The culture in Dubai is very diverse. In fact, it has one of the most diverse populations on the planet, as it is a city where East meets West with statistics comparable to mega-cities like New York and London.
Here, you can find people from all over the world, especially today with an increasing number of qualified expatriate white collar employees.
As Dubai becomes a more culturally and ethnically diverse city, its schools are becoming more diverse, too. And for parents, sending their children to such school will give the children some important skills that matter more than test scores.
Beyond Classroom Lessons
According to Paul Tough in his bestselling book, How Children Succeed, some of the most important academic, social and emotional skills, such as curiosity, complex thinking, gratitude, empathy and resilience are not completely captured by mere classroom lessons and tests. These important life skills are best fostered in diverse classrooms, captured mostly through group projects and presentations.
Being in a school where there is a mix of people with different backgrounds and interests, like the Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai, also helps children shed light on religion, ethnicities and hobbies they may not be exposed to had they gone to a less diverse school. For instance, children interacting with others from China may learn that it is a Chinese tradition to give people little gifts. In other words, they learn something new every day.
Finding the Right Culturally Diverse School
Many schools in Dubai may be culturally diverse — but not every school is actually culturally responsive to all students. Not every school has a teaching method and curriculum that does not favour one group over another.
To find the right culturally diverse school, parents should check the test scores on the school profile and check to see some disparities in outcomes for different groups of students (this is often called the achievement gap).
Parents should look beyond the numbers when evaluation an institution’s approach to diversity, too, checking whether the teachers structure their teaching to acknowledge different perspectives.
Regardless of which school your children will attend, remember that you are their first teacher. Provide a safe and supportive environment at home; keep doing this and any school choice you make will likely be a good one.