How MAC students prepare for globalization
It is imperative for school leaders to be forward thinking. Writing a Thought Leadership blog refocuses my attention to be even more alert and aware of what is happening in our world from moment to moment. At the same time, being a lifelong learner requires you to continuously pursue new lines of thinking and gain inspiration from world-leading thinkers.
Maybe a little clarity is helpful: my particular interest revolves around how we most effectively operate a school where our mission is to make our students future-ready. That’s my focus and where I direct most of my attention.
Not surprisingly, this provides me with an opportunity to become aware of people who are profound thinkers and thought leaders on a global scale.
One of the people whom I’ve been reading with great interest is Professor Yuval Noah Harari. He is a historian, philosopher and the bestselling author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Born in Haifa, Israel, in 1976, Harari received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002,
and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
From the dystopian to the relevant and practical, Harari is provocative and insightful. He also has a real passion for education. It is on this front that our approach is aligned with respect to planning for a 2050 full of mystery. What jobs will exist? What will students currently studying at MAC be doing and how will their children be educated?
Harari writes, “To survive and flourish in such a world, you will need a lot of mental flexibility and great reserves of emotional balance. You will have to repeatedly let go of some of what you know best, and learn to feel at home with the unknown. Unfortunately, teaching kids to embrace the unknown while maintaining their mental balance is far more difficult than teaching them an equation in physics or the causes of the First World War.”
We’re addressing these challenges on many fronts at MAC and one is to ensure that our students have opportunities to engage with the world beyond the confines of the school and in some cases, the country.
MacLachlan is committed to challenging and exploring the limitations of traditional education by promoting success-driven and future-oriented mindset that is integrated into every aspect of school life. To support this initiative, in 2018, we applied to join the Round Square family of schools and gained approval as a candidate school in early 2019. Being a Round Square school provides a common platform, that all member schools share, enabling us to collaborate and share learning resources and participate together in joint activities such as conferences, exchanges and academic and service projects.
Since our approval, several MAC students and teachers have travelled all over the world to Kenya, India, Borneo and England where they were able to learn from and interact with the global community. In September Ms. Mingo, our Round Square Coordinator and I will be travelling with a group of our students to Australia.
MacLachlan is committed to providing opportunities for students that support social responsibility and encourages students to become engaged and principled individuals.
The reality is that social cooperation on an international scale is key for survival and for developing the flexibility of thinking that will be so critical moving forward.
Again quoting Harari, “We are living in a global world – but most schools and books still tell us only parochial histories of one particular country or culture. The truth is that there are no longer any independent countries in the world.”
Ensuring that our students build intimate awareness of and relationships with people outside of the immediate community is another way we’re re-imagining possibilities and preparing future-ready individuals.
If you’d like to learn more about Professor Harari’s thinking click here.