Independent international study conducted by researchers from RSI and Harvard GSE will explore how Round Square schools support students’ international understanding

By Rachael on 04/12/2017

Round Square is excited to launch a research project led by Dr Christina Hinton from Harvard GSE and her team at Research Schools International (RSI) into How Round Square Schools support students’ International Understanding.

The two-year international study will explore how educators in the RS community of 180 schools in 50 countries support students’ development of International Understanding. Students and teachers in all schools will be invited to contribute to the study their reflections on students' global competencies, how the school supports students to develop those competencies, and which activities and approaches they believe are most effective in supporting their development.

The researchers will assess students’ international understanding with measures based on Round Square's Discovery Framework and OECD/PISA's Global Competency Framework. In addition, the Researchers will collect successful examples of good practice in promoting International Understanding. The result of this study will be shared with the wider global education community.

In establishing the research project, Round Square invited applications from its Candidate and Member schools to engage more deeply as a case-study school. With more than 50 schools expressing interest, the Research Team selected five schools as Research Fellows to be studied in-depth, and a further seven schools as Research Ambassadors to champion the wider collection of good practice examples.

Research Fellow Schools:

Aiglon, Chesières-Villars, Switzerland

Buckingham Browne and Nichols, Cambridge, MA, USA

Christ’s College, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Doon School, Dehradun, India

The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Connecticut, USA

Research Ambassador Schools

Belgrano Day School, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Colegio Los Nogales, Bogotá, Colombia

Ivanhoe Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia

Latymer Upper School, London, UK

St. Constantine's School, Arusha, Tanzania

Transylvania College, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The YK Pao School, Shanghai, China

As is customary practice within the Round Square community, student participation and voice will play an important part in the research process, and within each school two individual student Research Fellows or Research Ambassadors, along with a faculty member, have been appointed to support the initiative. This team of three at each school will be mentored over the coming months by the Research Team, will carry out important investigative work as part of the study, and will participate in a Research workshop at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in June 2018.

Rachael Westgarth, Chief Executive of Round Square said: “We are excited to be working with Dr Christina Hinton and her team, our twelve Fellow and Ambassador schools, and the wider Round Square community on this important research initiative. We hope that its scope and scale will develop robust evidence and insights to support the development of International Understanding in all cultures and contexts. Round Square schools have long-understood the need to guide students in discovering and embracing the similarities and differences between cultures and nationalities in ways that promote meaningful, lasting understanding, tolerance and respect. And they understand that our current generation of students need to be equipped to work together on an international scale to seek global solutions to global problems. With this research initiative we aim to create a blueprint that any school can adapt to their context.”

Lead researcher in the study, Dr Christina Hinton from RSI and Harvard Graduate School of Education said: “With an internationally interdependent economy, unprecedented levels of migration, and a continuous stream of information circulating the planet, students are growing up in a globalized world. In this era of globalization, many educators are calling for schools to nurture global competency skills that will help students understand global issues and collaborate effectively across cultures. However, more research is needed to understand how schools can encourage the development of these skills. In this pioneering international study with Round Square, we have an exciting opportunity to explore how schools across various contexts and cultures support students’ global competency skills. The results of this study will be widely disseminated to the global education community. With this, Round Square and the Round Square schools will serve as thought leaders on how we can support global competency skills that will enable the next generation to come together from around the globe to wrestle with the big questions of our globalized world and work together to create a peaceful, productive, and ethical global society.


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