1 Internationalization of Australian schools: Sister school experiences AFTMLA Canberra, 6 July 2013 Rosa M. Prieto Spanish language adviser, DEECD-Victoria Spanish Education Office Ministry of Education-Spain
2 Index What are sister schools? Projects: Examples in Australia Examples of school etwinning overseas Research
3 Sister school projects
4 Overseas learning experiences language immersion programs curriculum-focused programs cultural study programs overseas service and community engagement projects sporting and arts programs individual student exchange programs exchange programs with sister schools
5 Background Australian students Active interaction Globalised world Internationalizing education Sisterschool relationships
6 Definition A sister school relationship is the development of a positive association intrastate, interstate or overseas through the establishment of links between schools and school communities. The opportunity to participate in a sister school relationship is open to any school with a desire to learn more about a culture other than their own.
7 Sister schools Sister schools provide a wide range of opportunities for all involved. Students, teachers, administrators, parents and communities all stand to benefit from international links.
8 Aims Preparing students in Australia for active interaction in an interdependent, globalised world, providing them with 21st century skills so that they can think critically, embrace technology and value diversity.
9 Internationalization International partnerships develop cultural awareness and sensitivity and an appreciation of a different way of life. Networks are established and new perspectives developed. Sister schools encourage a global outlook on life and have the flow-on effect of internationalising the ethos of the whole school community.
10 Language skills Intercultural exchanges encourage greater competency and confidence in language learning and communication skills. Information communication and technology skills are also enhanced as students interact through wikis, blogs and Skype.
11 Cross-cultural communication Sister schools illustrate the concept of global interconnectedness in a tangible way. By incorporating collaborative learning activities, partnerships encourage students to locate and explore common ground and bring about a unique intercultural element to collaborative learning activities. Students also develop cross-cultural communication and diplomacy skills, a deeper understanding of international issues and a respect for differences in other cultures.
12 Sample Sister School Activities Exchange of student work (blogs, wikis, shared spaces), , letters, photos, student newspapers, etc. to promote mutual understanding Organizing groups of students in both countries to collaborate in curriculum areas such as English, art/design etc. through ICTmediated communication. Both schools will endeavour to maintain student, teacher and administrator exchange programs to provide the opportunity to study, work and live in the sister school community Exchange of leadership development information between principals. Exchanges of information: curriculum, school policy and school events Exchange of teaching resources, course materials and teaching strategies Involving the community through newsletters and websites and inviting parents to meet with the visiting teachers.
13 Sample Sister School Activities Start a club for organizing a trip overseas and fundraising. Start an E Pen Pals sister school Club Convene a Working Party with representation across other curriculum areas to increase involvement across the school and to progress the program. Use the school s interactive portal (eg. Wall-e) to enable students to post work, display and discuss their work and communicate with students from their sister school. Provide video conferencing facilities which should be used for the development of electronically supported relationships between both schools. This can include class interaction and PD sessions. Prepare a professional development program for the staff from your sister school on subjects of interest eg. student engagement, etc and Investigate best practice in your sister school s areas of expertise eg. Maths, Science, bilingual education.
14 Projects Ascot Vale Primary School, Melbourne, Australia San Fulgencio Primary School, Albacete, Spain
16 Project Our City and Our School wiki
17 Music and Culture Waltzing Matilda: a dramatization
18 Geography Location and mapping Google maps
19 Maths: Measuring Time
20 The Lunchbox project Video recording of lunch box contents. Explain contents. Photographs and Powerpoint Spanish students
21 A blog: From the Other Side of the World From Australia to Spain Bethal Primary School, Meadow Heights, VIC Concepcion Arenal Primary School, Potes, Spain
22 A Principal s visit Desde Wantirna a Toledo Regency Park y Eduardo Palomo Sister schools established in (Spain-Victoria): 25 Principals visiting Spain: 3 Australian teachers visiting Spain: 4 Spanish teachers visiting Australia: 8
23 Celebrations blog Hampton Primary School, Hampton, VIC and Jose Antonio Labordeta Primary School, Zaragoza, Spain
24 Student Exchange McKinnon Secondary College, Melbourne, Australia. IES Fernando Zóbel, Cuenca, Spain. Teachers meeting in Cuenca, Spain, April - City tour - Workings sessions to plan activities for semester 2 and next year. Students exchanges planned to visit Spain in 2014: Methodist Ladies College Mckinnon SC Wantirna SC Waikirie SC Mount Barry Station P-10
26 Project: Architecture and Design
27 A model: E-twinning Primary workspace:
28 History: E twinning European Commission: 2005 European Union's e-learning programme Lifelong Learning Programme: etwinning is part of Comenius Schools to collaborate using ICT by providing the necessary infrastructure (online tools, services, support). Teachers form partnerships and develop collaborative, pedagogical school projects in any subject area with the sole requirements to employ ICT to develop their project and collaborate with teachers from other countries (at least two teachers from two different countries are needed) Objectives: promote sister school relationships as an opportunity for all students to learn and practice ICT skills and, to promote awareness of the multicultural model of society.
29 ICT you and me Project information
30 ICT you and me Introductions Our schools Surveys Logo My hometown Our countries Christmas / Easter Free time activities Healthy lifestyle Statistics and me Fun corner Maths and me Valentine's Day Summer holidays Evaluation Chats The story of Europe: average Etwinner reflection
32 Impact Since 2005, over 54,000 projects have been registered involving more than 30,000 schools. If a simple 25:1 ratio of students per school per project assuming, in the simplest scenario, that there are only two schools involved is applied to this figure, it is estimated that the number of students touched by etwinning projects is in the region of 750,000. Students in etwinning: case studies on student participation. Ed. by Patricia Wastiau, Christina Crawley, Anne Gilleran. Brussels, European Schoolnet, November 2011.
33 Impact on students Students teamwork and social skills (65%) Students ICT skills (64%) Students language skills (63%) Sister school relationships motivated students to learn (61%) Students understanding and knowledge of the subject(s) improved (58%)
34 Impact on teachers making new friends and networking across other countries (64%) the acquisition of new or improved ICT skills (60%) making a positive impact on their students skills or motivation to learn (55%) sense of being involved in an international teaching community (55%) improved foreign language skills (54%)
35 Impact Decreased isolation of students and teachers in some countries and remote regions Greater awareness and understanding of the lives of others in different countries and peer connections through shared achievements Determination on the part of teachers and students to build on and retain contacts and friendships made through collaboration
36 Research DEECD - International Education Division commissioned research into sister school relationships across Victorian schools in 2012.
37 Recommendations Focus on quality of the sister school experience Set challenging expectations Introduce learning outcomes for projects Impact on the whole school: Embed sister schools more effectively into the school curriculum for sustainable and school-wide impact. Focus on the student: Provide more and better guidance for teachers on how to engage Empower students since levels of empowerment and autonomy are associated with positive outcomes for students from projects Include students in tests for new tools; invite students to represent their peers on user groups and focus groups in order to find out more about their perceptions of the projects and its impact.
38 Identification of Effective Practice The program is a priority within the school Full support of the leadership team High level of support right across the school Matched expectations and objectives Clear common goals A coordinator on each side but with shared responsibility across the school and succession planning in place
39 Key Findings Benefits of Sister School Relationships Intercultural understanding within the school community Increased global awareness and internationalisation within the school community Opportunities to better understand one s own culture/country Personal development of the student e.g. leadership, maturity & independence
40 Key Findings Benefits of Sister School Relationships contd. Improved ability of students to adjust to different situations Opportunities for sharing pedagogies and engage in joint curriculum development Opportunities for professional development Opportunities for reciprocal travel Enhancing the reputation of the school Improved competence and confidence in the use of technology by teachers involved in the program
41 Important Factors for Sustaining Relationships High level of leadership support Commitment to the partnership by both schools The program being a priority within the school Clear goals and objectives agreed upon upfront A team approach to supporting the relationship Adequate funding and resources Ongoing and regular communication A focus on planning of activities and collaboration The primary communicators on both sides should share a common language.
42 How to establish a sisterschool relationship Find the school (Consulates, Departments of Education, Education offices) Discuss agreement Start planning
43 Next steps Expand sister school relationships Include outcomes and performance indicators in the projects Include strategies to achieve quality language practice and information exchanges
44 Thank you for your attention Muchas gracias por su atención Rosa M. Prieto Spanish language adviser, DEECD-Victoria Spanish Education Office Ministry of Education-Spain
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