Coed day school N-12, college prep, advanced sciences and independent studies, interfaith, international students in homestays, interscholastic athletics, very robust arts and music, serious about integrity and responsibility.
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By: Dr. Orville Leverne Clubb, Head ITS Education Asia BTEC Centre\“We seldom realize, for example that our most private thoughts and emotions are not actually our own. For we think in terms of languages and images which we did not invent, but which were given to us by our society” – Alan w. Watts The other day, I heard a good explanation of culture from Danny Harrington, our ITS Founder. As a geographer, he sees that a culture is developed from the geographical area where the members of that culture are living. The culture is based on the climate, soil, flora, fauna of the area. Basically, the culture rises from the dirt of a geographic area. I gave my views on culture acquisition in the discussion.In a paper I started to write prior to retiring, I used a modified version of Piaget’s Four Stages of Development to give methods of how a culture is learned. I called the methods “Stages of Cultural Acquisition”. I titled the original paper “Downloading of culture” because I used a Computer metaphor. The new born was “hardware” with a “BIOS” and culture was the “software”According to Piaget, a human baby is born into the “Sensorimotor Stage” of life. That is, the new born is motivated by instinct and rapidly learns about objects in its physical environment. Learning is of their relationship to these objects and key people of the home environment such as the mother, father, other siblings, caretaker, etc. The baby normally learn how to walk, eat solid foods from the home diet, other basic motor skills and very basic spoken language of the key people in the stage. The skills learned by the baby in this stage, varies from culture to culture but has many basic common skills such as walking, etc.From about 1.5 years to around 5 to 7 years of age the new child is in, what I call the “Culture Introduction Stage”, which is Piaget’s “Pre-Operational Stage”. If a child is born in Hong Kong to Hong Kong parents, the child continues to learn the family dialect, food, how to interact with other members of their family’s culture and such concepts as family ranking, social expectations, dress codes, etc. of the family’s Chinese culture. Likewise, if we are born in, say, in a region of the UK or US, of local parents, we are “downloaded” with the culture of the region that we are born in and are taught how to interact in that region.By the time the child is between 5 to 7 years old they have been given the basics of their home key people’s culture. We now move to the “Cultural Fundamentals Stage” which is Piaget’s “Concrete Operational Stage”. Through the home, people key to the new child will have a good basic operational understanding of their culture and language and their uses. The child now starts formal education in the form of schools outside of the home environment to enhance the knowledge of their environmental culture. At this point, the key people in the environment outside of the home are teachers and peer-groups. Schools are outside of the protection of the home and become the primary source of learning. Prior to this stage of development the new born has relied on their home key people as well as family affiliations such as extended family, religion, etc to give them their cultural knowledge and protection. A major conflict can occur if a child has been given a different culture by the home key people to that of the environmental culture of new formal school. As a child that moved from the Deep-South of the US to California while in primary school and had to deal with difference peer-groups, I can tell you that school peer-groups can be very mean and unwelcoming.In my future blog “ The Downloading of Culture – 2” I will elaborate on the potential consequences of a person in a environment that is foreign to their initial home learned culture.See More
Study abroad is one of the best life and learning experiences you can take an interest in while going to college. Taking a semester of classes in a different country gives you worldwide experience, helps you gain independence and venture outside your usual range of comfort zone, and gives chances to build cross-cultural relationships. Making a well thought-out choice before picking your study abroad program can help you to get the most out of your attempt. The following are a few points to consider before choosing your program. 1. LocationLocation is the greatest angle you have to consider before you start to take a look at study abroad programs. Are you are looking for an adventure in a large city? Do you speak a foreign language you might want to use and refine? Is it true that you are interested in the politics issues of a specific nation or region? The questions that you have to consider before you choose a location include questions regarding the size of city, language, cost of living, and what you are planning to get from your time abroad. These can be replied with some self-reflection, additionally with a little research and by contacting other people who have been in different study abroad programs. There's no better way to discover the ins and outs of a program than talking with someone who has lived it. 2. TimingThe Timing of your study abroad program trip is also making a big decision that you should consider. While studying abroad is a great learning experience, it ought not to take away from rest of your time in college. You should to plan your program during a period that does not interfere with anything that would keep you from achieving your college goals. If a certain required class is only offered at a specific time, or if you might chance that you might miss out a great opportunity for a dream internship, you might need to reconsider the timing of the program.The length of the program is also something you need to consider. With longer programs, you can immerse yourself in the way of life and structure lasting connections. Shorter programs allow you to see another place and experience another adventure, while not taking too much time from your general education. 3. AcademicsStudying abroad should be an amazing, fun, and exciting opportunity - but academics are still important for students. Before choosing a program, you ought to inquire about the classes and credits to figure out whether they exchange and if they will help you achieve your academic goals. While taking fun classes, for example, an art class or a music class, is an great way to invest your time abroad, you should also ensure that you can demonstrate academic gain from your time.Before you make the choice on what type of program, it's important to look your school's approved list of programs and ensure that you can get credit. Talk with your academic advisor to find the right fit. 4. TypeDepending upon where you are studying on, your school may offer a few study abroad opportunities. Through your school's program, you will probably be studying on with students from your school. This can help you build connections that will last all through whatever remains of college, and past. You could also go to a study abroad program put on by another college, or look into private programs. These projects will give you a chance to meet other students from across the United States. Another option would be to select in a college in your proposed area of study. This would mean you would study on nearby students of that area.The most important factors while choosing a study abroad program are different for every person. The choice that you make or the factors that you consider won't be the same as your classmates. Ultimately, you need a program that helps you grow as an individual, and that program looks different for everyone.See More