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Announcing New International School Storytelling Website
by D.J. Condon 19-Aug-15
The Danish writer Isak Dinesen said “To be a person is to have a story to tell.” From the earliest human societies right up through today, stories have been a key thread in the fabric of every culture. We rely upon stories to make sense of our experience, of our place in the world, of the world itself. We value stories for their power to capture our attention, to incite our imaginations, to preserve memories, to reveal truth and goodness and beauty. In sum, stories are a crucial element of being human. At the same time, we are aware that the field of international education is changing fast. Historically, international education and international schools were nearly synonymous terms, but today, with the unprecedented growth of national schools embracing international aims, the emergence of new and different kinds of international schools, and increasing global mobility and communication, researchers have expressed strong interest in better understanding this global cultural phenomenon. To help achieve such understanding and promote critical intercultural awareness, here at Canadian Academy we have initiated an International School Storytelling Project. At this point, the project focuses on a website intended to collect and disseminate stories from international school community members around the world. Those interested can access the website at http://internationalschoolstories.com/. Once there, you will note that we're just getting started, but have already posted videos of leadership stories told by four international school heads at last fall's EARCOS Leadership Conference. Stories may be submitted in a variety of formats--written, audio, video, and visual--and may express a wide variety of themes, such as: • Authentic Cross-cultural Encounters • Living out the Mission • Educating for International-mindedness, Global Competence, Global Citizenship • Leadership Lessons • Engaging in Service • “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore!” –Epiphanies • Individual lessons learned • Bicultural/Bilingual • Home • Identity and Belonging • Embracing Diversity • Uncomfortable moments • Humorous tales • Thrills and Adventures The list goes on. Essentially, stories on virtually any topic related to the international school experience and in any format are welcome from past and present international school administrators, teachers, parents and students. Submissions may be emailed to the following address: email@example.com. New stories will be published approximately once or twice a month, depending on the volume of submissions. All rights remain with the author; no fees or payment of any kind are involved. Further details regarding themes and submissions can be found on the website. As members of the world-wide international school community, we have plenty of narratives of our attempts to understand the experiences we encounter outside our home cultures. By sharing these stories, we can hope to realize what Lin Yutang, the great Chinese writer and philosopher, described as “the satisfactory feeling that a particular insight into human character has been gained, or that his or her knowledge of life has been deepened, or that pity, love or sympathy for a human being is awakened.” By sharing our stories, we can hope to achieve our collective goal of better understanding the international school experience. Everyone loves a good story. Enjoy.
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