We define culture within external controls as the customs, ideas and traditions held by the host country and local population.
International schools are ideally placed to experience the many benefits of a multi-cultural environment. Students, staff and parents have the opportunity to develop their understanding of international mindedness by sharing their own cultures and experiencing the culture of others. International schools are also able to profit from the customs, ideas and traditions held by the host country. The host country’s culture can help to support the guiding principles of Great Learning. Local culture can offer learners the opportunities to experience real-life examples of positive personal standards such as empathy, mindfulness and creativity within their local vicinity.
We believe that Great Learning is enhanced when the surrounding culture is positively aligned with the ideals of the GL model and when the school and its community demonstrate respectful awareness of that culture.
At Danube, students frequently participate in learning experiences within our local surroundings. For example, when inquiring into rights and responsibilities, our Grade 3 students have the opportunity to visit the United Nations in Vienna to learn about their work on human rights.
However in some locations, local customs, ideas and traditions can restrict open-ended and objective inquiry. For example, some schools are unable to inquire into areas of science such as evolution. Other schools may not be able to take a balanced approach when exploring historical conflict and war. Further still, some schools remain in a gated expat community which means that they do not participate easily within their local environment. In such cases, Great Learning can be limited due to external controls that impact restrictively on institutional effects such as curriculum design, learning strategies and decision-making.