Colombian and world citizens: Internationalization in the Gimnasio Moderno
Internationalization and interculturality in the Gimnasio Moderno starts from the principle of recognizing diversity and the enrichment it brings to understand each other locally and globally. This framework makes it possible to establish that internationalization seeks to recognize a broad set of good practices that enable the teaching and learning experiences to be enhanced, but also seeks to generate connections between cultures, recognizing the richness that exists in them.
In this order of ideas, the internationalization program seeks to establish cultural relationships, negotiations and exchanges and develop an interaction between culturally diverse people, knowledge and practices. This premise confers an international and intercultural dimension to teaching and learning mechanisms, through the academic mobility of students, teachers and researchers, as well as participation in networks, internationalization of the curriculum, research and management.
The proposal of mobility programs would allow gymnastic students and teachers not only to enrich academic experiences, but also cultural and social ones. Contact with other cultures can serve to open new intellectual horizons and develop more tolerant ways of thinking. These types of exchanges aim to promote the ability to learn – always critically – from others and that others also learn from us, emphasizing that it implies an intercultural exchange that assumes cultures on equal terms, so that they enrich each other. Academic exchange with other countries also brings the opportunity to avoid inbreeding, identified as an important limitation, both in European and Latin American cultures (Aghion et al., 2009; Salmi, 2013).
On the other hand, for a school whose principle is the development of a research culture, internationalization is a favorable setting for exchanging experiences and consolidating the academic community in various settings, both for students and teachers.
The principles of internationalization are based on the following guidelines:
- Academic Mobility
- Curricular Development
- International Networks
En cuanto a movilidad académica, el Gimnasio Moderno promueve el desplazamiento de su comunidad a otros lugares del país y del mundo, con programas de inmersión, campos de verano y programas de corta duración, como excursiones nacionales e internacionales, programas de emprendimiento y liderazgo y modelos de Naciones Unidas locales, nacionales e internacionales. Así genera oportunidades de estudio en el exterior para la comunidad a través de convenios de inmersión académico-cultural y posibilita el surgimiento de redes de trabajo colaborativo con el intercambio de prácticas de alumnos y profesores. De igual forma, el Gimnasio promueve de manera activa programas nacionales e internacionales de capacitación para sus alumnos y docentes.
Curricular development is oriented towards the construction of agreements that ensure the right to quality education for all students, through national and international content that facilitate updating in teaching-learning and incorporates experiences of innovation. The academic environment is permeated by digital platforms, which serve to host didactic material and learning activities in a virtual environment, in a logical and organized manner in accordance with the structure of an academic program, with the aim of establishing achievement-oriented educational relationships of learning and the formation of cultural and personal skills to face the global world.
The Gimnasio seeks to promote the study and improvement of a second language in all students and teachers and to develop intercultural skills, which not only refers to the knowledge of other cultures, but also to the ability to assess individual and cultural differences for the sake of individual. For its part, international benchmarks in Positive Education are studied to incorporate curricular innovations into our programs.
The Gimnasio Moderno has established different associations and has managed to establish academic networks through its Cultural Agenda and the School of Teachers, to facilitate the generation of alliances and the exchange of experiences and knowledge, as well as the participation of our teachers in academic programs and joint research projects. The participation of various Nobel Laureates and prestigious worldwide speakers will enrich the academic environment of our community. Similarly, as a cross-cutting axis, literature encourages different learning styles and preferred styles permeated by the cultural environment.
The Gimnasio Moderno has encouraged the creation of new inter-institutional ties and has cultivated the existing ones through collaborations in different events. As part of internationalization and thus, forming a participation in academic networks, it seeks that students respond effectively to the social and academic challenges of the 21st century, and recognize themselves as leaders of change and promote new competences such as teamwork, collective leadership and the ability to generate changes in society.
To take on the challenges of such globalization, the Gimnasio Moderno is creating internationalization policies accompanied by intercultural education that is promoted in the classroom. In this way, students will have the opportunity to build cognitive skills for problem solving, and social skills that will allow them to interact with people from different national and international cultures. Internationalization will not be limited to teaching the international vision of an area of study, but will focus on topics of general world culture such as history, customs, economy and global news. In recent years, the Gimnasio has become part of international networks such as ASHOKA and IPEN (International Positive Education Network), which promote leadership, empathy, entrepreneurship, teamwork, flourishing, happiness, the development of character and teamwork, among others.
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