A glimpse into the future of the labor market suggests a boom in many industries accompanied by soaring jobs in the respective fields as well. One of the major reasons for this shift is technology. Technology has the power to do many things, and changing the labor world is one of them. The technology we are already exposed to and accustomed to has paved the way for us to innovate further, and this list of future technologies certainly have the potential to change our lives even more. Hence, there is a mandating need to produce a faster, smarter, better grade of human beings.
However, do we have enough skills to be competitive, efficient and proficient for this rapidly changing world? Or, how do we prepare the future generation to strive in their career? The upcoming economic shift is challenging educators to reshape curricula into one where students are nurtured for positions requiring an elusive combination of soft skills, develop problem-solving skills, communicate effectively and work with others along with other technical capacities.
The educators at American School of Barcelona have realized this paradigm shift. The core principle of this school is to nurture its students for the future. However, that is not the sole aim of this school, it fosters children’s imagination, inquiry, critical thinking, creativity, and curiosity to shape a lifelong passion for learning. It also ensures holistic development of the child: physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. While we further dive into the exceptional features of this school, let us also look at how this school prepares its students.
It is the American School of Barcelona’s (ASB) mission to change everything about education. ASB seeks to continuously improve through innovation. Its aim is to be recognized as the leading international school in Europe, empowering students to lead with integrity, to open minds, and to transform the world.
ASB is an international, private, non-profit, coeducational day school serving students from 3-18 years old in the greater Barcelona metropolitan area since 1962. Since 1979, ASB has been operating from the Esplugues de Llobregat site, a pleasant, open-air, purpose-built facility resting on 15,000 square meters of land. The campus includes three buildings, two soccer fields, a library/media center, a maker space, an auditorium/gymnasium, a covered gymnasium, two basketball/volleyball courts, and multiple outdoor play areas. Its arts programs are supported by 2 large visual art rooms, two music rooms, and break-out practice rooms.
Key Differentiators of ASB
- Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO)
- Recognized in Spain as a Centro Extranjero (foreign school) by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Spanish Ministry of Education
- Receives a grant from the US Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools
- Belongs to the Mediterranean Association of International Schools (MAIS) and European Council of International Schools (ECIS) regional associations
- Participates in the European Sports Conference (ESC), a regional sports league made up of schools from around the region
- Member of the Barcelona International School Association (BISA) and has close ties with other international schools in Spain
ABS is renowned for its commitment to holistic education, student-centric education, and extraordinary care. However, its accomplishment is the result of the strategic planning of the expert educators and influencers of the school.
The School Director, Mark Pingitore, and the Director of Teaching and Learning, Johanna Cena, have helped to create a sustained focus on the professional development of our teachers, resulting in high student engagement and a well-coordinated curriculum through the school. Similarly, the Director of Athletics has raised the rigor of the school’s sports programs, increasing participation by 400% and creating competitive sports teams in soccer, volleyball, basketball and American flag football for all students.
At ASB, educating students to meet the needs of the rapidly changing world wherein they develop the ability to solve problems , innovate, and learn independently is of paramount importance. Aiding this purpose of the school is its university preparatory curriculum.
Along with it, the school also follows student-centered teaching methodologies. This tried and tested technique has helped the school to increase student engagement and learning. The school’s focus on project-based learning is teaching its students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers; both of which are important skills for a 21st-century learner.
Preparing students just to be employable is not the goal of this school. It prepares students to sustain in the long run and hence, promotes advisable use of technology, looking at the potential changes technology can bring. The students from 3 to 10 years old use i-pads in classes to create authentic products of their work and the secondary school students are in a one-to-one laptop program where they seamlessly use technology as a tool to learn.
Completing the academic community of ASB is its proficient faculties. The teachers of the school are trained using the Readers-Writers workshop methods designed by Columbia University, along with creating project-based learning experiences for students to work together in small groups. The teachers also make an extra effort to create a safe learning environment wherein students feel confident to take risks and learn by experimenting. The school has created a multicultural and multilingual environment where students feel like they are part of a global community and broadening the experiences that they have with each other.|
ASB has succeeded in creating responsible global citizens and will continue to do so. However, with changes occurring at a sheer pace, and staying abrest of it is very important. Hence, the school continuously evolves and develops new amenities to offer students an exceptional educational experience. It believes that an ideal environment will empower students to learn more.
In the last two years, the school has built several facilities to accommodate its students better. In 2017 the school created an amphitheater, a 5 to 5 soccer field and in 2018, it inaugurated a new state-of-the-art building for Middle School and a new Gym/auditorium with the latest technology and sound system. It also renovated the High School classes completely and in September 2019, it refurbished the cafeteria with new furniture.
“ASB focuses heavily on the importance of community service in the social shaping of an individual, allowing many to begin to understand how they can tackle social problems at a young age. Not only this but ASB drastically changed my perceptions as a former small town American who had never before recognized the complexity of the world or the beauty that can flourish from intercultural friendships,”
-Alyssa Skyte, Alumni – Class of 2016)
“When I first arrived at the American School of Barcelona in 9th grade, I was initially intimidated by the prospect of a brand new school, worrying whether I would fit into the community. However, throughout my experience, the entire school community, from students to faculty, made a conscious effort to make me feel welcomed. Everyone I encountered seemed genuinely interested in me and in ensuring my transition into the community was successful, making me feel valued not only as a learner, but as a person. Beyond the school’s top-notch academics, I believe that some of the school’s greatest strengths are its extracurricular opportunities. The ability to play sports, compete in speech and debate competitions, and attend Model United Nations conferences all around Europe has been one of the highlights of my ASB experience. I will always look back on my experience at ASB, inside and outside the classroom, as has been the most enjoyable time of my life, not only because of the opportunities that were at my disposal but because of the community that I was lucky to call mine,”
-Jacob Anderson ,12th grade student)
“I am currently in eleventh grade and have been part of the American School of Barcelona since P.K.3. As I go back to those times I remember the school very differently. We used to only have one building, which compared to now seemed like a much smaller school. The truth is that ASB has not only grown in students but also in quality of infrastructure, teachers, extracurricular programs and internationality. Since I was a child, school has always felt like a second home. The relationships you build with students and teachers are more personal, enhancing the learning experience positively. We have always been taught in a very applied and hands-on methodology which is something I have learned to appreciate as I compare it with a local course I took this summer. Extracurricular activities are also a very important component for students here. I am the president of the Rotary Interact group in school as well as a student representative for the Student Council, part of the Model United Nations and tennis team. Extracurricular and community service are highly valued, something that I feel very grateful for. For me, ASB has opened the door to an empowering, open-minded and international learning experience that will help me find a way for my future,”
– Pablo Urrutia,11th grade student