Thanks to the wonderful invitation, I recently went to the Australian International School Malaysia for their Visible Learning Certification launching event.
Education today is no longer about the consumption of knowledge. Schools today are preparing their students for challenges in real life and imparting skills that they would use in a highly competitive 21st century. With that, the role of a teacher in moulding citizens of the future is an ever important one and the learning approach in schools needs to change to reflect the needs of the future.
The Australian International School Malaysia, a part of Taylor’s Schools, has invested in equipping its teachers and students with a new teaching and learning method called the Visible Learning approach alongside the Australian curriculum. The school, which has offered an Australian education in Malaysia for the past 17 years, is the first Certified Visible Learning School in the world. This is testimony to its commitment to deliver outstanding teaching and learning practices at its campus in Seri Kembangan.
Visible Learning is an evidence-based approach to teaching and learning researched and developed by Professor John Hattie of the University of Melbourne. Professor John Hattie’s Visible Learning practices have influenced teaching practices and form the basis of teacher training courses for many years in schools from New Zealand to Scandinavia and United States. It was only recently that Visible Learning School Awards were being awarded, and because of the commitment of our teachers and leaders towards Visible Learning practices that AISM have become the first school worldwide to revive such an accolade.
“The number one thing that differentiates an impactful teacher from others is their passion about children’s learning; a teacher who has taken time and effort to build up trust between themselves and the student. We are working hard to ensure this in our schools,” said BK Gan, President of Taylors Schools.
“At AISM, we have been excited to see the benefits of Visible Learning for our students. Our students, even those in the lower Junior School, are noticeably changing. They are all creating, editing and re-setting learning goals throughout the year and they are all enjoying and taking more independence and responsibility for their own learning. From an academic perspective, we have seen significant tangible improvements in diagnostic testing data and student engagement, and as students progress through the school, we anticipate that the pre-university results will also continue to improve,” said AISM Principal, Dr Deborah Priest.
Proudly sponsored by AISM’s neighbouring property developer BRDB Developments, Australian property company Central Equity, Jasons Food Hall, Brandt Malaysia and Cezar’s Kitchen Sdn Bhd, the launching event was attended by a 150-strong audience, including representatives from the Australian High Commission and Malaysian Ministry of Education and Department of Education, members of influential business associations and organisations, AISM parents and staff, as well as members of the media.
As a Visible Learning School, AISM students and teachers share a common language of learning. As a result, their students are adaptable and effective communicators, collaborators and creative thinkers.
Diana Chan, winner of Australia Masterchef 2017, was also invited to share her MasterChef journey of trials and challenges and how she used Visible Learning attributes towards her success.
“I am so impressed by the Australian International School Malaysia and the way they are preparing their students to be successful in life as well as successful in their academic studies. It is impressive to see children learning how to set high goals, recognising the importance of listening to feedback and giving good feedback as well as learning how to reflect on mistakes. I hope my children in the future can go to a school like AISM,” said Diana Chan, the Malaysian-born Melbourne-based accountant by profession.
Diana also participated in a live cook-out session, assisted by a AISM Year 11 student, Annabelle Bateman, who had emerged as winner in an all-student cooking competition organised by AISM for its students, prior to the launch ceremony.
Diana also supports charitable causes, one of which is Beyond Blue, an Australian, independent non-profit organization which addresses issues with depression, anxiety disorders and related mental disorders. The school donated money and raised funds during the event towards this organisation.