Green School Student Admitted to the Ivy League

Green School - April 30, 2017

We have our first Green School graduate heading to the Ivy League. Huge news and huge congratulations to Maxwell Hidajat for his achievement. Green School is more than competing at an international level academically in addition to everything else these amazing students are achieving holistically.

A message from Maxwell Hidajat :

“I will be joining Cornell’s community this August as a member of the Class of 2021 and as a student at Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences. Although I plan to study computer science there, I’m open to the possibility that I will find something else I’m passionate about and decide to pursue that instead. After all, Cornell is known for offering its students a rich and diverse array of academic pathways and extracurricular opportunities. Although I’m sad to be leaving Green School, I am extremely excited to make new friends, gain new experiences, and learn new things at Cornell and beyond.

To my friends, my teachers, the kitchen staff, the gardeners, the security guards, the parents, and everyone else at Green School: thank you for making the six years I spent here truly unforgettable.”

We asked Ibu Leslie, Principal of Green School, for few words about her students:

How do you know how your students are doing? That is the billion rupiah question in education around the world and one I get asked all of the time. The answer is not as simple as comparing test scores, especially if you are Green School and don’t believe in testing for assessment. But how does this sound: all Green School graduates, four years on, who have desired to go to University (this pathway gets as much love and attention as the non-University bound pathways!) have gotten into their first choice including our most recent admission notice that was to an Ivy League University in the United States with a less than 7% acceptance rate.

We characterise ourselves as a progressive school. Progressive in education means dynamic, connected to the real-world, collaborative, and open-minded. Progressive in our world means evidence-based teaching approaches on developing the whole child, the application of contemporary theory on education including hands-on and collaborative projects, using the power of a highly engaged community to open children’s eyes to the wide world and a campus which ignites the senses. This is the direction leaders in the education world are saying school’s need to take. This is the direction many leading schools are adopting and others are still talking about adopting. This is the Green School Way.

But the term progressive still suffers from a perception that it is the opposite of “academic” in the educational context. And when we are asked, how do you know how your students are doing, it is generally referring to academics: are they performing like their peers in other countries, are they able to transition easily back into a more traditional school? These questions, which are assumed to be only answered simply through examinations results, are complex to answer.

Leslie Medema

However, as we collect data through surveys, focus groups, and experience, we have have absolutely consistent themes that arise. We know that when children move from one school system to another, we are not comparing ‘apples with apples’. Differing educational approaches and curriculum mean that there is often some variation in the sequence and emphasis on different core subject content. So what do we actually know about children who have transitioned from Green School? Our experience with children transitioning to other schools tells us that academically, the majority of children are at level or above. They may or may not have covered the exact same content as their new peers. Different concepts may have been introduced at different stages (children in the Netherlands learn to read at age 6, versus children in the US who learn at 5, or Finland at 7). They have learned through a different approach (eg: slightly differing math terminology in various countries or the set sequence of math concepts in Khan Academy versus through a more hands-on/applied approach at Green School).

Our experience tells us that regardless of exactly where a child sits academically compared to their peers in other schools, when you have this mix of outstanding strengths, children adjust quickly and thrive.

By Leslie Medema, Head of Learning (Principal), Green School Bali

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