Tutor: Hana Pascal Keegan
IBDP score: 39
University: National Theatre Institute (2017), Connecticut College, Liberal Arts (2017), College of the Atlantic, USA
Subjects: IB: English Literature, Environmental Systems and Societies, History, Theatre Arts, TOK, EE; IGCSE: English Literature, Geography, History
It was only after receiving an International Baccalaureate Diploma from the United World College of the Atlantic and interning with Ashoka, an NGO at the forefront of education, that I realised how incredible the IB is. United World College of the Atlantic is a two-year boarding school with 350 students from over 85 different countries, one of the first IB schools in the world.
Since 2013, Ashoka has been working to create a global network of Changemaker Schools. By creating and supporting this network, Ashoka aims to ensure that every young person can access an innovative education that will empower them to become a changemaker. A changemaker education cultivates skills in empathy, teamwork, leadership, and problem solving. Young people who have been exposed to this style of education will be able to collaborate, create, and act constructively, to navigate and influence change in their own social and physical environments.
Due to their diversity, Changemaker Schools are selected through an extensive process in which they are nominated, researched, self-evaluated, visited by Ashoka staff and interviewed by an external panel of educational experts and innovators. All those who may influence a student’s learning and experience, their peers, parents, teachers and community members, are considered. Viliana Dzhartova, programme manager of the Ashoka Changemaker Schools in the UK, says she has “researched more than 200 of UK’s most innovative schools to elect 10 outstanding educational partners.”
My IB college, the United World College of the Atlantic, became one of the first 5 Changemaker schools in the UK.
There is currently a global network of 180 plus, Ashoka Changemaker Schools. These schools are driven to play a key role in leading the larger education movement, working to influence policy makers, parents, media and others who define not only a child’s education, but also their learning. If we as a society want to continue to address current social and environmental issues, we must strive towards the vision of an education system that empowers every young person to become a changemaker. We must strive towards a world in which every young person, when asked to talk about their school, will lean forward enthusiastically, sitting bright eyed on the edge of their seat.