Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) welcomed its new principal this year, Mr Simon Brooks, an educator with many years’ experience in schools around the world. He comes to AISM with some great ideas, one of which relates to the concept of academic rigour.
“Academic rigour is often one of the first things that prospective parents look for when selecting a school for their children,” says Mr Brooks. “In this vision of a rigorous education, the mark of success is sometimes how much information students can learn and what exam marks they are awarded based on the information they have remembered.”
And although he believes that tests are important, he wishes to expand the definition of rigour to something more powerful and more empowering for learners. Drawing on research from Dr Ron Ritchhart from Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Mr Brooks argues that a truly rigorous school might focus on:
- Learning over work
- Understanding over knowledge
- Deep over surface learning
- Independence over dependence
- Growth over a fixed mindset
AISM has always been renowned for academic as well as for extra-curricular achievements. The future for the school looks even brighter now under the able guidance of Mr Simon Brooks and the amazing ideas he brings to the table.
*This article was first published in The Expat (March 2022 edition).
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