As a learning community, we value research as an important part of our work. Many staff members are involved in independent research and our teachers, leaders and administrative staff are contributing to global conversations in their areas of expertise. The purpose of our research is to inform action and help us to improve the educational experience for our students.
With this in mind, UWCSEA has commissioned two important pieces of research to investigate key aspects of our learning programme. Through these longitudinal studies, we hope to identify some of the key strengths of our programme that are most effective for student learning and fulfilment of our mission. By working with expert partners at Harvard University and Oregon State University, we intend that the findings of both studies will inform not only the UWC(SEA) learning programme but the wider world of education in general, and international education in particular.
The two studies are as follows:
- An Impact Study, in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This study, led by Howard Gardner as Principal Investigator, is investigating the impact(s) of a UWC education on both current and former students (including how that compares to the impact of non-UWC educational institutions), and the impact of the UWC movement on the wider world.
- A study of UWCSEA Outdoor Education programme, most particularly how the expeditions in Grades 6–11 contribute to the development of the qualities and skills of the UWCSEA profile. Many components of the profile (e.g., resilience, creativity, self-awareness) correspond directly with the traits and abilities identified by contemporary psychological research as predictive of long-term achievement and life satisfaction (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). The study is being conducted by faculty researchers at Oregon State University, Dr Michael Gassner and Dr Christopher Wolsko, who are experts in the fields of experiential education and social psychology.
You can read more about the individual research below.