"At Home in the World"
Mission: The International School of Monagas prepares international and local students to become caring, responsible, educated global citizens and leaders.
Vision: ISM graduates are passionate, ethical leaders who value life-long learning and celebrate diversity. Twenty-first Century skills are embedded in a rigorous English and Spanish curriculum. Our students excel in competitive colleges and affect positive change locally and abroad.
Our Shared Values and Beliefs about Teaching and Learning: Our Common Principles
These beliefs about teaching and learning are based on the Common Ground Collaborative’s Common Principles. As we continue to define who we are as learners and a community, we have chosen to adopt these common principles to guide us in curriculum development and instructional strategies that align to these values and beliefs. They define who we are as an institution by developing common conversation about what it means to be a teacher and a learner.
1. We need to define our learning terms.
Before we can teach for learning, we need common understandings, simply and practically expressed, about what actually happens when we learn. We believe learning includes conceptual understanding, mastery of competencies and development of character traits and have defined each of these components. We support schools in designing learning based on these definitions.
2. People can learn how to learn.
The most important advantage we can give students is to support them to become proficient, self-directed learners. Through our Learning Standards, we support the explicit teaching of the competencies that underpin learning, supporting students in becoming the owners and directors of their own learning.
3. Learning happens best in rich, relevant contexts.
Learning is more enduring in authentic contexts in which students can engage with issues, dilemmas and perspectives in settings that are meaningful to them. We support embedding the learning of concepts, competencies and character traits in relevant contexts in order to close the gap between the world of curriculum and the world our students actually inhabit.
4. In learning, less really is more.
Content coverage does not equal learning. To learn conceptually, students need to inquire, think and theorize. They need the space to make meaningful connections between ideas. That means selecting sufficient content to support deep, sustained engagement with our three kinds of learning….and no more than that.
5. Learning is personal.
Individuals have different starting points, different interests and will follow different learning pathways. We support personalizing learning to the maximum extent possible, including the provision of appropriate levels of challenge and choice, and the provision of timely, constructive, personalized feedback, along with opportunities to act on that feedback.
6. Everyone has a right to learn.
All people, no matter their learning differences or economic circumstances, should have optimal opportunities to learn. We support inclusive international education and concerted, collaborative efforts among our schools to contribute to the improvement of learning and teaching in locations where there is an expressed need.
7. Learning is scaleable.
The principles that apply to student learning apply also to adult learning and organizational learning. We support schools in applying this belief, bringing consistency and common meaning to processes such as professional learning and organizational change management.
8. Learning is a social activity
While invaluable learning comes from personal reflection and moments of personal insight, we remain a social species. We support schools in creating cultures of sense-making through substantive conversation, encouraging planned, focused team learning and providing opportunities for students to lead learning conversations with their peers.