Teach & Learn Worldwise

By 2019-12-09 12:51:59

Caroline Taylor, Head of Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong, discusses the College's core ethos and how it fosters confident, compassionate students

Part of our mission at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong is to follow our ethos: ‘because we Teach Worldwise, students Learn Worldwise’. What does this mean in practice?

Fundamentally, a college’s teaching foundation is built on its positive relationships with all its students and this is at the core of what we do at Dulwich. Through our own experiences, as well as through research, we know and understand just how important the relationship between a student and their teacher is and how it plays an important role in the trajectory of their academic success and social development. Establishing a positive relationship with a student is crucial in helping them feel comfortable and safe in their classroom environment, thereby encouraging a strong desire to learn and grow.

Another aspect of ‘Teach Worldwise, Learn Worldwise’ is our attention to accelerating student progress through focused, personalised and varied feedback given on a regular and consistent basis. Whilst assessment may be the focus for many, it is feedback that can transform a student’s learning.

At Dulwich, we believe that each teacher has the responsibility to nurture a student’s learning and to provide feedback in such a manner that the student leaves the classroom confident in knowing what they succeed in and what they need to do to improve, without feeling demoralised. When feedback is predominately negative, studies have shown that it can discourage student effort and achievement (Hattie & Timperley, 2007, Dinham); it is our aim to ensure this situation never occurs.

We achieve this by creating regular opportunities for an authentic student voice and choice. The students have influence over curriculum design and the style in which they are assessed.

Assessment is, of course, necessary at certain times of the year and is more dominant in the Senior School than any of the other schools. However, as our school develops, there is a commitment to work towards having fewer high stakes assessments and more intermittent tests throughout a unit of work. This simple act can relieve the stress associated with a single, end of unit assessment and offer more avenues to evaluate student performance.

This also provides students an opportunity to better understand themselves and how they can develop on current and new skills to drive their own learning. Self-awareness is key for student engagement, motivation and progress.

By having a stronger sense of self, students can reflect on their achievements and setbacks to create ambitious, personal goals for the future. It is our role as their educators to facilitate this.

For our students to ‘Learn Worldwise’, they need to engage with authentic learning tasks that allow them to be critical and creative thinkers, risk takers, and problem identifiers. Authentic learning experiences feed the motivation to learn. What students learn, therefore, becomes all the more meaningful. Through authentic learning experiences, students do not simply obtain knowledge; they engage with it, attain, retain and reimagine it.

Finally, an essential part of ‘Learning Worldwise’ is our commitment to inspire our students to act in the service of others and the world.

By working with the local community and other global foundations, we provide ample opportunities for our students to experience the joy that comes from aiding those in need throughout their time at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong.

To learn more about our curriculum and values, visit our website www.shanghai-pudong.dulwich.org