I have seen three major trends in educational research in the last forty years. These trends have led me to believe that international schools play a pivotal role in advancing student achievement.
The first “wave” of change that swept around the world’s schools showed that there is considerable variance in how individual schools perform, leading to more modern management methods.
The second “wave” revealed the disparities in achievement among countries. This led education reformers to focus on the impact of several factors, such as parent involvement, on student success.
The third “wave” is characterised by the growth of international schools. Education reformers have since concluded that the cost of tuition doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of education offered. Worldwide, increasing numbers of moderately-priced schools perform just as well as, or better than, high-fee schools.
In light of these trends, I believe we have a bright future ahead. At OWIS Singapore, we keep up with the latest best practices, putting us on track to continue to provide a world-class education in a global context. In the next five years, we can expect to see three major shifts in education.
Trend #1: Lower Costs
In regions such as Africa, South Asia and India, children can receive a quality education for less than $1 a day – less than what many government schools there spend per student. Despite the modest price tag, these private schools outperform the public schools.
Likewise, in the Middle East, students who attend lower-cost schools often achieve higher scores on international examinations than children enrolled in schools costing three to four times as much. Similarly, moderately-priced UK schools find themselves gaining the lead over their costlier counterparts.
Additionally, schools that encourage parent involvement tend to operate more efficiently because parents can hold them accountable. OWIS prides itself on engaging parents when it comes to making decisions for the school. These schools, which sometimes boast multiple campuses, streamline management methods to reduce operating costs. Hence, they can focus on improving teacher training, especially as it pertains to assessment and planning.
OWIS in Singapore strives to minimise rising education costs, increasing tuition only as needed to keep up with inflation. Parents who entrust their children to us can be confident that we will continue to honour our commitment to providing a moderate fee education.
Trend #2: Higher Quality
Current trends encourage parents to invest in their children’s education and to support teachers in their efforts, both of which have a tremendous impact on student achievement. Furthermore, educators are taking a more personalised approach to learning, incorporating students’ interests and preferences into the curriculum.
Meeting students where they are empowers all learners – regardless of differences in abilities and interests – to reach their full potential. Schools that use student-centred frameworks produce well-rounded students who, confident in their strengths and capabilities, take increasing responsibility for their learning. At OWIS, we use internationally recognised curricula that offers a lot of flexibility for teachers to customise classroom interactions and lessons.
Trend #3: Greater Student Engagement
Student engagement, already a popular topic, will become an even higher priority in the coming years. Personalised curricula encourage children to talk about their views on world issues. Technology is making it easier for teachers to work with students and keep them engaged about what’s being presented in the classroom.
These trends, coupled with support from parents, will be the catalyst to get children excited about learning, setting the stage for their strengths and leadership qualities to really shine.
With a philosophy that cultivates children’s natural curiosity, encourages engagement and promotes positive outcomes, OWIS is well-positioned to guide students toward university, and then on to become well-rounded, compassionate leaders who are ready to take on the challenges of a complex, multicultural world. To learn more about how our thoughtfully-developed curricula are designed to align with current and future trends, contact us to schedule a tour or speak to our admissions team.
(Prof Ralph Tabberer is an Advisor to OWIS.)