Essential questions regarding the global educational curriculum: 5 ways to set international hires on the right track
by Edufax, on Aug 24, 2020 2:15:58 PM
When a parent considers going on assignment in a different country, the first thing that comes to mind is the global educational curriculum. But since an overarching international education system doesn't exist, it's difficult to know what's best for their child. Often, they feel lost in a foreign educational forest without a compass.
As a global mobility manager, you will want to help them ask important questions regarding the global educational curriculum. Set them on the right track by recommending that they dive into the following five questions!
1. What are the differences between the current and new school curriculums?
Learning topics may differ per country. This may cause a child to be behind in history or unfamiliar with math learning methods (see question 5 below). It's also important to compare common reading levels in two countries. And don't forget a child may have to learn a new language in addition to its native one. For example, if a family moves to Switzerland and the child goes to a local school, they might have to learn French.
2. How do I know if my child's new school follows a curriculum that will set them up for success in the long run?
The global educational curriculum can be broken down into numerous chunks. One thing to keep in mind is that private and international schools tend to have a lot more autonomy in curriculum choices than public schools. This can be both good and bad. It’s important to look at a school's accreditation and curriculum, especially when it isn't backed by the government.
There are many resources families can use. In the U.K., for example, international schools offering the UK national curriculum should be accredited by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS) and have been inspected by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). Families can also request school-exit examination scores from international schools, which indicate how quality of teaching reflects on student performance.
3. What are the differences in teaching methods?
There are a lot of differences in curriculum in the international school system. Let's have a look at three curriculums in the same language. The education system structure in the U.K. is set up in such a way that children learn to read very early on. In the American and IB curricula, they learn to read at the same time — but the U.S. is generally more teacher-led, while IB is more self-led. However, American international schools are usually more IB-minded, which means children have to figure things out for themselves to a greater degree.
When selecting the best option for a child during the global mobility process, it's crucial to consider the individual child's needs. To stick with the above example: the IB system can be great for some kids, but if a child is less organized, it can come as a huge shock which they might not be able to handle.
4. How will my child be challenged in school?
Global education offers a range of opportunities. But every child is different. When considering the global educational curriculum, it's crucial to unearth the child's specific needs. If a child has been in the gifted program for a while, the family should know that some local curricula don't offer such programs, or the level of their gifted program might be quite low. And if a child has learning disabilities, appropriate support might not be available — which is especially true for a lot of private schools.
It is paramount that parents are aware of opportunities or the lack thereof. This allows them to pick a school with a curriculum that sufficiently challenges their child.
5. What about mathematics?
You can't consider the global educational curriculum without paying attention to math. It's a subject that is taught in various ways and at very different levels. For example, math education in the United States is based on reaching the right answer — it doesn't matter how a child goes about it. But in the Netherlands, it does. Furthermore, topics can differ strongly per country.
Those who believe math is a universal language are wrong. It's very important for parents to familiarize themselves with the required math level in the country they're relocating to, so they can assess whether their child will be able to keep up in their new school. Likewise, they should consider whether there will be gaps upon returning. Since there's so much nuance to the global educational curriculum — in terms of math and other aspects — it's wise to adopt a long-term vision from the get-go.
Global educational curriculum: providing answers to pressing questions
Now that your international hire has asked five all-important questions regarding the global educational curriculum, you might want to help them find the answers. Education consultancy companies provide a solution. They support families on educational matters throughout the international relocation. Families, employers, and schools have relied on our global mobility advice since 1992. Want to join them? Contact us to find out how we will go the extra mile for your international hires.