Value for Children
Education is an investment – an investment for a future career but also in the person that a child becomes. Everything we do is an effort to help children grow to be competent, creative, and balanced learners – ready to excel in any future that they choose to pursue.
Essentially, the question that most families ask is,
"What does my child gain from TCIS as a school and a community?"
Since 1958, TCIS has been a leader in international education in Korea. In these 65 years, we have built a solid, comprehensive education for children. We deal in many positive initiatives for learning and growth among students, however, we specialize in three main areas that are ultimately valuable for most families (and two further areas for families with specific requirements.)
- Children Gain a Globalized Education
- Children Gain a STEM/STEAM Education
- Children Gain a Personalized Education
Children Gain a Globalized Education
Most families see the way that the world is increasingly becoming interconnected. Education, business, politics, ecology, communications – it all happens on a global scale, and the highest success in any area depends on one's ability to understand it from an international and intercultural perspective.
At its most foundational level, TCIS is focused on preparing internationally-minded learners. Beginning with Pyeongyang Foreign School in 1900, through the opening of the campus in Daejeon, and carrying through to our programs today, TCIS works to create a format that cultivates and prepares children to understand the intercultural nature of this connected world. We do this in impactful ways:
- The TCIS faculty is a multicultural group of qualified educators. Teachers come from many countries around the world, bringing cultural knowledge and experiences that are passed to children through the classroom and daily interactions.
- TCIS is an English-speaking school. The English language is an asset to children who are and will be highly successful in this world. More than conversational English, students learn and practice advanced subject learning in English. The majority of TCIS students are already fluent in English, so their experience is geared toward advancement in literacy.
As TCIS delivers education in English, the ESL/ELL department supports a number of students who need some assistance developing academic language. TCIS also sponsors a small annual cohort of students that are beginning their learning of English in our "Running Start" foundational-English program.
- TCIS is a Three Programme IB World School, which is famous and respected around the world for developing learners into people who are holistically prepared for life-long learning. Universities consider it the best preparation for higher learning, and the IB carries with it a reputation for international-mindedness that makes it desirable for universities all around the world.
- TCIS is accredited by the Western Associate of Schools and Colleges in the USA, and authorized by the International Baccalaureate. We are officially partnered with the ASCD, the College Board, EARCOS, NACAC & IACAC, WIDA, and other international organizations to best ensure the highest quality educational offerings for students with globalized goals.
- All of these things translate to a natural pathway to foreign universities. Most families that come to TCIS are interested in attending reputable universities in the United States – as well as the UK, Australia, Canada, China, and continental Europe. The international curriculum, formats, traditions, and faculty prepare children to enter and succeed in university any place in the world. Beyond this, students with this international school experience are more comfortable working, living, and connecting in various cultural settings around the world.
[* TCIS is a fully-licensed, fully-accredited, and fully-authorized foreign school in Korea.]
Children Gain a STEM/STEAM Education
We strongly believe that children who are truly prepared for the future will have essential skills that are developed through learning in a combination of STEM and Arts disciplines. No matter what a student wants to pursue for study or as a career, STEM and Arts education are vital. TCIS has always approached education with this belief, but we have spent considerable time building a focused STEM+Arts program, and have committed to this as an area for continued development in the coming years. TCIS is investing in STEAM development in the following ways:
- We see STEAM education as something that is foundational for all learning, and as such, TCIS classes all contain and connect with components of STEM and Arts. The Design Technology and Arts departments collaborate with all other departments to bring a richness of expanded STEAM learning to all subject areas.
- We see STEM education as more than a subject set but also a skill set. We intentionally promote the Design Cycle in all parts of the school. The focus on this process of Defining Problems, Researching, Analyzing Ideas, Developing/Implementing Solutions, Reflecting on Feedback, and Improving the Design becomes ingrained in children. We understand this as foundational to STEM subjects, but when students apply these Design Principls to all learning, that learning becomes profound.
- TCIS Science and Design Tech are essentially-encouraged areas for study. All students are required to include these areas in their course load as a means of preparing students with basic holistic skills in the lower grades, and specific options for advanced studies in these areas in the upper grades.
- All students gain the benefits of foundational STEAM education, and interested students can expand their involvement through extra-curricular opportunities. TCIS is continually developing and expanding its offerings for engagement in Technology, Engineering, and Arts opportunities through clubs, events, and competitions.
- TCIS has a dedicated STEAM Coordinator and a committee dedicated to the continued development of STEAM education in the school – looking at areas of curriculum, connections, events, and external opportunities.
TCIS is serious about STEM+Arts.
Children Gain a Personalized Education
TCIS has always been a relatively small educational community. Students who attend TCIS have access to similar opportunities as other schools, but they have the potential to experience them in much greater ways than may be done at other schools.
- Students at TCIS see smaller class sizes (average of 12) and a lower student-to-teacher ratio (7:1). This makes for much more personalized attention in the classroom setting and in after-school settings.
- The TCIS activities program is robust. In a small school format, the opportunities available are open to a greater percentage of students. This lowers the competition for involvement and allows more students to try new things – to be involved in a greater variety of activities.
- One of the greatest things that families appreciate about TCIS, is that it is a very close, kind, and safe community. Much of advanced education involves students taking risks and reaching farther than they have previously. TCIS is a smaller, supportive community that makes risk-taking a safer task, offering encouragement and support for all.
Children Gain Access to a Legacy of Boarding Care
TCIS has always been a school for foreign and globally-minded families. In 1900 Pyongyang Foreign School began to educate the children of families doing Christian ministry work in the Asia-Pacific region. When it shut down due to military mobilization in Korea, there was a gap that was felt by families all around the world. When TCIS reopened in Daejeon in 1958 , it was done in cooperation with multiple organizations and denominations who wanted a boarding school experience that was safe, supported quality learning, and was focused on a unified experience for a cultural mixture of families.
TCIS carries that legacy today. Since 1959, we have offered the option for on-campus boarding care with three primary focuses:
- Responsible Care & Supervision
Residence Life faculty are student-focused professionals who are resources for care at a ratio of 8:1 (students-to-staff.) All dormitories are purpose-built, not only for comfort but also for safety and the quality of access to supervisory relationships.
- A Format That Supports Academics
The student schedule and after-school format in the boarding care program are arranged to help students make the most of the academic, activity, and social opportunities available. Open communication and academic checks help boarding faculty to know how best to support students. While academics are a primary focus, careful attention is also given to the idea of balance as key to a productive and enjoyable life.
- Family-like Atmosphere
Beyond safety and academic support, the TCIS Boarding Care Program is structured to support healthy connections and relationships. We gently pursue a family-like atmosphere within the dorms.
Children Gain Opportunities for Spiritual Growth
With a strong core focus on STEM/STEAM education, we believe in the sciences as a fundamental area of study for students. We also believe in a holistic education that prepares children with the abilities to adapt, create, balance, communicate, understand, and empathize. These are essential leadership traits that serve motivated professionals, but they are also key to living a personally-satisfying life – and that is so important.
We feel that a holistic educational approach also makes efforts to consider areas of spirituality, and our approach to this is through a Christian Worldview. Though we focus on the idea of 'faith' rather than 'religion', the discussion begins with the Christian faith. It is a point of personal importance for the school faculty and leadership, as well as many of our families, but it is also a common point around which to have such discussions as a community.
Some points to note about our approach to education through a Christian Worldview:
- We approach community through Biblical principles of love, joy, peace, respect, empathy, and reconciliation. This becomes apparent in social areas, as well as in areas of pastoral care and discipline. We also place much emphasis on the area of service in our community.
- Students do not need to profess a Christian faith in order to attend TCIS. It is a part of our community, but there are many levels at which students can and should engage. We do not proselytize or pressure children into personal-faith decisions.
- TCIS is a non-denominational organization. We have historical ties with the Presbyterian mission in Korea but also with the Methodist and Baptist missions. Our faculty come from many denomination backgrounds, and we find unity in common Biblical principles.
- We do not teach dogma at TCIS – stressing specific liturgies, rules, traditions, etc. Our discussion is about personal faith and discussions around that.
- We find that one of the greatest common grounds in our community, as faith-based or social belief, is in service learning – and we engage in this together regularly.
- Academic favor is NEVER given or withheld based on personally-held faith or religion.