June 19

Ep. 24 – International school tiers, the identity of leaders & the art of DJ’ing w/ Dr. Denry Machin


I've been looking forward to doing an episode on this topic for a long time! And, what better way to finish the 2023/24 northern hemisphere academic by taking a leap into this BIG topic with none other than Dr. Denry Machin. This episode is based around the question:

'What is an international school?'

Firstly, what's your answer to that question? Tricky isn't it!

Dr Denry Machin was previously the Head of Upper School at Harrow International School Bangkok, moving from that post into a corporate “new schools’ development” role in 2012. For the last decade he’s been involved in international school development in China, Japan, Myanmar, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and, in the country he now calls ‘home’, Thailand.

Denry left the Harrow fold in 2022 and is now an independent consultant. He has an MBA and a PhD and supports the University of Warwick with their Asia-based teacher training programmes – including the new PGCE iQTS course. He is a governor of an international school in Malaysia and he co-authored the book ‘International Schooling: The Teacher’s Guide’. Dr. Machin is a true expert in the field of international schooling and it was incredible to be able to get him on the show. Plus...as you'll hear in the conversation, he was a professional DJ!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • This potential definition for international schooling: "An ‘international school’ is one which provides a private, fee-paying education, undertaken in schools declaring themselves ‘international’ (whether implicitly or explicitly, in their name or mission), attended by full-time students, who study a curriculum (at least in some substantive part) that is not the national curriculum of the country in which the school is geographically located."
  • The types and tiers of international schooling. We focus specifically on the 'tiers' that are often used in conversation between leaders, teachers, parents and students of international schools.
  • Some of the major movements in the development of international schools in the last 100 years or so.
  • How school leaders often identify themselves somewhere on a spectrum from teacher-head to head-teacher to educational executive. This may have interesting implications for us as music teachers in international schools. 
  • The difference between IPGCE and IQTS qualifications, and how aspiring international school music educators might explore doing their international teaching qualification through Warwick University, which Denry helps to coordinate.
  • Denry's view of music education from the perspective of an international school leader.
  • Denry's background as a professional DJ, including how the art of DJ'ing has shifted over time!

This wide-ranging conversation is mega! Again, I'm so glad we were able to get Dr. Denry Machin on the show. This is top holiday listening material. Challenging, thought-provoking, energising and revolutionary.

>>> This episode is brought to you by Naxos Musicbox: https://www.naxosmusicbox.com <<<

Naxos Musicbox is a new online learning platform from Naxos, the world’s leading classical music brand. I’ve been playing around with Naxos Musicbox for the last little while and I was impressed by a couple of things 1) the simple, easy-to-navigate interface for students and teachers, and 2) the quality of the content. This is an excellent solution for teaching Western music theory and classical music to students from 4 up to 14 and in some cases, beyond into GCSE level. There is also a super nice section dedicated to culturally diverse music with fantastic listening examples. Naxos Musicbox has student quizzes that integrate with Google Classroom. 

For the MTIIS community, Naxos Musicbox has an introductory offer where you’ll get 20% off your license. Simply email musicbox@naxos.com and mention MTIIS for your discount.


Get in touch with Denry:
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/denrymachin/
Medium: denrymachin.medium.com/

Links to other content referenced in this episode:

'International Schooling: The Teacher's Guide', get your copy via: teachabroad.ac 

The article about PGCEi/PGCE iQTS by Denry: bit.ly/3Jmh7ZD
Other PGCEi/PGCE iQTS  resources: bit.ly/PGiQTSGoogle

Warwick's PGCEi and PGCE iQTS Courses: warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/cte/international/
Course eligibility checker: bit.ly/WarSelfAssess

Journal of Research in International Education: here

And, for fun:

The Economist: Now that anyone can be a DJ, is the art form dead?: here

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international schools, Interview, leadership, research