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Helping students find their unique path in the world
2019-12-11 | By International School of The Hague
The education sector has not always been synonymous with innovation, but a new programme at The International School of The Hague (ISH) is seeking to transform the way students learn.
Walk around ISH at lunchtime or after lessons and you’ll encounter students involved in a mind-boggling array of activities. They might be organising debates about “the complexities of the interconnected world” for the Model United Nations conference or tweaking the design of their Shell Eco Car. Or there might be independent endeavours like creating a new app to organise student life or setting up their own clothing company.
A close look shows immense learning–in terms of both knowledge and skills–associated with these activities. More importantly, students are invested in and leading the process. Why? Because it is something they care about, it is real to them and they are in control.
The Pathfinder Programme–now in its second year– harnesses this intrinsic motivation and integrates student interests into their everyday curriculum. It allows students to work with their teachers to design projects and investigations in each subject area. They all work towards the same objectives and assessment standards, but from the perspective of their own interests.
Investigations range from exploring environmental issues through using photography to utilising chemistry to put on a non-explosive firework show! Over the course of the year, students take part in at least 23 investigations covering all subject areas.
Although some investigations are theoretical, students are encouraged to apply their learning and connect it to their personal goals. For example, last year a student used investigations in English, Business and Design to fulfil a lifelong goal of writing and putting on a musical. All at the age of 14!
The results are not just personalised curricula, but also more choice about how to use learning time and a chance to experience a more authentic working environment.
For more information, visit the ISH website.