Global alliance aims to revolutionize educational practices around the world
When passionate and driven educators come together to focus on tough pedagogical issues, ideas are formed and goals are set. The Global Alliance for Innovative Learning (GAIL) unites educators and students from all over the world.
Two people with a similar vision established the alliance in 2013. They valued education, collaboration and intellectual pedagogical discussions with a view to improve educational practices in schools. Today, GAIL has grown to eight schools around the world. Each school takes on a commitment to develop informed, globally active learning communities that encourage contemporary solutions to international issues through collaboration, inquiry and purposeful service-learning projects.
IB World School Western International School of Shanghai (WISS), in China, is a part of GAIL. Ambassadors include Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP) teachers, and, every year, they take a group of 10 students to the GAIL conference, which is held at one of the GAIL schools. Last year, they attended a conference in New Hampshire, which had the theme: Leadership and Ethical Decision Making.
To attend, students must submit an application form and a 400-word document, outlining why they should be involved in GAIL; what they can bring to the alliance; and how it can benefit them.
“This process allows students to show their commitment to GAIL, whilst the written task enables them to think carefully about the specific skills they can bring to the alliance and ponder the impact it may have on their lives,” explains Evi Singleton, DP Coordinator, and Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and English Teacher at WISS.
“GAIL has such a positive impact on both students and staff,” she adds. “It challenges, educates and inspires. Students gain a unique experience, learning, collaborating and having fun with other students from around the world. They are able to challenge themselves academically, creatively and socially within a safe group of like-minded individuals.”
The 2019 conference: A Balanced Life’ was at WISS.
“The global alliance is committed to building genuine connections based on authentic engagement, meaningful relationships, co-operation and trust,” says Singleton. “Implicit in this is the belief that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It is when we rub shoulders and engage authentically with those from other countries, cultures and backgrounds that we truly learn and discover the common humanity that transcends our differences.”