Internationalism at Meadowridge
We define internationalism within our Canadian context as a celebrated blend of multiple identities within a single chosen linguistic medium and which constantly seeks transcultural understandings and values.
“Internationalism is not an endpoint, but rather a journey; a constant process of defining, acting, learning, reflecting and redefining. It is relational in that it is about ‘reaching out’ in how we interact with others and ‘reaching in’ to understand ourselves in relation to others.” The International Mindedness Journey: School Practices for Developing and Assessing International Mindedness Across the IB Continuum
We view nationality as an institutional capturing of one form of identity, and within Canada that nationality is intentionally intercultural. Our school accepts as true that people of all nations have more in common than they do differences. Framed within the context of the International Baccalaureate, Meadowridge appreciates the diverse cultures of the world and believes that education is a vehicle for creating a better, more peaceful world.
Our school is an ongoing inquiry into the lived experience of interculturalism, and we view ourselves as constantly creating forms of new interculturalism as we develop. Currently we are intrigued by the concept of transculturalism - those values that transcend national identities, religious or cultural divides. While accepting, embracing and celebrating difference, our school seeks to identify the commonalities shared by all cultures.
Our shared stewardship of the planet requires us to understand what others feel, think, and the systems that shape their beliefs and behaviours. Transculturalism allows us to find a common ground that transcends cultural differences. It is this understanding of the other and the self that will allow our children to find solutions to global problems including peaceful resolutions to geo-political strife and the care of ecosystems that sustain life on the planet.
The dispositions and beliefs captured by the IB Learner Profile, Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, UNESCO Universal Rights of the Child and Report to UNESCO, “Learning: The Treasure Within” are all documents central to our understanding of transculturalism.
International Mindedness in the Library
The Meadowridge Library is a learning environment that provides opportunities to engage in collaborative pursuit of knowledge and global understanding. It should be a mirror unto the world where we see ourselves both reflected and connected. Through the library, the school community learns about, maintains and fosters international mindedness helping to create a more peaceful world.
What Internationalism looks like at Meadowridge
We welcome diverse cultures to the school and they are integrated within the community. We are bound by a common commitment to “live well with others and for others in a just community”. With staff and students that come from almost 40 different countries of origin and speak collectively more than 18 languages other than English, we take for granted that our community is “down the block” and “across the world”. We are simultaneously local and global.
Flags, holiday celebrations, music, art, foods and elements of ethnic/cultural/religious dress all serve as visual reminders that Meadowridge is a community founded on diversity. For the younger grades especially, these elements are helpful in starting a conversation about diversity and internationalism.
At a deeper level, the curriculum encourages a more significant exploration of internationalism, and international cooperation. Academic studies and service projects deliberately draw on a greater world view, so that students begin to see how Meadowridge, and they themselves, fit into the context of a larger world.
At the most significant level of integration, internationalism is deeply embedded and fully integrated into learning at Meadowridge, as an IB World School. The mission of the International Baccalaureate is to “create a better world through education”. Specifically, we believe this will take place through the “promotion of intercultural understanding”. Our mandate is to “encourage students across the world to be active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right”. Implicit to this, we recognize our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.
The IB Learner Profile characteristics are designed to help students explore what it means to be a citizen of the world, by providing them with tools to learn and develop as people. To be curious, open-minded, balanced, thoughtful, knowledgeable, to take risks, communicate well, be caring, principled and reflective about the world is to be deeply involved in an international world view.