Conference archive

Welcome from James MacDonald, Head of NIST International School

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the NIST International School.

NIST was founded in 1992 as the New International School of Thailand. Our campus used to be home to the International School of Bangkok, but when the leadership at ISB decided to move their school to the outskirts of the city, a cadre of UN parents gathered together and decided to open a new school. Their concept was for a school that was not connected to any national government or religious identity, but one that embraced the ideals of the UN and internationalism. I think our founders should be very proud of the school, as I believe we stayed faithful to their vision and today, as one of the few not-for-profit foundation schools in Thailand, 1550 students (from 53 nationalities at last count) receive a rigorous yet holistic education through our commitment to being a three programme IB World school. On top of this, we also see ourselves as a learning environment for educators and founded the Professional Learning HUB @ NIST in 2014. Our Professional Learning Hub provides numerous professional learning opportunities for educators throughout the region and throughout the year, and the highlight for 2015 is hosting the Alliance for Education conference.

We know there is no shortage of professional development opportunities for international teachers nowadays, but AIE is a special conference. It brings together leading thinkers and researchers in a structure that allows participants to engage very deeply with topics and ideas. I know from experience, it is an amazing chance to learn from each other, as well as from various experts in the field.

I am also very excited, as Head of School, because I know there will be a residual effect from the conference upon our community. It has been said that school organizations are just one big conversation and I know the dialogue that happens during the conference is going to stimulate conversations at NIST that would not otherwise be possible. So thank you for attending, and we hope that your stay here is fantastic and the conference challenges and helps shape your thinking about international education and ways in which you can engage with difference within your own context.