Moving from an Indian to an International curriculum – The Insider’s advice
Curriculum boards can often be extreme opposites. While it can be argued that there are similarities, for example, the addition of 2 plus 2 is 4 in every board of education, the way of learning has stark differences. In the 7th grade, I made the big move from a school which follows the SSC curriculum to an international school that offered the IGCSE curriculum by CIE. To say that the change was gigantic was an understatement. My entire way of learning, thinking and studying were broken down and moulded to fit the board.
After studying in both systems, I have realised the stark difference doesn’t lie in what we learn but how we learn it. In traditional Indian schools, it is expected that students follow the teacher’s directions blindly. Posing questions, doubting becomes an offensive tactic that often remarks you as unruly and mischievous. In the international system, inquiry is a quintessential aspect. It necessary to question knowledge itself to understand it. If you were simply told that apples fall downwards because of gravity, ask what other aspects could influence this? Was it only Newton that noticed this? Asking doesn’t make you bad student but a better one.
Don’t be shy. Your prior knowledge and understanding aren’t useless because you changed systems but could instead help you learn better. Moving from the Indian system can be hard, additionally, you change schools and find yourself in an unfamiliar environment. Don’t let this overwhelm you. Be bold and ask questions, participate in events; debates, decathlons, MUNs as these are all an integral part of the international curriculum.
In my opinion, the biggest change would be the difference in the student’s studying patterns. The international system thoroughly values the concept of application of knowledge. We learn concepts not to know them but use them. It is important that you learn to not read and memorize the concepts but really understand them to manipulate their use in the future.
Lastly, the journey of moving from an Indian curriculum to an international one may be difficult and even impossible at times, but, learn to enjoy it as it could very much be the best decision you make!