Apart from academic offerings, what sets one school apart from another? One answer that matters a lot to parents is the school’s values formation system. After all, during their time in school, a student will be doing more than simply learning concepts that will take them through to their next phase of education or through their career. They will also be learning how to interact with the world at large, how to treat others, and how to advocate for issues that matter.
Value-driven education is a cornerstone of the American school system, where a student’s character development is just as important to their growth as their academic performance. If this is something that resonates with you as a parent, you may want to consider enrolling your child in a school like Stamford American International School Singapore, considered one of Singapore’s top ten international schools for its holistic curricula. Your child is likely to thrive in an environment that actively nurtures their personal growth and encourages them to live out certain values, some of which are the following:
A Strong Sense of Self
The “American way” is known for its espousal of healthy individualism and autonomy, and this is something that starts as early as in a child’s school years. If your child is enrolled in an American international school, this is one of the first things they’ll learn. The values formation component of their education will teach them to be true to themselves and to celebrate their unique identity and individual interests. This is a good value for any child to learn as they navigate a tricky world; it will serve as both a moral anchor and a source of mental and emotional fortitude.
Another value that your child will encounter through an American school curriculum is independence. From their academic tasks to their co-curricular activities, your child will have plenty of opportunities to step up, take initiative, and show what they can do on their own. If they are able to practice being independent in a safe and supportive environment like their school, it won’t be hard for them to establish lives of their own once it’s finally time to leave the nest.
American education also puts a premium on critical thought, or engaging with knowledge more deeply instead of letting it go unquestioned. In the age of disinformation or fake news, it will be very important for your child to learn about what distinguishes the truth and how to challenge claims that may be false, flawed, or biased. Being able to practice the value of critical thought in the classroom will eventually impart your child with the courage to do so in their future school or workplace, in situations where their analytical skills and conviction will matter.
Cultural and Social Diversity
The United States is a cultural melting pot that derives educational values from all types of communities. Thus, appreciation for cultural and social diversity is definitely something that your child will learn in an American international school. In addition to being part of an inherently diverse community, your child will get to participate in a lot of educational activities that celebrate diversity, like United Nations Day or cultural exchange events.
Like their counterparts in the US, American international schools have made it a point to implement inclusive educational pedagogies. Through their learning experiences in an American school, your child will learn about the value of inclusivity no matter one’s race, nationality, socioeconomic class, gender identity, or physical capability. They will also learn about equity, or the observation of fairness and justice in relation to an individual’s specific needs, and what equity should mean for themselves and their classmates of different backgrounds.
Outside of America, people may think the American curriculum weighs heavily on individualism and self-determination. But American school programs also uphold the value of compassion, which is anchored on care for others and a desire to improve the community. Both inside the classroom and outside of it, your child will be encouraged to think of the plight of others and to see themselves as a potential part of the solution.
Attunement to the Modern World
Lastly, an American school curriculum will advocate for global learning and good global citizenship in the world of today. Your child’s American school education, delivered through a global learning framework, will be a gateway for them to discover the modern world and the issues that it’s currently facing. An American international school education will teach them to be open-minded and innovative in their engagement with the world, which will serve them very well when they become an adult.
Admittedly, some of these values are not completely unique to American schools. That said, they will feature very differently in a child’s educational experience compared to local schools or schools that follow another educational system. If it’s in your child’s future to study in America for college, or if you simply want them to experience an education where these seven values are at the fore, an American school will be a good choice. You may be able to bring out the best in your child’s character through the values formation program of an American international school.