The growing diversity of our community has helped nurture the dream first envisioned in 1964 of an international school in Nagoya. Then, fifty years ago, NIS first opened with barely 90 students representing five nationalities. Now, NIS has over 320 students representing 33 nationalities – the most nationalities ever.
However, being able to evolve with the changing needs of our diverse community, while celebrating our individual differences, is not without its challenges.
Students today live in a time that is uniquely different from previous generations. They have access to information in rapidly changing ways, enabling them to make connections with people across the world and share their thoughts and ideas with others in an instant. They have friends across borders, and are regularly exposed to different beliefs, customs, languages and traditions. In this new age, they have at their fingertips immediate access to world news and current events in a manner, speed and quantity that we could never have imagined before.
At the same time, educators have also come to learn more about how the brain works than ever before. We now have a better understanding of how learners interpret their world and make meaning out of their experiences. We know much more about the importance of intrinsic motivation within the learning process and how it is not enough to simply memorize knowledge and practice skills in isolation if the goal is true conceptual understanding. We now also better understand the importance of educating the “whole person” through an emphasis on intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth, and realize that fundamental to being successful as a learner, is success as a confident, contributing person first.
Therefore, the classrooms at NIS today are filled with more questions than answers, guided by the voices of students who take ownership for their learning, and filled with experiences which connect tangibly to the real world around them.
With this vision for learning in mind, NIS has chosen to frame our curriculum through the three programs of the International Baccalaureate (IB). These three programs (the Primary Years Program, the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program) represent the world standard for international education.
Ultimately it is our goal that all students at NIS learn to question their world and to have an opportunity to connect to others – and to empower them to be able to envision the impact they can have on not only their own futures but also on the communities they will serve.