Whittle School & Studios, the world’s first modern global school, held its inaugural faculty meeting ahead of the much-anticipated opening of its first two campuses in Washington, DC, and Shenzhen, China, this September.
The Whittle Global Forum, held in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, over five days in July brought together 250 faculty and staff members from around the world and across a range of subject areas for the first time. Faculty and staff were fully inducted into the school’s unique approach to pedagogy that uses the latest thinking in curriculum design and learning science.
Speaking at the forum, Nicholas Dirks, Vice Chairman and Chancellor, and former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, said, “As a new organization, Whittle is uniquely free of the gravitational pull of past institutional practices and assumptions. In Whittle, we have created something genuinely new and different, while drawing from the diverse lineages and backgrounds of our staff, in order to meet the complex global challenges of our time.”
Founder and educational entrepreneur Chris Whittle opened the forum, which was led by the school’s all-star senior faculty and advisors, some of the world’s leading educators, including Nicholas Dirks, Global Head of School Heads and Vice Chancellor Jim Hawkins, who is former head master of Harrow School in London; and Global Advisory board members Benno Schmidt, Clarissa Farr, and Dr. Kwame Appian. Program highlights included a deep dive into teaching in a rapidly changing modern world; different cultural approaches to education; and an exclusive look at the school’s first two campuses, which will open their doors to students and families in a month’s time.
Whittle School & Studios’ unique position and educational proposition aim to modernize and reform education for students by:
- Using the latest thinking in learning science to design a curriculum with a foundation in project-based, individual-focused guidance and an experiential approach to building new skills.
- Rethinking the design of the traditional school building and campus to enhance the learning experience for students, in partnership with world-renowned architect Renzo Piano.
- Creating a network of campuses across 30 of the world’s largest cities to facilitate immersive cultural exchange programs, through one international curriculum taught in English and Mandarin.
Whittle School’s unique proposition also extends to its approach toward its faculty and staff. Teachers are encouraged to continue their own education in pursuit of excellence in the classroom, in a supportive environment. StaceyAnn Palma, who has joined the Shenzhen campus said, “We are treated like scholars at Whittle. We are encouraged to be creative and push our own boundaries, not just those of our students—it is what is central to the Whittle movement.”
Gloria Mobley, Experience Director at the DC campus said, “In my career, I’ve never felt more cherished as an educator than since I joined Whittle. We’re reminded everyday how important our role is shaping the lives of our students.”
“It was fantastic to see so many passionate educators from all over the world gathered in one place, energized and inspired by our collective vision for an entirely new brand of education,” said Chris Whittle. “We cannot wait to bring this vision to life, starting in Shenzhen and Washington, DC this fall.”