International Schools vs. Public Schools: Balancing Information

In the interest of educating myself, further, I have enrolled in an International School Leadership program offered by Washington State University and the University of San Francisco, through EARCOS. It’s a fascinating exercise in balancing an International Schools perspective (that all of the cohort come with and 1 of the instructors comes with) with a Public School perspective. Good ideas are good ideas, right?

Unfortunately (for international school educators), when it comes to best practices and research-based informed decision-making, most of our data comes from studies done in the US public school environment. Why is that unfortunate? Only because there are some conditions that are far more prevalent in public schools that are minor or non-existent in international schools and that international schools cater to a generally higher socio-economic group than public schools usually have.

That said, allow me to share some potentially useful resources. The Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning has some free resources that are useful for those in educational leadership positions. Another website to mine with a wealth of information on topics that range from UbD, Differentiation and English Language Learning to Educational Leadership, 21st Century Skills development, School Culture/Climate and more is the ASCD . Both offer online courses and other professional development opportunities. Another great resource for useful articles is the National Staff Development Council… check out their articles on building a collaborative culture!

So, what is particulary true for international schools but not so true for public schools? I’m interested to hear YOUR perspective. For example, parent involvement… it seems to me that in public schools we work real hard trying to GET parents involved at different levels and in international schools, the challenge is not GETTING the parents involved it’s making sure there are strong, healthy structures in place to ensure all stakeholders are on the same page and moving forward with a shared vision (also important for public schools but there seem to be more public schools that are at step 1 whereas most international schools appear to further along… agree?).

Feedback is most welcome!


2 thoughts on “International Schools vs. Public Schools: Balancing Information

  1. Dennis Ray

    Nice blog, Joseph. I sure agree with your comments about the difference between international schools and stateside public schools. On the other hand, to some degree, leadership is leadership. I’m sure we can all learn from one another, and the experiences one has in one setting will surely contribute to success in the next.


  2. jlevno Post author

    Hi Dennis,

    Thanks for the comment. When it comes to leadership, I agree. I think that’s why there’s so much overlap between organizational theory, business management, industrial psychology and education. Most leadership studies have results that can be applied across disciplines or areas.


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