Alberta Curriculum goes international with the help of Faculty of Education alumni, Howard Stribbell (BA/BEd ’98, MEd ’04)
By Lori Lavallee
Imagine an international school offering world class study based upon an Alberta curriculum in all grade levels. Take a pin and hover over a map of China. Insert it in an area called Macao, located 60 km southwest of Hong Kong.
Now picture a facility that accommodates 900 students, located on a large and modern university campus. Here you will find the first Alberta accredited offshore school, The International School of Macao (TIS), where all classes are taught in English.
What makes the Alberta curriculum so attractive within an international context? According to Faculty of Education alumni, Howard Stribbell, “the answer lies in the foundation of the Alberta curriculum - critical thinking.”
As a teacher he gained a first-hand understanding of the infinite benefits of preparing students to be a part of a global community. “Global education is about allowing students to bring their individual backgrounds to the classroom, in order to create an environment that supports the integration of these differences,” Stribbell explains.
Essentially, it’s about providing the opportunity for an enriched educational experience, and about having the framework that allows a school to foster a specific type of learning environment. This is a vision to which Stribbell has devoted his career.
In 2006 Stribbell found himself vice principal of TIS. “I wanted to take the strength of the Alberta curriculum and use it to build an amazing school,” he says. “Our students are working in programs that are set up to prepare them for an English university.” Although Macao is now the world’s fastest growing economy with well paid employment opportunities, all of last year’s graduates chose to continue their education, some at the University of Lethbridge. When making an official visit to our campus to speak to prospective student teachers or recruit certified teachers, Stribbell makes a point of visiting these former students. With his recent appointment as Head of Schools, Stribbell has a new opportunity to further his commitment to global education.