There is considerable controversy in the USA and many other parts of the world over the quality of education at the elementary and secondary levels. This relates not only to the quality and quantity of learning, but also to values, behaviors, and attitudes, sometimes referred to as ‘success orientations’. If schools were under the management of caring dedicated school leaders that have an interest in providing schools with wholesome environments leading to the encouragement of traditional values, both of the concerns could be minimized.
There is an almost unlimited number of opportunities around the world to organize ‘international’ schools to serve the expatriate communities of diplomats, development personnel, businessmen, United Nations personnel, etc. These schools can provide a quality education and create opportunities for encouraging the kinds of behavior that stem from traditional values. Some possibilities are:
- Caring administrators and teachers provide a wholesome atmosphere and desirable models for the students.
- The school family can provide a positive presence in a country that encourages healthy behaviors based upon “Do to others as you want others to do to you”.
- In some countries a school of this kind can provide a moral and practical support group to others in the community that are working for the good of the country, such as supporting orphanages, environmental projects, and other efforts to improve a society.
Experience has shown that parents of many different persuasions, nationalities, and value systems appreciate a school which provides quality education and a wholesome atmosphere for their children. As a secular school, religious instruction or propagation is not part of the school’s curriculum or activities.
In providing a quality education these schools employ an outcome-based model of education. This is based on a belief that all students can experience success in their learning (including problem solving and other higher order thinking skills) and that a success cycle can be developed, if the school takes responsibilities which make this success possible. One key factor is ensuring that students have the necessary prerequisites for success by individualizing placement in instructional levels. If a student puts forth a reasonable effort he must be able to succeed and be rewarded for the success. Also, instead of using time as a boundary condition to determine when learning begins and ends (as in most schools, which are time-based or calendar-based), time is used as a resource. Teachers and students work together with the goal of each learner reaching a high level of mastery in clearly defined unit outcomes, without regard to time constraints. This responds to the fact that some students take a longer time to learn than others, even though the final quality of the learning may be about the same. Thus education becomes equitable, all can learn, some can learn more quickly and attain greater accomplishments in a given time, some who struggle with learning now experience success by being given the time needed, and all are encouraged to develop success orientations with a view to success in advanced education, employment, and life in general.
Today there are unprecedented opportunities as boundaries in the former Russian sphere of influence have changed, new countries emerge, and new systems of governments welcome development which leads to a need for international schools for the families of the participants. The vision of QSI is to continue to take action to establish schools where there are opportunities.
To summarize, this ‘vision’ projects a growing number of international schools in various parts of the world serving as beacons of wholesome environments and excellence in education. Hopefully, a reputation will continue to be earned which leads expatriate communities in other places to invite this organization to form schools in their cities.