There needs to be one universal definition of international mindedness in order to improve international education, a new report has suggested.
The report from ISC Research looks at the international school student profile and the development of international mindedness within the international school sector.
Research was conducted with international school students, alumni and staff over the summer and shows how the promise of an international education for students has resulted in dramatic growth in the international schools market.
However, the research also showed that there was a lack of clarity by staff and students regarding the meanings of international mindedness and there was no one standardised metric for evaluating it in the classroom.
“The term ‘international mindedness’ was first used in a 1951 UNESCO convention to discuss international education but has since been often used within the international schools sector as a loosely defined term. Research shows various definitions and debates to its meaning persist,” the report said.
The International Baccalaureate’s (IB) definition involves three dimensions: multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement. Many IB schools, along with other international schools, adopt the IB’s definition and then adapt it based on the context of their own schools.
The report concluded: “For a better world for all, one common yet regularly updated definition of international mindedness created for all people by all people, that fully addresses diversity and equity, inclusion and justice, would be valuable. Open dialogue around any definition of international mindedness needs to continue – always.
“Most current measuring tools do not appear to be appropriate or relevant to measure the development of international mindedness in a classroom context serving students aged between 3 and 18. This suggests the need to develop international mindedness observation metrics and assessment tools specifically for this context.
“The voices of international school students and alumni, based upon the education they have received, should be heard and valued by the entire international education sector when identifying improvements to international education.”
Read the report