Executive Director’s Introduction

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Pathways to Transformation – A Guide to Unlocking the Power and Potential of International Schools Grounded in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging” is a comprehensive DEIJ  Guide for educators and administrators who are committed to creating inclusive and equitable learning environments for all students. The guide is a product of AISA’s “Wellbeing for All” programme, which seeks to enhance the effectiveness of member schools in supporting and embodying diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) and mental health for all educators and students, promoting a sense of belonging.

This comprehensive interactive platform is structured into eight distinctive sections, each section accentuating various critical components of DEIJ advancement in international schools.

“DEIJ First Steps” inaugurates the journey by underscoring the significance of self-reflection and self-awareness in cultivating inclusive environments. It also provides an understanding of DEIJ within an African context and the significance of embracing our local communities authentically. As the guide develops, we invite further reflections from communities worldwide.

“DEIJ Strategic Thinking” provides insight into integrating DEIJ at a strategic level, touching upon governance, leadership, readiness to implement DEIJ, and human resource practices that foster a DEIJ-oriented atmosphere within your school.

“DEIJ in the Classroom” pivots the focus towards curriculum design, the role of the classroom teacher, and innovative teaching strategies that encourage and support DEIJ.

“Supporting Students and Staff” focuses on empowering students and staff, ensuring their wellbeing, and extending support to sexually diverse students and staff. It also prioritizes the mental health of staff, cultivating a healthy and nurturing work environment.

“DEIJ Critical Issues” delves into specific areas of DEIJ, including the importance of professional learning, supporting sexual and gender diversity, emphasizing women in leadership roles, the role of service learning, and DEIJ’s significance in school accreditation.

“Case Studies” offers real-world examples in service learning, human resources, BIPOC educators, inclusion, child protection, and governance, illustrating practical applications of DEIJ principles.

“Tools and Templates” is an ever-growing section that provides practical ‘how to’ resources and exemplars to assist schools in implementing their DEIJ work. Among other things, it provides various student standards, strategies for conducting difficult conversations, and policy guidelines. Schools are welcome to contribute to this section as well.

“DEIJ Partners” Recognizing the global, multi-sectoral nature of our DEIJ work, AISA has partnered with organizations worldwide to amplify awareness and leverage collaborative efforts toward our DEIJ goals.

There is also a section in the guide that stores a wide variety of DEIJ Resources to which schools and organisations can contribute. We also invite schools to consider what Ongoing Monitoring they will implement to consistently track and evaluate their DEIJ progress, ensuring the journey towards belonging is ever-evolving and adapting.

Throughout the guide, readers will find practical strategies and resources to support long-term DEIJ change initiatives in their schools. Moreover, the resource includes an inclusive language guide, highlighting the importance of recognizing and respecting the evolving nature of language, particularly regarding gender identity, race, culture, neurodiversity, ability, and religious diversity.

We want to express our gratitude to all the contributors to this guide for their passion, commitment, and dedication to creating inclusive and equitable international schools. AISA also extends an open invitation to schools and organizations worldwide to submit additional resources, policies, and case studies. This collaborative approach will help place the AISA DEIJ Guide in a global context and enable us to learn from diverse experiences and perspectives, thereby strengthening our collective commitment to fostering inclusive and equitable educational environments.

AISA’s “Pathways to Transformation” guide is a valuable, “living” resource for international schools committed to creating inclusive and equitable learning environments for all students and staff. It is our radical dream that by utilizing the strategies and resources provided in this guide, schools will be able to effectively promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice, and foster a sense of belonging for all students and educators.

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