ISJ May 2020: Questioning the enduring impact of international education – insights from alumni
The start of a new decade is as good a time as any to pause and reflect, here the reflections relate to research that can prompt consideration about the purpose of international education today. In particular, I attend to that aspect of international education which claims to concern itself with the long-term aim of producing people whose education and international perspectives will lead them into action for the betterment of life on the planet. With the climate emergency gathering increasing momentum, acting on issues of international significance seems more important than ever. While it is not solely the obligation of alumni of international schools to do so, arguably their education may have invested in them some feelings of responsibility, even entitlement, to act. To date, there is little evidence about the long-term effects of an international education and how alumni have been changed by it. This article draws on some findings from recent research with International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma alumni to prompt questions about the long-term impact of this form of education.