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Leadership webinar: how to promote pupil social and global mobility (video and webchat)

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by AndrewFIS, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How can schools open up the aspirations of their pupils to be global citizens, with all the opportunities that implies?

    As part of the TES Leadership webinar series, I’ll be putting your questions to Dr Helen Wright, an international education expert.

    We will examine how schools can take such an international approach.

    Post your questions below now - and, if you can, join in our live webchat on February 21 at 4.30pm.

    Before that, you can watch a video we’ve made in which Helen and I discuss the issues, with key advice for school leaders.


    To access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Leadership subscriber.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2017
  2. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member


    Don't forget to submit your questions below ahead of next week's webchat.

    Thank you.
  3. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    The webinar video will be available for seven days in this thread after the webchat. If you wish to view the webinar after 27th February or to access all the videos in the TES Leadership series, plus an exclusive database of grants available to schools, become a TES Institutional subscriber. You can find out more information here.
  4. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Good afternoon and welcome to today’s webchat.

    The TES Leadership webchats give you the opportunity to put your questions to industry experts about key school management and operational issues.

    In a few moments I will hand you over to Andrew, who is editor of FIS, who will be hosting this week's hour-long webchat.

    Andrew and this week's guest, leadership expert panel member Dr Helen Wright, an international education expert, who will be available for the next hour to answer your questions.

    If you have any questions please submit them below. Don't worry if we run out of time, any unanswered questions will be responded to and posted on this thread later this week.

    I'll now hand you over to Andrew.

    The content of, and information provided in, the TES Leadership webchats and their associated materials (including information posted in these forums in connection with the webchats) (the “Content”) is provided for general information purposes only. Any use you make of, or reliance you place on, the Content is entirely at your own risk. Professional or specialist advice, tailored to your specific circumstances, should always be obtained before taking (or refraining from) any action on the basis of the Content.

    Whilst TES Global and the panel of leadership experts make every effort to ensure the high quality and accuracy of the Content, TES Global and each leadership expert makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) concerning the Content. Neither TES Global nor any leadership expert will be responsible for any damage or loss related to any use of the Content.

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  5. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Hello and welcome to this webchat on the role of schools in promoting social and global mobility. Joining me is Dr Helen Wright, who is an ‎international education specialist. For those of you following this thread, please feel free to post your query. Remember to refresh your page to see the updates as they appear.

    Thanks for joining us, Helen.

    How do you define "social and global mobility" in terms of what a school should be doing?
  6. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    That’s a very wide-ranging question! Essentially, social mobility is about having choice in society - a freedom of movement, so that young people (and as educators, we are particularly interested in young people) are not defined or limited by the income or social status of their parents or families. Global mobility … well, in practice, in our technologically connected world, and where international travel is easier than it is has ever been, social and global mobility are intertwined. Global mobility, I would argue, is in fact intrinsic to social mobility: when people are enabled to move freely around the world, and feel comfortable living and working in different countries and cultures, then they reach a new level of freedom of choice. If we don’t help young people become globally mobile, then they cannot arguably be truly socially mobile in today’s world. Schools are socially mandated to enable young people to make the most of their lives, and to help them find and create the opportunities that will cause this to happen – they have an enormous responsibility in this regard (as most educators would agree).
  7. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    So what does this mean in practice for schools?
  8. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Action designed to improve social mobility is about creating opportunities for young people (or enabling them to create their own opportunities) so that they are able to choose how to live their lives, including the roles they decide to pursue and where they decide to live and work. To a certain extent, knowledge is power in this respect – to become socially mobile, young people need to learn about potential pathways ahead of them that can take them in different directions, and they need to learn too about how to embark on and follow these pathways (and, indeed, create them for themselves). In practical terms, and with a view to developing global mobility, this means that schools need actively to extend the cultural and practical awareness of young people so that they can learn about, and learn to respect, different cultures across the world, so that they are better enabled to live and work in them. Digital skills are essential too – we are all only a click away from different cultures, but we need to feel comfortable and confident using these skills.
  9. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Won't some pupils find this approach daunting? How do you overcome that?
  10. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    If pupils are brought up thinking that the world is there for them to explore, then it is not daunting at all. If they are shown how companies in the next street from the school sell items to buyers from all over the world, then it becomes normal. If they are taught how to use technology to connect, and they are given opportunities to speak via Skype, for example, with pupils in different countries, working together on joint projects, then they will just take global mobility in their stride, and this will have an enormous impact on their potential social mobility.
  11. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    How many schools are engaging in this way?
  12. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    I reckon that if you ask most school leaders, they will say that one of their primary aims for their school is to ensure that it is a place which gives young people life-changing opportunities. From experience in working with schools over the past two years, however, I have found that ‘global’ or ‘international’ is a box which can be far too hastily ticked (through curriculum elements and cultural events) and not explored as adventurously and practically as it could be. Children need not only to learn about the world, but to see and do it – they need to work with their contemporaries in other parts of the world, and see where their career paths could take them; and with technology as we have now developed it, it is eminently possible. A great starting point, for example, is the British Council International School Award – it has a framework which helps connect schools and build partnerships: https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/accreditation-and-awards/isa . Fundamentally, however, the answer lies in each school, and it just needs schools to reach out and show young people – every young person – how easy it is to connect and work with others in other parts of the world.
  13. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Will some teachers feel that this sort of approach is yet another demand on them and, therefore, not worth pursuing?
  14. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Undoubtedly, yes – there are, as we all know, very few schools where teachers are sitting around twiddling their thumbs, waiting for some new initiative to come along (!) … But not all teachers will feel like this, and I have found in working with schools and school leadership teams on this issue that when teachers think about what actually drives them to be educators, they are very clear that they want to make a difference in young people’s lives, and by focusing on social and global mobility they are doing exactly this. Sometimes, as teachers and school leaders, we hold ourselves back because we feel that anything international or global falls into the ‘too hard to do’ box – too expensive, too time-consuming, too irrelevant to the daily lives of their pupils … but we need to challenge ourselves on this. Global mobility – and, more importantly, the explicit pathways to enable global mobility - is essential for every single young person if they are to have the range of choices for their future that they deserve. And when we prioritise them, things suddenly become easier.
  15. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Will this approach be more appealing to schools that are already successful and are looking for something new? What about those schools in deprived areas that might be struggling to cope?
  16. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    If we are going to close the attainment gap in this country (or indeed, anywhere in the world), we need to do something different. Literacy and numeracy help, as do exam results, BUT these are absolutely not the only answer, partly because we developed a very skewed and narrow understanding of what ‘success’ at school looks like. Not everyone will or should get an A grade, and we have to think very differently about what we are preparing our children for. Turning curriculum expectations on their head is a part of this – why shouldn’t a child from a challenging background have exactly the same opportunities to reach out into the world and develop cultural resilience as children from less challenging families? When a school focuses on global mobility, and especially when the school is determined to use the digital medium and the multiple global connections that are already there in their community (if only they look for them) then this can be lifechanging for the students in their care. It just needs one step at a time …
  17. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Can you explain a bit more about the global connections in a school’s community?
  18. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    This is an area I explore in detail in my book – ‘Powerful Schools: how schools can be drivers of social and global mobility’. Essentially, when we unpick the relationships that schools – and the people in them – have with people and organisations outside school, it very rapidly becomes clear that these relationships are incredibly numerous and far-reaching, at local, national and global levels. Facebook tells us we are only 3.56 degrees of separation from anyone in the world … with the combined relationships of everyone in any given school community, this is probably a conservative guess. Run the exercises and see!
  19. AndrewFIS

    AndrewFIS Occasional commenter TES Leadership Expert

    Do Brexit and the trends for national economic protectionism provide an opportunity here to expand pupils' horizons?
  20. DrHelen_Wright

    DrHelen_Wright New commenter TES Leadership Panel Expert

    Politics aside … yes, of course, everything that happens in our world can be reconceptualised as an opportunity. Arguably, too, never has it been more important for our young people to learn the fundamental truth of how everyone is different, but we are all essentially the same, and the more we can work together with one another, the safer and better the world will be …

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