The Global School Alliance has entered into a partnership with a number of key Methodist School organisations to bring together school teachers and educationalists from across the globe.
Garrod Musto, one of the teachers leading this initiative shares the vision for the IAMSCU zone and explains why working with GSA is a critical part of the success of the venture.
What is the IAMSCU Zone?
IAMSCU: is the acronym for International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges and Universities around the world
The IAMSCU zone is a dedicated part of the GSA online platform where Methodist teachers and educationalists from around the world can come together to collaborate on global projects of mutual interest. The IAMSCU Zone was recently launched to coincide with the IAMSCU 2023 conference taking place in the UK in April 2023.
Why is global citizenship important to Methodist Schools?
When describing his mission, the founder of Methodism John Wesley famously coined the phrase “The World is my Parish”. This became synonymous with Wesleyan values and is a cornerstone of Methodist education.
Today, a Methodist education prepares students to become members of a global society, emphasizing the importance of social responsibility, community service, and global awareness.
Why are the Methodist Schools partnering with the Global School Alliance?
It is no surprise 275 years after Wesley founded the first Methodist school, they now number in their thousands all around the world, from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is our hope that the IAMSCU Zone can, in time, bring together these schools to celebrate their shared heritage. We needed a partner with the experience to help engage with schools.
Networking: As a Director of International Partnerships at Kingswood School, I recognised the importance of engaging with schools from different parts of the world, in the pre-pandemic world. However, it was during lockdown that I truly appreciated what GSA were aspiring to develop on their platform; a global community of engaged teachers who were able to work together to create educational opportunities for their students to develop as global citizens. In the past 4 years GSA have demonstrated that they have the experience and global reach to help bring together schools to build a community of teachers and students who successfully share their global ambitions.
Community Building: As a teacher working at a methodist school, it’s clear at an institutional level we are committed to developing global citizens.
The GSA school accreditation scheme supports schools to follow a clear pathway which engages the community to create a manageable strategy for global citizenship. I have first-hand experience of this as I helped complete the documentation and was delighted when Kingswood were awarded the GSA Bronze Award in 2021. Also having worked closely with a GSA consultant more recently Kingswood has developed a school wide strategy to embed the lessons learned through the Bronze Award and move towards the Silver Award in due course.
Teacher Development: GSA are committed to developing and empowering its teachers, supporting them along the accreditation journey and assisting them to develop as International Teacher Co-ordinators through a series of webinar opportunities.
How will methodist schools use the platform to inspire students and help develop staff?
We have collaborated with organisations such as Hexis-21, Edukid and All We Can to develop activities and materials which can be used in schools. So currently there are a number of resources and student challenge materials which are freely available via the platform.
Teachers share ideas and resources, and we want to showcase great examples of how schools develop their own community projects helping others. This will be achieved through webinars and development projects where staff can use their expertise to help others.
Therefore, with GSA’s support we will develop a series of webinars to support staff to make the most of the platform, sharing great ideas and helping them to develop a global culture to best suit their school curriculum offering and wider aims as a methodist school.
What are your plans for the future to develop internationalism through the platform?
As Methodist schools, our mission is to develop young people who are creative, socially responsible members of a truly global community, and who understand the value of serving others.
It is hoped that the platform will enable Methodist schools from around the world to engage online to fulfil our mission and enable our teachers, students and wider school communities to benefit from the rich diverse experiences GSA have created online such as global student council, developing meaningful global partnership and face to face exchange opportunities to name but a few.
Exciting times ahead!