International schools should offer an international curriculum, where the medium of instruction is that of a foreign language or one widely spoken around the world. It should have a diverse student body and educate students to engage positively locally and globally.
This definition is drawn from consideration of Hayden and Tompson’s work ‘International schools: growth and influence’. The different parts of the definition are chosen to identify some key elements.
Firstly, the medium of instruction does not necessarily have to be English. The growth of different economies round the world will inevitable change what is the most widely spoken language. Though English is a common language for business between countries, Mandarin could always become one of equal importance, and for some countries argueably, already is.
Second, the diverse student body is an area of assessment during IS creditations from bodies such as CIS. The reason my definition has included this is my experience in working in several diverse schools. It is the diversity of values, and opinions with students from different backgrounds that helps to stimulate the rich conversations and debates that are necessary for personal growth. Teachers can then observe these interactions to assess the level of international mindedness or cosmopolitanism in a classroom environment. Therefore, I believe the student body should show a good range of diversity and, where possible, include loca