September 24 2015

Principal’s Message Vol.54 – Sept 2015

Dear Island CA Community, 您好.

Twelve IslandCA staff were fortunate to attend the Google Summit over the weekend. Those of us who attended found it quite inspiring and came back with more ideas to improve and grow.

We learned that one of the Google principles is to learn from experts. One particular expert highlighted was Jack Ma (Ma Yun), founder of the Alibaba group. When interviewed by Google, he was asked ”What is the secret to your success? Jack Ma’s answer was “ Failure”! He said that to fail is the first attempt in learning.

This reminded me of the principles and personal goals of the International Primary Curriculum. ‘Looking for Learning’ and goals such as resilience and adaptability help us to not be fearful of failing, but to learn from failure. During the IPC training, the trainer talked about a ’Growth Mindset”, and said she could see that IslandCA had a Growth Mindset.

People with a Growth Mindset reach higher levels of achievement; they believe that intelligence can be developed, and that success comes from effort. A growth mindset sees failure as a way of learning. The opposite is a Fixed Mindset, where intelligence is treated as static; people do not like taking risks and do not like doing things where they think they might fail. This information affects the way we encourage and praise each other. If we praise children only for their ability, that can have a negative effect and contribute to developing a fixed mindset. Parents and teachers can help students develop a growth mindset by praising them for their effort. When students do encounter situations of failure, we can encourage them to respond with resilience.

21st century innovative teaching and learning is different from traditional methods (although it may include aspects of it in specific situations). Shared vision, collaboration, space, 21C pedagogy and e-learning all contribute to a great 21st C learning environment. Staff at IslandCA do a great job in developing an effective learning environment; and as a learning community we are learning and growing all the time.


Debbie Middleton