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Learning new skills at Harvard

03 Jul 2018

Head of International & Round Square Junie Wee and Year 11 student Angad Vraich were among 24 delegates from Round Square schools all over the world who came together to participate in a research symposium at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The symposium was held as part of a two-year study into how Round Square schools guide and support the development of international understanding in their students.
Both boys were pleased to discover College is doing “pretty well” in enacting the Round Square IDEALS.

“It was really interesting to see what other schools were doing and I think we’re doing things at a more advanced level than many others were,” says Junie. “But we want to keeping moving in the right direction, and so this year we’ll try to initiate greater connections with other member schools.”

The symposium began with ice-breaker activities and a formal welcome, before participants worked with the Harvard research team to develop and practice a range of research skills and techniques. They then had the opportunity to apply their newfound skills in various activities and workshops with their peers.

“At the final workshop we were placed in random groups of four where we presented our own findings from interviewing others, and then each school drew out a topic for ongoing research,” says Junie. “Our topic is self-awareness, and how it develops global understanding. We’re going to look at how people develop awareness of their own circumstances and perspective in the context of the wider world and try to determine how understanding their own values, beliefs and biases can lead to personal goal-setting, growth and positive change. Given that we already have Immerse & Inspire, MANifesto, a focus on character and leadership education, goal setting and the House system in operation at College, we think we received a good topic with plenty to discuss.”

The research will continue at College over the next few months, before Junie and Angad present their findings in a written report to be published through Research Schools International.

The Round Square RSI Research Symposium was held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education from Thursday 14–Saturday 16 June.

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