INTERNATIONALISM AT DBIS
DBIS is an international community school that derives strength from its individual members, immediate locality, and the wider area. We value our role at the heart of Discovery Bay and our place in Hong Kong. We reach out from this position of strength to connect with Asia and the global community, building strong networks with other learning communities and preparing our students for life in diverse international environments.
We believe that internationalism begins and develops from a strong sense of self-identity. To this end, we encourage our students to celebrate their individuality and to be proud of who they are as young people.
We want our students to explore, develop and express their values and opinions while listening to, and showing respect for, the ideas of others. We wish to see DBIS students from different backgrounds interacting, learning from each other and growing together.
We also believe it is essential for our students to develop a deep understanding of their place within our host communities, Hong Kong and China; to appreciate our diverse peoples, heritage, culture, beliefs, and traditions. We encourage our students to connect and engage proactively with these communities as they provide the unique context for their individual and collective development.
From this foundation, we hope to see our students learn to become creative, flexible and proactive. Young people, who think critically, are open-minded, understand multiple perspectives, embrace difference and show respect, sensitivity, and inclusiveness. Individuals who are socially minded, who are aware of, and concerned for, issues confronting the world that we share.
DEVELOPING A SHARED UNDERSTANDING OF INTERCULTURALISM
The school community had the privilege of working with Dr. Eeqbal Hassim from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne during our annual Internationalism Week celebrations in October 2017. During the week we reevaluated our shared understanding of internationalism and interculturalism as concepts relevant to our school and began to explore ways to modify teaching to achieve more in-depth, more sophisticated learning outcomes for students in these areas.
As an outcome of the various parent and teacher collaborative sessions, we were able to define the concept of culture as it relates to DBIS and to establish what we hope to achieve through intercultural learning at our school.
We defined culture as shared patterns, systems of thinking and being, not just ethnic, racial, linguistic, national and religious. We agreed that intercultural learning is not surface, piecemeal education about a selection of ‘cultures’ (what ‘cultures’ do, how and why), rather, intercultural learning is learning that has constructive and intentional outcomes which focus on what happens when cultural perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds meet, not cultures as discrete entities.
As a school we have now begun to evaluate how we design lessons and wider experiences to develop students’ cultural awareness, knowledge, and sensitivity so that they can understand cultural diversity and what happens in intercultural contexts.. In essence, the aim is to challenge students and all members of the school community to think about what happens when we as individuals interact with people from different backgrounds to our own.
The DBIS Community - Revised in 2017 Nov.