WAB’s faculty came together Wednesday for the annual Cultural Forum, an opportunity to dive deeply into social, cultural, and personal issues.
The event has historically been hosted as a way to promote awareness of other people’s experiences, understand different perspectives, and build empathy. This year, the event focused on stereotypes and identity, and featured panel discussions with faculty members and student groups.
"The Cultural Forum is a way for the school to inform staff about the cultures of the students we are educating," former WAB teacher Bob Blanch, who founded the Cultural Forum, said. "Teachers are only human beings. We need to educate ourselves…so that we are able to have these important discussions."
The Cultural Forum is one aspect of WAB’s wide-ranging efforts to promote an especially important element of a community that is so diverse in terms of nationalities and backgrounds.
In 2019, WAB created the Enriched Inclusion Lead position to help spear these efforts. Rovanna Bawden began in the role this school year. She says inclusivity goes beyond the curriculum and extends into the feeling our community members get when they join WAB.
“WAB is a family school. So what we see, right from the beginning, is that the intent is there that we are open to everybody,” Rovanna said. “Inclusion means that we are able to open our doors, our hearts, and our minds to serve all of our students’ individual needs.”
(Use the podcast player above or click on the image on the right to tune into Episode 28 of The WAB Podcast: Inclusion in International Schools. It is also available on all major podcast platforms.)
WAB offers a model of support that is flexible and adaptive. A key tenet of the WAB experience across the whole school is the ability to meet each individual child’s specific academic and social-emotional needs. Our inclusion model supports this existing focus of the WAB community.
“A truly inclusive school allows people to feel a real sense of belonging when they are living in a country that is not their own. When families are trying to get a high-quality education like WAB provides, that sense of belonging and care is really important,” WAB’s Director of Innovation for Learning and Teaching said.
In a time when the world has faced new and unique social and cultural challenges, WAB has worked with members of its alumni and faculty to create a platform to have important conversations. The WAB Think Tank was re-launched in 2020 to facilitate discussions about local and global issues that are impacting our students, parents, staff, and alumni around the globe.
There are several ways to learn more about and take part in WAB’s inclusion efforts. We invite you to join the WAB Think Tank to take part in these discussions and contribute your unique perspectives to help our school community grow stronger.
Check out the full conversation with Rovanna and Stephen, as well as a full series of stories about the future of education, on The WAB Podcast.