Offering students choices, a top education strategy: Ivy Global School CEO

By Phong Van    April 28, 2022 | 05:00 pm PT
Choice in education includes everything from choice provided to students in the classroom to education models and school choice, Kyle Konold, Principal of Ivy Global School, said.

Dr. Kyle Konold, also the principal of Ivy Global School (IGS), has more than 25 years as an administrator in the public education sector.

He cited a study of eighth graders published by the Journal of Literary Research that revealed that when students shifted from assigned to choice reading, they were more engaged collectively and individually, read more, had more positive peer relationships and better self-regulation, and performed better in tests.

All of these positive changes took place simply because the teachers abandoned assigned readings and instead allowed their eighth graders to choose from a collection of young adult fiction that was personally meaningful to them.

Kyle Konold, Principal of Ivy Global School, said.

Kyle Konold, Principal of Ivy Global School. Photo by IGS

"At Ivy Global School, student choice is one of the most engaging strategies followed by a teacher in the classroom. English teachers at IGS frequently replace the required readings with student-selected books, and so I have personally witnessed its effectiveness," he said.

This does not mean that rules and boundaries are not necessary elements to ensure a productive learning environment. They are. However, by offering students choices, teachers help them connect to the curriculum as well as their own identities and passions.

Dr. Konold said: "No two students are the same by way of who they are as individuals or how they learn. So, while the conventional in-classroom learning with bell schedules and testing regimens does work beautifully for some, it can be a hindrance for others."

That is why IGS offers an online education model, offering students options like live Zoom classes with their peers, after-school activities, academic competitions, and virtual meetings with teachers several times a week.

In the two years since it came to Vietnam, Ivy Global School has enrolled more than 1,000 students in its online program and 2,000 in its Accredited American High School Diploma at partner schools.

Dr. Konold said: "There is no right or wrong way to learn, just differences in how we learn. Embracing that fact and providing a variety of learning models for students and their parents to choose from is vital. In doing so, decisions can be made based on their unique and individual needs, helping them select the type of environment that will allow them to thrive."

He said student success is dependent on many factors. While providing choices in the learning environment and educational models is incredibly important, they would be wholly ineffective if the student does not feel like the school itself is a good fit, she pointed out.

At Ivy Global School, student choice is one of the most engaging strategies followed by a teacher in the classroom

IGS offers an online education model. Photo by IGS

According to the nonprofit advocacy group All4Ed, to learn, students must feel safe, engaged, connected, and supported in their classrooms and schools. This underscores the importance of school choice.

Students and their families must be able to choose the schools and services that best fit their needs, whether it is a public, charter, home, or private school or some other learning environment that is best suited to serve them.

Dr. Konold said: "It all comes down to empowering students, and their parents, through choice. In doing so, we are better preparing young minds for success and helping ensure a brighter future."

Ivy Global School is an virtual school established in Florida (USA) and accredited by Cognia and NCA CASI, NWAC, SACS CASI.

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