The power of education to shape a better future for everyone is one of the guiding principles of Mr. Rami Madani, Director of Learning at The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL). Mr. Madani, who will take over the reins as ISKL’s Head of School in July 2019, believes that “Education has the potential to create young generations of knowledgeable, global citizens who act responsibly toward each other and the environment. As a center of excellence ISKL plays an important role in helping shape future generations through education, a role which extends beyond our campus with a commitment to knowledge sharing and collaboration with the wider community”.
Mr. Madani continues, “Two years ago, as part of the Ministry of Education’s Dual Language Program, ISKL began working with colleagues in local public schools to further enhance the effectiveness of teaching mathematics and science as well as in using English as a medium of instruction. Over the past two years we have worked together with over 50 teachers from more than 40 local schools. The experience has enriched everyone involved and ultimately helped strengthen student learning and engagement”.
As part of the nine-month training program teachers from participating schools work together with ISKL educators in a series of interactive and collaborative workshops. Numbers are carefully limited in order to nurture long-term partnership, and to ensure the transfer of knowledge between teachers and schools is as meaningful as possible. In addition to supporting teachers build their confidence in teaching maths and science in the English language, the Program also helps further enhance student learning by sharing best practice about inquiry-based teaching strategies for each of these subjects.
Sessions are complemented by classroom observations which enable teachers to experience ISKL’s learning environment in action. The individual and group reflections which take place after seeing teaching methodologies in practice are then used by participants to set goals and develop action plans for implementation that are specific to their own classroom context.
Throughout this Program participating teachers are encouraged to share their learning with colleagues back in their own school in a formal and systematic manner. Mr. Madani describes ISKL’s train the trainer approach, “The intention of this collaborative process is to build capacity with a group of master teachers who have the skills and knowledge needed to train their colleagues in their respective schools. By providing teachers with strategies, ideas, and resources our goal is to help them share their learning with their own schools”.
As part of the Program, ISKL educators visit participating schools to support teachers with the practical implementation of strategies. The benefits of collaboration are two-way with ISKL educators learning from the teachers they are supporting and gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the different educational strategies and learning approaches in the community. Mr. Madani concludes, “Education is a ripple effect, skilled teachers play a critical role in inspiring and motivating students. In turn, educated youth make wise choices and work hard to improve conditions for everyone. It is extremely rewarding to be involved in a Program that makes a difference for visiting colleagues, their school communities, ISKL educators, and ultimately a future generation who have so much to offer our world”.