International Education at Pinewood


International education today is about ‘transfer of knowledge’. In other words, as David Perkins of the Harvard Graduate School of Education asks, “What’s worth learning?” When a student is exposed to a physics concept, a historical event or a world language, s/he must be able to transfer this knowledge to his/her individual world. If it is not useful beyond the school walls, then its value fades.

As the only international school in Thessaloniki, Pinewood endeavors to promote Greece as a center of this type of 21st century international education. Such an educational setting is one where we teach children from many different parts of the world how to reconstruct information so that they become the creators and producers of knowledge. By doing so, we make learning valuable. And, we believe at Pinewood that international education of value has three fundamental components.


International education must be a transformative learning experience for students.  We believe that education is a process of cultivating students’ own constructed knowledge so that it may lead them to participate actively and sustainably in the world around them.  Thus, when we say transformative, we advocate learning as a process of critical and creative thinking, meaningful interactions and confident actions. This prepares our students to engage in dialogue, question assumptions, open themselves to alternatives, use other languages, move beyond boundaries and ultimately, become self-assured and poised in a global environment.


Transformative learning is successful only when students are given opportunities to be different. In an international setting, the precious diversity of learning styles is impossible to ignore; indeed, it is a prized benefit. Our experience instructs us that the most enlightening, but not necessarily the easiest, educational approaches are those that continually play with, modify and fine-tune the notion that we all possess differentiated strengths that must be emphasized. This means being deliberate about how learners learn. As an educator, we know that constantly renewing our own understandings in this area is paramount to our position that all students can be successful.


Learning that is transformative in purpose and enlightening in form requires a commitment to inclusiveness. Inclusiveness in this context is about creating an educational environment that respects differences, incorporates student voices into the educational process and teaching methods that allow all students to access education according to their individual differences, particular styles and needs. Equally, we believe that it is important to pave students’ journeys with lessons in compassion, responsibility, diplomacy, humility and empathy.  Indeed, these qualities, like a well-written novel, help students see beyond boundaries in order to create new visions and learn to engage in the world. And, they teach them to be decent human beings. There is no better place to cultivate this inclusiveness than in an international school like Pinewood.