Cultural competency

As part of our Middle States Association (MSA) accreditation in 2016, ASL determined one of our two student-learning goals to be: By 2023, students will become more culturally competent. Prior to the setting of the goal, and after extensive research in consultation with experts, we adopted a definition and model of cultural competency based on Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS). The School developed common language around cultural competency using this model, and we decided to use the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) to assess our progress on meeting this student-learning goal. The IDI is a cross-culturally valid and reliable assessment of intercultural competence, which is grounded in the DMIS.

Developing cultural competency is at the heart of an effective learning experience and a critical capability for students to acquire in order to flourish in our diverse world. Cultural competence is defined as an ongoing process by which individuals and institutions respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures in a manner that recognizes, affirms and values their multiple identities. Cultural competency is the ability to be your whole self with people who are not like you. As a community, we hold a growth mindset at the center of our beliefs and thus, we are all in the process of moving forward in the cultural competency continuum.

ASL's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

The American School in London (ASL) is committed to building and sustaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive school community. Our strength is in our diversity. We are committed to providing equitable access to all facets of school life. ASL is dedicated to fostering an inclusive school environment in which members can thrive and be themselves in a fully authentic manner.

ASL upholds the right to an educational experience in which diverse identities, experiences and ideas are recognized and human dignity is affirmed. Diversity develops better collaborators, braver explorers, stronger communicators, greater innovators and deeper thinkers. From the time children enter the School, they learn to celebrate their differences and similarities, confront stereotypes and biases, and develop an understanding of historical and contemporary struggles and victories in the face of injustice. Through this education, students are empowered to advocate for a more just world and acquire the skills to be courageous global citizens.

Creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive school community is an ever-evolving journey. We challenge ourselves to do this work on a personal and institutional level, with empathy and mutual respect. Building and sustaining a diverse, equitable and inclusive school community is the responsibility of all. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion holds the promise of a better future for all our children.

Approved Board of Trustees April 22, 2020

Social Justice Standards

ASL adopted Teaching Tolerance's Social Justice Standards in 2017. They guide the embedding of cultural competency in the curriculum.

Critical Practices

Teaching Tolerance's Critical Practices inform culturally responsive teaching and are aligned with ASL's Learning Principles.