At Phoenix International Academy, our name was inspired by the guiding principle that all students are capable of making a profound, positive impact on their local and global communities. We call ourselves an international school because our students will be prepared with the skills they need to make a difference in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.
The hands-on, real-world projects that students engage with at Phoenix International Academy are specifically tailored to provide students the opportunity to develop global competence skills.
What do we mean by global competence? Global competence is defined as the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance.
Specifically, globally competent students can:
Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment
Recognize perspectives, others’ and their own
Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences
Take action to improve conditions
These core skills, along with strong academic foundations and a focus on critical thinking and creative problem solving, prepare Phoenix International Academy students to take the lead on solving some of our most pressing local, national, and global issues.
For more information: https://asiasociety.org/files/book-globalcompetence.pdf
At Phoenix International Academy, we're focused on creating an environment that mirrors real life. Content is taught through the context of project-based learning - students are given authentic, hands-on experiences to demonstrate their learning.
Projects in school have been around for a long time, but not all "projects" result in important learning and skill development. Commonly, projects are utilized as "dessert," meaning it's an activity added to the end of a lesson (i.e. build a model, make a diorama, create a poster, do a presentation). These projects are appropriate in some situations, but they don't teach as much as "main course" projects. A main course project is the unit itself. It is the vehicle for teaching important knowledge and skills students need to learn. With Project-Based Learning, students are learning the "basics," but they're also developing the skills to solve complex problems and work in an effective team.
Students are often told "Learn this because you'll need it later." That's not very motivating for most kids. If they need to know something now because it will help them do work they care about, they're motivated to learn it.
Benefits of using PBL:
Students are more engaged in learning.
Students learn more deeply and remember what they learn.
Students build skills that will help them in college and on the job.
Students develop empathy through projects that impact their community, neighbors, and people across the globe.
Schools using PBL see a rise in attendance and graduation rates.
Schools using PBL see fewer discipline problems.
Information provided by Buck Institute for Education's Parent Guide
Students at Phoenix International Academy will experience a school culture rooted in principles of restorative practices.
Restorative practices include:
Strong and positive staff-student relationships
A discipline system the employs empathy and opportunities for learning at the core
Allowing students to be accountable for their actions, while providing them with the skills and tools needed to restore and repair harm that has been done
High quality social-emotional learning opportunities
In many schools, zero-tolerance and highly punitive discipline systems leave students feeling isolated and have long-term, negative impacts on the academic achievement of all students. Furthermore, the negative impacts of punitive discipline systems have disproportionately affected students of color and students with disabilities.
In contrast, at Phoenix International Academy, we see every moment as an opportunity for learning and a chance to further engage our students. When a student breaches the expectations of our community, they are supported to repair the harm that was caused and make our community even stronger than before.
Research has shown that a school community built on restorative practices leads to safer schools, less risky behavior from students, and higher academic achievement for all students!
For more information, please visit the Discipline Revolution Project: http://disciplinerevolutionproject.org/research
In traditional schools, students are placed in grades and courses based on their age and the amount of time they’ve been in school, and they move to the next grade or the next course based on the amount of time they participate in a class. They might earn a grade for that class, but typically, when the time period is over, they move on to the next level even if they haven’t learned the material particularly well.
At Phoenix International Academy, personalized learning means that students learn and apply the most important skills they will need to be successful in life, regardless of how long it takes. We have taken the time to build our school’s systems so that every student is learning and applying the skills they will need to be successful in the workplace of the future – challenging students to become independent, self-motivated learners, while they are being supported by the teacher and other instructional staff.
Our personalized learning model has a few key components:
Teaching and learning is carefully designed so that students move on when they have demonstrated mastery.
Students are required to apply skills and knowledge to new situations to demonstrate mastery and to create knowledge.
Students receive timely, differentiated support based on their individual learning needs.
Assessment is meaningful and powerful for students, not just a test or a quiz they take at the end of a unit or lesson.
Students receive rapid support that is tailored to their needs.
The teachers and staff at Phoenix International Academy work together with students and the community to develop and implement this learner-centered system where all students are successful, both at school and in life.