Mr. Gregor Polson, Head of School at One World International School (OWIS) Singapore- managed by Global Schools Foundation, is an educator who strongly emphasizes on 21st century education.
In an interactive session with principals of GIIS India campuses, Mr. Polson spoke on ‘Academic Leadership’ from a global perspective. He shared cases studies and observations from educationists like Ken Robinson, who wrote on changing paradigms for educating children to take their place in the economies of 21st century, and John Hattie’s Visible Learning. He spoke on divergent thinking, how to develop habits for your school and the various types of leaderships that eventually build the climate of the school. The focus at the institutional level has to be on teaching and learning. The outcome of the session was that everyone agreed for the Principal to be the ‘Lead Learner’ in order to build capacity in teachers by cultivating skills for which observation is the key. They spoke of teacher training to be a regular exercise from both external and internal sources to keep them current. They also discussed on the various ways of making a continuous learning environment and make improvement without being judgemental.
The next session was attended by the faculty members of Global Indian International School campuses of Noida, Bangalore, Indore, Surat and Ahmedabad. Mr. Polson explained to the teachers that in order to create an ideal environment, they should wish to build a class full of learners, and teachers would also learn in the journey of schooling. To make classroom learning impactful, teachers should use visible thinking in their lesson plans which would be another way of achieving outcomes other than the ‘Thinking Skills’ course. Paper-pen practical skills are equally important as are innovation or technological tools. He urged them to use more pictorial cues. The teachers discussed about the simple visible connections in classroom like hanging their students’ work on lines across classrooms, colour symbols for visual learners, use of interactive posters etc. The use of various props or situation build ups would eventually help in the growth of the learning curve.
He eventually ended the session by promoting design- thinking, “Live the child’s life for a day!”
“The session was indeed worth its while and it was an excellent platform for sharing best practices as OWIS runs IB curriculum for European students and the experiences are very different from that of Indian schools. Similarly, the holistic learning framework, which is unique to GIIS schools caught the interest of Mr. Polson. The intra-cultural approach was of immense value for both GIIS and OWIS.” Concluded Ms. Sunita Jaisingh, National Academic Head- Scholastics.