Over the years, Canadian International School has seen a steady rise in admissions, especially for Middle School. So much so that the school was seeing a challenge in accepting eligible students who were eagerly wanting to experience a truly international education. After much planning, CIS took the bold decision to increase the number of sections in Middle School which would allow the school to meet the increasing admission demands.
Apart from providing a nurturing, caring environment for students and empowering them with the knowledge and skills to successfully become global citizens, one of the key offerings of CIS Middle School is the Contextual Learning (CL) Program.

What educators at CIS have understood early on is that one of the biggest challenges for students revolve around making the connect between what they learn in the classroom and how they use that knowledge in real-life situations. As educators, we must provide students with adequate situations that will enable them to incorporate the knowledge acquired and at CIS we are able to do this through the Contextual Learning Program.
Contextual Learning is a hands-on learning experience that takes place away from the classroom. It provides a live education opportunity that furthers our core values of joy, integrity, inspiration, respect and caring. Students explore global and local issues as they search for solutions, meet new people, discover new places, and discuss ideas they would otherwise not be exposed to.

Take a look at what students accomplish through the Contextual Learning Program

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Universities and organizations laud students with an international exposure and especially students who are able to quickly apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-life, global situations.

Here’s the role of Contextual Learning in Today’s World: from the perspective of a student and a professional.



  • "Learning occurs not by recording information but by interpreting it.”- Lauren Resnick (1989)

    One of the most significant roles that an educator must play is understanding how a student can get more meaning from education. As the world becomes borderless, today, teachers and school leaders are important agents when it comes to preparing future generations for meeting the challenges of an ever-changing world. This means that educators themselves must continue to learn and develop, placing responsibility on schools to create an environment that empowers the students as well as faculty to be life-long learners.

    As educators, we want our students to be successful and there are many ways in which a teacher can add relevance to the subject matter being taught in a classroom. Contextual Learning is learning that occurs by associating classroom theory with real-world application. What this sort of learning aims to do, is enable students to discover meaningful relationships between what is being taught in the classrooms and how it can be practically applied in various real-life contexts. Here, concepts become internalized through the process of discovery, strengthening and forming of connections, giving students the knowledge, confidence and experience to take on real-world challenges making them desirable candidates for universities and companies, the world over.

    CIS Contextual Learning Program’s success lies in the reflection and presentation components of the program. Students are required to keep a journal and contribute to maintaining a blog throughout the year. Reflection allows them to take ownership of their learning, set goals for themselves and become aware of their learning journey and growth. It also teaches students to better judge their efforts, work and progress. Studies show that a 90% learning rate is achieved when students teach others, making Contextual Learning Days at CIS imperative as it gives students a platform to communicate and explain their learnings to peers, parents, teachers and other stakeholders.
  • “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”- John Dewey.

    - Learning starts when the eye of the mind awakens. This is where Contextual Learning comes in, taking us out of our comfort zone and challenging our potential.

    The key point of CL is about polishing us into a better global citizen by sharpening our social and life skills. For instance our recent trip to the animal shelter made me overcome my fear of dogs. Thanks to it, I'm now an animal lover. Similarly, I have gained some survival skills, through CL. In grade 6 we went hiking on Nandi Hills, a memory which still gives me jitters. It's not every day that you have a close brush with death, and still make it out alive. It being a rainy day, we were battling thorny bushes, slippery rocks, and snakes, not to forget the slush. I tripped and almost rolled down half the hill. Those moments filled with anxiety. I was looking for something to clutch on to; I finally found my saviour in a giant rock. However, my favorite CL Day is the most recent one, where we had visually impaired dancers come visit our school. We emphatized with them, and took a glimpse into their world, learning how it is to function without the eyes. Not an easy task, I dare say. At the end of it , all of us learnt not to judge people by their disabilities. It just means that they are differently abled, and blessed with skills that we lack.

    For many of my friends, who are foreigners, CL has been a great exposure to the different colours, sights and sounds of India. Another memorable adventure was trying out the Rope Course, which wasn't just a challenge for me, but for everyone. We went 50ft high in the air! We had to walk on creaking logs, wooden bridges and ropes, without any railings to support us! After going through all these experiences, I can confidently say that fear lies in the mind. And the fears we don't face, become our limitations.

    Actual learning happens outside the four walls of a classroom. It broadens the mind, awakens our potential, and enhances our skills. At the end of the day, it's not about what we learn in the classroom, but real life interactions that determine how successful we are in life.

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