The nature of our ever-evolving world has called for a shift in the education system, and it is being delivered through alternative types of learning pedagogies that take a more child-centered approach: to empower children to think as open-minded problem solvers. The education offering at ISWA is not just about achieving academic excellence, but focuses on the bigger picture: real world problems for real world solutions. When we asked about their experience of what going to a school with this ethos was like, ISWA 2020 graduates Monisha Arora and Michael Ammann said in many ways it made them the individuals they are today: people with a voice, who feel they belong and are ready to take on the world.
BECOMING A GLOBAL CITIZEN
To make a difference in the world, you have to understand it. Non-denominational and co-educational learning environments guide children to understand a diverse range of perspectives, helping them to become internationally minded. This is also achieved by exploring local, national and global issues, shaping them to become global citizens: people who care about the world and want to make a difference. Monisha and Michael spoke about how their education shaped them to be global citizens.
“I learnt about so many different cultures which has allowed me to become the open-minded person I am today,” Monisha said.
“I believe that ISWA students are more likely to approach people and the world in a non-judgemental and accepting way, which allows them to succeed in international settings — as employers want someone who understands cultural diversity and welcomes new people and situations with excitement,” she said.
“ISWA helped me establish a global network with all my friends who have moved to various corners of the world, encouraged me to have a voice and guided my peers and I to be open minded and collaborative,” Michael said.
INQUIRY BASED LEARNING
Inquiry based learning is a broad pedagogical approach which has enjoyed widespread support by educators and education systems over the past decade. It can be defined as ‘seeking truth, information or knowledge / understanding’ and is used in all facets and phases of life. It allows room for more growth because it can be used across all areas of learning to create an authentic learning experience for students. ISWA is a place where inquiry and curiosity are central to the curriculum, students are encouraged to ask questions, find their own solutions and have a voice.
A welcoming community is an integral part of a child’s learning experience, and one families can depend on for support and guidance. Being a part of an inclusive and accepting community allows you to form a sense of belonging: a home. For Monisha and Michael it was a safe space they could express their most authentic selves.
“ISWA provided me a community in which I felt at home, one which thrived off kindness and acceptance,” Monisha said.
“It also made it easier to be myself”.
“I didn’t have to pretend or change who I was to be accepted and appreciated. It made coming to school easy and therefore allowed me to achieve my potential,” she said.
“It allowed me to feel very welcomed and fit right in,” Michael said.
SMALL CLASS SIZE BENEFITS
Small classes create the ideal environment for students to explore and the freedom to learn with one-on-one support from teachers.
“The small class sizes, in my opinion, are one of the biggest things which set ISWA apart from other private schools because no student goes unnoticed — it’s almost like we received personal tuition which allowed me to do so well in my studies,” Monisha said.
“Small classes were a great benefit, as it allowed for students to feel significant in a classroom, and it also allowed for the establishment of tight and unique relationships with the teachers,” Michael said.
“There was a lot of collaboration between students to achieve our goals and teachers knew all the students on a personal level and were able to meet individual needs,” he said.
The WACE program isn’t the only option for high school students today, there are valid and progressive alternatives that are recognised for entrance into universities in WA and all over the world. Students at ISWA have access to the IB program and the AP placement — it’s currently the only secondary school to offer the AP in Australia. ISWA recognises that students are unique and will respond differently to various learning pedagogies available. By offering alternative pathways, it gives students the best opportunity to succeed.
Monisha was able to take the Advanced Placement pathway, she believed it was the best choice for her preferred learning style. She is currently starting her first semester at the University of Western Australia as a Direct Entry Dentistry student. Michael was able to choose the International Baccalaureate pathway, which he felt best prepared him for what to expect as an undergraduate. He begins his Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics at UWA this month.
An international education can inspire and challenge students to lead lives of purpose, become socially aware individuals and prepare them for a life beyond school.
“It allows for students to see and understand that the world is their oyster and that they can go anywhere to pursue their passions and dreams, that they are not limited,” Monisha said.
“It was an incredible experience that I’ll never forget, “Michael said.
The International School of Western Australia delivers a world class, co-educational, non-denominational education to local and international students from K – Y 12 — and their ethos allows students to feel a part of a warm and welcoming community. ISWA gives students access to two alternative academic pathways to WACE that are internationally recognised paths of study: the IB program and the AP placement, allowing students to discover a global education and reach maximum potential. Visit the website for more: https://www.iswa.wa.edu.au/discover-the-iswa-difference/.