Third Culture Schools: international schools as creative catalysts for a new global education system


  • Creative Institutions and Systems

The RSA has been working on a vision of how international schools can be a movement for positive change within education. Working with ECIS - a group of international schools on its 50th anniversary, we have produced a think piece that outlines this change.

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Our world is rapidly changing, over the last few decades we have seen new global challenges such as inequality, climate change and mass migration emerge. How does this radically shifting global landscape affect how we educate our children? The challenges of globalisation have led to a social and economic need for new learning approaches, premised on the creativity of individuals. We argue that international schools have a key part to play as creative catalysts of a new global education system. 

Working with ECIS - a group of international schools on its 50th anniversary, we have produced a think piece outlining our vision for international schools. International education as a sector is in the midst of massive growth, with student numbers projected to grow to over 9 million in the next ten years. International schools could play an influential role as system leaders, bridging an often polarised education world.

The RSA makes three recommendations:

  • That ECIS develops a new 21st century account of what internationalism means in an educational context, applicable for all schools regardless of intake.
  • That international schools choose one or two key themes such as bilingualism or creativity, which they can champion as system leaders and promote within the wider education world.
  • We encourage the development of an accreditation scheme for international schools which places social good at the heart of judgements about quality. 

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Picture of Joe Hallgarten
Former Associate

Picture of Ralph Tabberer FRSA
Ralph Tabberer FRSA
Owner & Chairman of INK Education and BBD Education

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Kenny McCarthy
Project Manager and Production Leader