During Tom’s recent trip to Europe, he stopped in Paris to talk with one of the most innovative, international educators out there; Lower School Director Daniel Kerr, of the American School of Paris. Originally a Canadian, Daniel made the decision to go to College in Maine and take a teaching job in Abu Dhabi. There, he met a Counselor, originally from Nova Scotia, who later became his wife. Together they became hooked on international education and accepted positions at the Jakarta Intercultural School, where they taught at for 7 years. After that, they led a school in Shanghai, Ecuador, and now in Paris, where they currently work.
When asked about his nomadic lifestyle, Daniel replied that he really enjoyed becoming a citizen of the world. He speaks five languages and his kids, who are 10 and 12, have visited a dozen countries. It’s safe to say that the Kerr family is hooked on the benefits of international education!
In this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom sits down with Daniel to learn more about his life as an international educator, the American School of Paris, Daniel’s goals and challenges in international education, and what he thinks all American educators should know about international education.
[2:09] Daniel’s background: where he went to school, how he got to Abu Dhabi, how he made the move from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta and met his wife, meeting Tim Stuart, his first school leadership role in China, and his move to Ecuador.
[7:29] The languages Daniel has basic proficiency in and what life is like as an international educator.
[8:59] The opportunities presented to Daniel’s kids as an international educator.
[10:00] Where Daniel calls home.
[10:25] Daniel describes some of the best teaching conditions he’s seen in international schools.
[12:00] Goals and challenges in international learning.
[14:50] What it is like leading an international school; the turnover rate and creating a cohesive plan and team.
[16:18] The education needed for the parental community.
[18:45] What the American School of Paris is trying to improve on.
[21:03] What the ASParis design thinking labs are about.
[21:54] Their goals, curricular wise.
[22:19] What American educators should know about international educators.
[23:52] What Daniel has learned about America.
Mentioned in This Episode:
American School of Paris
Jakarta International School (Now Jakarta Intercultural School)
For More Information on International Education
Read Getting Smart’s report on Creating the Future of Learning — a story of the transformation of the Singapore American School.
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