College – Issue 36

INTERNATIONALISM College self-awareness under the spotlight

When Angad Vraich and Junie Wee left the Round Square conference at Harvard University in June last year, they were tasked with providing a comprehensive research paper on self-awareness at Christ’s College.

The pair had only a term, and a busy one at that, to complete their part of the Harvard Research project being conducted through Round Square, but with good organisation the Year 13 and Year 11 students managed to fit it in around studying for exams. As a result they produced a component of a final paper on best practice of internationalisation in high schools, which will be published later this year. “While we were in Massachusetts we were trained in how to conduct interviews and how to code the responses, and this made it a lot easier when it came to doing our own research here at College,” says Angad, now in Year 12. They developed four main questions which they put to eight boys and four teaching staff. “We wrote down their responses and then took all the data and analysed it in the way they had taught us at the Round Square International Student Research Symposium. It was very tough with the time frame and we had to fit the work around our own exams. But in the end we were pretty proud of what we came up with.” Angad says working with Junie, a senior and now Old Boy, was a huge help, and he is now more confident to take over the mantle

of leading some of the Round Square ideals at College. Their 1000-word paper discussed “the impact of developing secondary students’ self- awareness on their international understanding.” Among their conclusions were that the main factor impeding greater development of self-awareness is the lack of effective methods in place to help the students. “We know at Christ’s College that we already have some leading edge programmes in place, such as MANifesto and Immerse & Inspire, which are doing a lot to help the school develop self-awareness. And our research bore this out. But we also surmised that if students fail to address the development of self- awareness, especially with regard

to cultural identity and views on or perceptions about differences, many students may find it difficult to work effectively with people across all cultures.” The Harvard project and the Round Square work has further whetted Angad’s appetite for this type of research and he is very much looking forward to going to China in April 2019 for another Round Square experience.

Christ’s College Canterbury


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