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Exploring Secondary Pathways
By Shwetangna Chakrabarty
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The future of education is currently evolving in the international school community. International schools serve a diverse population with learners from varying backgrounds and with differing educational goals. And while traditional educational models have long prevailed, international schools are now recognizing the need to pivot from a one size fits all model to creating programs that serve the variety of learners and interests that our schools represent.

Along this educational journey, a greater value has been placed on student choice and voice which has led schools to explore options for more cultural appreciation and exploration, personalized learning, global competence and citizenship, and versatility in post-secondary options. There are those who still benefit from and thrive in the traditional models. Increasingly, however, our student population is seeking additional experiences and preparedness options for success in a rapidly evolving globalized world. In response, many schools are now asking the question, “How might students navigate a flexible progression of education and still have the option of traditional forms of post-secondary schooling?” The variety of programs designed to meet these expanding needs are generally referred to as pathways.

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This is an invitation to those who are working on exploring diverse pathways aligned with the evolving needs of students, the demands of a globalized world, and the changing landscape of education. Here are a few topics to think about as you consider how you might contribute to the conversation: 

  1. Emphasis on Individual Choice and Rigor

Some international schools are creating diverse educational pathways designed to challenge students while providing them with a range of course options and/or learning experiences. This approach not only supports academic growth towards identified standards but also encourages personal choice, enabling students to delve into areas that ignite their passion.

  1. Pathways to Attaining a Graduation Diploma

Aligning with individual choice and rigor, some schools are working toward offering multiple pathways for graduation. One example is the Systems Transformation Pathway being piloted by the IB.

  1. A Focus Outside of the 11-12 Experience 

Often, pathways conversations are focused on these upper grades. However, integrated classes, “school within a school” models, and many other ideas are also being explored to support the diverse needs of our younger students.

The Pathways to Possibilities: An Exploration of Innovative Educational Approaches series will examine a thought-provoking expedition through the alternative pathways being made possible for students to traverse on their educational journey in international schools. TIE would love to hear from you so we can share your explorations and contributions. You can find more information about submitting articles here.

Shwetangna Chakrabarty is the Editor of TIE.

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