M3_1 International school partnerships as part of a strategic school development process:

•    Key terms and concepts: strategy, plan, project
•    Strategic development cycle
•    Strategic approach at international school work

Short description of activities

The activity is structured in three steps, starting with a presentation, followed by group work and concluded with a general discussion based on the reports of the groups and on the reflection on a scenario.

Presentation of key concepts (15 min) based on slides 1-6
Clarifying key concepts (strategy, activity plan and project and the relationship between them); introducing the strategic planning cycle and its application to school development; explaining the process for integrating international partnerships in the school’s development strategy based on the participation of a team of teachers and involving, when possible, other relevant stakeholders.

Group work to analyse challenges and benefits (10 min)
In small groups, participants reflect on challenges and benefits of a participatory strategic approach for school development with a focus on international partnerships, based on the instruction on slide 7 and on the handout.

Sharing results and general discussion (15 min)
A speaker for each group presents the list of challenges/benefits. The facilitator collects the ideas on flipchart sheet / screen benefits and challenges. Whenever there is a repetition, the idea is not written again but just underlined. During a whole-group discussion, participants are asked to analyse the results and compare challenges and benefits. This will hopefully lead to the conclusion that the benefits justify the efforts to overcome the challenges. The discussion can be concluded with the analysis of the scenario presented on slide 8, showing how such a situation would be managed had a strategy been adopted for the international activities of the respective school.

Main learning outcomes

Participants
•    Understand the difference and connection between strategy, activity plan and project
•    Know the strategic development cycle and the way it can be applied to school development
•    Can identify the key issues related to a strategic approach to international school activities and develop a positive attitude towards it

Materials

Presentation (ppt): M3_1_Strategic School development (first section, slides 1-8)
Handout: M3_1_2_Challenges and benefits of a strategic approach
Handout: M5_1_3_Intercultural scenarios

Time

About 40 minutes

Tips

Another possibility for the tasks assigned to groups is to have two groups compare benefits and challenges of the situation where there is no strategy with the case of having a strategic approach, while two groups compare the case of a strategy designed by the head teacher or international coordinator with a participatory approach to strategic school development.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.

This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.