We would like to congratulate our Head of School, Head of Primary, and Head of Secondary on their new postgraduate degrees.
AMADEUS Vienna stands for Educational Distinction, and we believe that you should never stop learning. This is not only applicable to our students but also to our staff. Therefore, we are incredibly proud to announce that our Head of School, Jeremy House; Head of Primary, Martha Ross; and Head of Secondary, Karsten Plöger, have spent the summer holiday graduating from their Doctoral and Master programmes.
So what have they learned, you might think? We have asked them to share a few insights about their studies.
Dr Jeremy House (Head of School)
– Graduated from a Doctorate in Education (Positive Psychology)
My area of interest has always been about the psychology of high-performance. As an educator, I want to know how we can get the best out of young people. Of course, I also want to know that about myself! What makes some people diligent, determined, purposeful, and successful in that which they give their time, attention, and energy to; and where is it that others go wrong? Then, most importantly, is this possible to teach, coach, or otherwise shape within a school community?
Over the last five years with the outstanding support of the academics at University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education (IOE) I tackled this question, and am happy to confirm that yes, we can do this! The research took me on a journey joining the dots between Aristotelian Philosophy and modern Positive Psychology, with stopovers in statistical modeling (psychometrics), phenomenology, identity theory, coaching philosophy, and humanistic psychology. What emerged is a model of human flourishing that we know relates well with young people and supports the fulfilment of their highest potential.
My thesis, titled, ‘Toward a Model of Human Flourishing: A longitudinal test case for a positive education model of human flourishing’, introduces such a model and describes the processes through which change occurs and a syllabus for accompanying young people in facilitating these changes. To offer a very small but important takeaway, one thing I learned is, “identity drives behaviour, and behaviour drives performance”. On the path to high-performance, identity is step number one.
Of course, the question of high-performance is never answered, and we will continue to explore this with young people at AMADEUS. Though for now, I am honored to be awarded a Doctorate in Education (Positive Psychology) and look forward to sharing further with our school community.
Dr Martha Ross (Head of Primary)
– Graduated from a Doctorate in Education
This summer I graduated from The University of Bath in a virtual ceremony while being on holiday with my family, which meant that my speech honoring the Academic Tutors at The University of Bath was made from a tent.
My EdD thesis is entitled, ‘Identifying and Measuring the Intercultural Competencies of International Educators in International School settings.‘ I undertook a research project with four different international schools on two continents. Research in the field of International Education has identified types of international schools. Differences are based on the purpose of the school with a more pragmatic or ideological intention. I identified four very different international school settings and measure the intercultural competencies occurring in each one.
I have long held the belief that all international educators are interculturally competent. However, these competencies are not yet recognised in our industry. Therefore, I created a model of twenty competencies which focuses on the connection and support that we provide for students in culturally diverse student populations, and how this improves learning.
An important finding during the research has been that a high tolerance for ambiguity supports the work that I do every day supporting young people at AMADEUS in an international school context.
My personal and professional motivation is our students who are often very culturally adaptable, and I hope to one day train future educators and help them to understand the impact of topics such as cultural pluralism and cultural differentiation in education.
Bonus info: Martha was honoured with the Jeff Thompson Research Award from Bath University.
Dr Karsten Plöger (Head of Secondary)
– Graduated from a Master of International Education Administration
While educators around the world were faced with a crisis unlike any other in living memory, I found myself in the very privileged situation of being able to invest an entire year in my professional growth. It thus became possible for me to complete Endicott College’s Master (M.Ed.) in International Education Administration course in 13 months, as opposed to the regular minimum period of 16 months.
The twelve-course modules were designed to help students develop their existing practical leadership skills through study, reflection, and experimentation, and focused on such diverse topics as negotiation, communication, mediation, personnel and finance management, curriculum design and leadership, measurement and evaluation, and innovative practices in an international school context.
This intensive 36-credit course – a blended programme of online and face-to-face studies, with the first three courses taught at Leysin American School, Switzerland – was just what I had been looking for during my eight years in senior leadership. It gave me an invaluable opportunity to build on my experience by reflecting systematically, and in collaboration with like-minded colleagues from around the globe, on teaching and learning in a fast-changing international context, as well as on my personal approach to leadership.
Bonus info: Dr. Plöger became a teacher and school leader after his first career as an academic historian. He holds a doctorate in medieval history from the University of Oxford.