Borderless Learning

Why the Borderless Philosophy?

Universities often publish articles on interdisciplinarity as the way forward to solve big problems: we need to cross borders between subjects/disciplines and collaborate to find answers to our 21st century problems.
The problem of transfer: “Most students have difficulty transferring what they learn within the disciplinary boundaries and classroom contexts of school to other disciplines and contexts. If the purpose of school is to teach students material that they can use later, one would want them to apply what they have learned across school subjects and, ultimately, in their everyday lives”.
New definitions on intelligence: “If schools want to give students a broad education, preparing them for life, Sternberg’s perspective on intelligence as developing the expertise needed to perform well in different environments has important implications for practice. The global information age requires students to navigate lots of environments using a combination of analytical, creative and practical abilities”. (Developing the Cambridge learner attributes).

Like universities, schools should align themselves with what is happening in the workplace: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is blurring borders between the physical, digital, and biological worlds”.
Globalization, the definition goes, “implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers.”
We even talk of Global Citizenship today: “Global citizenship is the idea that one's identity transcends geography or political borders and that responsibilities or rights are derived from membership in a broader class: "humanity". This does not mean that such a person denounces or waives their nationality or other, more local identities, but that such identities are given "second place" to their membership in a global community”.

What Will The Outcome Be For Our Students?

Deep Learning: “Refers to the cognitive skills and academic knowledge that students need to succeed in the 21st century. These skills include critical thinking, problem solving, communication, collaboration and learning to learn. The mastery of these skills enables students to think flexibly and creatively, transferring and applying their learning from one context to new situations”.
To become comfortable with collaboration technology like MS Teams which will most probably be used at university and the leaner’s place of work one day.

Resume Building:

  •  To leave the High School environment with real world collaboration experience. 
  •  A very competitive university application that will greatly enhance your chances to get into ivy league universities and qualify for scholarships. 
  •  Maybe even applying for a middle job.

Curriculum Mapping:
Teachers plan and teach subjects collaboratively. This promotes deeper learning.

Tertiary Partnerships and Courses:
Alma Mater offers courses from private universities to promote additional skills. School–university partnerships offer inter-collaborative opportunities to further leadership and research skills in our students.

University Internships:
For example, students spend three weeks at the Shibaura Institute of Technology in Tokyo working on a research project under the guidance of one of their professors. In 2020 internships from Yale and the University of British Columbia were added but Covid-19 prevented attendance. 

Promoting an International Mindedness:
At Alma Mater we focus on establishing a learning environment of cultural and linguistic diversity in support of the development of an international perspective. Alma Mater’s pedagogy is an action-oriented approach through fun resume building programmes.

Using Technology that is used across all borders and countries, for example MS Teams.

The International Project Qualification is a research project completed by every student in the field of their choice and submitted to Cambridge to achieve an additional qualification to their traditional A Levels. In completing their IPQ we encourage our learners to collaborate with top universities all over the world.

International Teaching:
We aim to employ international teaching staff, who have received their master’s degree or Ph.D. We expect our staff to not only have real world experience in their field of expertise but promote a gateway to develop a student in their subject.

What is the IPQ?

These students will also complete the Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ) which is an exciting new project-based qualification. Students have the opportunity to develop skills by carrying out research into a topic of their choice. Taking Cambridge IPQ allows learners to demonstrate engagement with their chosen topic beyond preparation for an exam, helping them to stand out from the crowd with university and job applications.

Who is Cambridge IPQ for?

Cambridge IPQ is typically for learners aged 16 to 19 years.
It is ideal for students who want to extend learning beyond their Cambridge International AS & A Levels and are looking for an opportunity to stand out from the crowd when applying to universities and employers. Studying for the Cambridge IPQ allows learners to demonstrate engagement with their chosen topic beyond preparation for an exam. Academic evidence suggests that this sort of deeper engagement will help develop their ability to be life-long learners.

What will students learn?

This is a skills-based qualification. Learners develop higher-order thinking skills that universities and employers look for, including analysis, evaluation and synthesis. It also builds their research, reflection and communication skills.

What will students do?

Learners complete a 5000 word research project on a topic of their own choice. They can choose a subject to complement one of their Cambridge International AS or A Levels, or a topic that they are passionate about. They devise and develop a research question, conduct research to answer this question, record their progress in a research log and write a research report.

In consultation with their teacher who will support them, students will:

    • Identify a suitable research topic. 
    • Devise, justify and develop an appropriate research question. 
    • Plan and carry out the research, including undertaking a literature review. 
    • Identify, justify and use appropriate research methods. 
    • Write a 5000 word report. 
    • Use appropriate academic conventions for presentation of the report. 
    • Keep track of their progress using a research log.

How is Cambridge IPQ assessed?

Cambridge IPQ is a single component that is externally assessed (all projects are marked by Cambridge examiners). Students will be eligible for grades A* to E. Although it is a standalone qualification, it will be graded by Cambridge at the same standard as a Cambridge International A Level.

What skills will students need?

The Cambridge IPQ builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills typically gained by candidates taking Cambridge IGCSEs or O Levels. We recommend that learners who are beginning this course have attained communication and literacy skills at a level equivalent to Cambridge IGCSE/ GCSE Grade C in English.

View some of our recent projects: