait to follow this innovative school who is reinventing what education could be. I can’t wait to see how we can ADAPT their journey and embed them in our schools to help move them forward to globally connected students and learning communities.

Also, take a look at Wes Fryer’s blog post on  Moving at the Speed of Creativity about Think Global School: Education without Walls. His adds his thoughts to a presentation  by Janice Cheng, Think Global School’s Project Director.

Think Global School:

THINK Global School is like no other school in the world.

We are a high school that creates the opportunity for young men and women to study in three new international cities each academic year. We prepare students for success in university and, much more importantly, for success and fulfillment in life. We offer a strong academic program, the opportunity to learn about our world, meet new people, and explore new cultures.

Adopting the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme as well as U.S. curriculum and accreditation, TGS offers a challenging international education. Taught in English, our unique program will integrate students’ diverse cultures and traditions with those of the host cities. TGS students and teachers will use laptops and mobile technology to connect with and impact people around the world in dynamic and profound ways.  Our goal is to create true global citizens, bound together through shared experiences.

Balancing the best parts of learning in the classroom
with learning through experience, our highly-qualified teachers act as guides of our students’ growth and development. We will lead international charitable projects that will become life-changing journeys. We interact, explore, listen, learn, grow and, ultimately, every one of our students will develop the capacity and passion necessary to make a profound difference in the world.