Robert F. Sylvester
Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Bridgewater State College
Statement of Philosophy
- Ph.D. (July, 2001) International Education - University
of Bath, United Kingdom
- Masters of Arts (August 1975) Elementary
Education and Reading - Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater,
- Bachelor of Science (June 1974) English and Secondary
Education - Salem State College, Salem Massachusetts
PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE
Co-Editor for the Americas, The Journal for Research in
International Education(2001) - a research journal providing a scholarly forum
for a wide range of research in the field of international education.
To be launched in 2002 by Sage Publications in London.
Member of Research Committee, International Baccalaureate Research Unit
(2001-Present) - Geneva, Switzerland, currently engaged in research and
research policy development for the International Baccalaureate
Organization as member of advisory group to the Director of Research for
Completion of Doctoral Studies and Research Dissertation University of
Bath, United Kingdom (2000-2001) - dissertation successfully defended
May, 2001 on the subject; The Mission of International Education in
Africa: Principles of human unity and world-view in school mission
statements and in the literature of the Baha'i Faith.
Principal (Chief Executive Officer) Westwood International School,
Gaborone, Botswana (1990-2000) - responsible for the planning,
development, supervision and professional leadership of an emerging
community-based primary school, that over a period of ten years, evolved
into a K-12 international school accredited to both the New England
Association of Schools and Colleges and to the European Council of
International Schools. The Principal was responsible for the academic
program of over 500 students from over forty countries and for
instructional leadership of over 50 professional staff from over twenty
countries. At the same time, the Principal was held accountable for a
recurrent budget of over $3,000,000. The Principal was in charge of all
world-wide recruitment, hiring, supervision and professional development
activities and led an administrative and executive team of 15
professionals. The Principal served as the Chief Executive Officer of
the School Governing Council and was responsible for all legal,
government and diplomatic relations between the school and its
constituent communities. The Principal was given authority for the
development and supervision of all school building projects totaling
$8,000,000 over a ten-year period. Arrangements for the International
Baccalaureate Diploma were in place in the year 2000.
Assistant Registrar / Deputy to Chief Administrative Officer, United
Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) Lusaka, Zambia (1989-1990) -
responsible for personnel, budget, properties, general services and
capital development activities serving over 65 professional staff, five
hundred adult refugee students and over one hundred local service staff.
Specific job responsibilities included implementation of United Nations
Staff Rules, support of all student services, supervision of all
expenditures and disbursements and during the period of the closing of
the Institute in the year 1990, serving on an executive transition
committee reporting directly to the Director of UNIN.
Lecturer, Department of Education and Teacher Training / UNESCO Expert
- United Nations Institute for Namibia (UNIN) Lusaka, Zambia
(1984-1989) - specialized training of exiled Namibian teachers in reading
instruction and parallel curriculum development and research work
focused on reading instruction in an effort towards establishing a
national English syllabus for a future independent Namibia. Job
responsibilities included participation in supervised teaching practice,
developing instructional materials in school curriculum and basic
literacy training for teacher educators and teacher trainees, and in
developing technical documents that were prepared for the future
national authorities in Namibia. Two technical survey tours of Namibia
were made just before and after independence on behalf of the United
Nations Institute. The duties of lecturer also included teaching
advanced technical English skills to student Magistrates. A Teacher
Resource Center was established in 1986 which enabled trainee teachers
to produce classroom materials for supervised teaching practice. In
1988 responsibility was given for the design of a suite of three science
laboratories for all the departments of the United Nations Institute for
Namibia. The Science complex was built and handed over to the Zambian
government in 1990.
Director of Reading (K-12) International School of Lusaka, Zambia
(1978-1984) - responsible as school-wide administrator and consultant
for developing reading curriculum, monitoring student progress and
enhancing staff professional growth as instructional leader in a school
of over 1400 students from over fifty countries and over seventy
professional staff from over fifteen countries. Duties included
instructional, clinical and inservice aspects, as well as counseling of
parents. A fully-staffed Reading Office and Laboratory was also
responsible for school-wide entrance screening process.
Classroom Teacher, Grade Six, International School of Lusaka, Zambia
(1976-1978) responsible for all subjects in a multicultural and
multinational student environment with additional responsibilities for
Reading Curriculum Development as well as textbook and information
technology purchases. Promoted to Director of Reading after two years.
Married to Donese, who is a fifth-grade teacher in Lexington,
Massachusetts. My son, Ray, is enrolled as a third year student at
Brown University presently. My daughter, Layli, recently graduated from Chapel
Hill-Chauncy Hall School in Waltham, Massachusetts.
ADDENDUM FOR RESUME
Selected Professional Services
Association of International Schools in Africa - Board of Directors
(1994-2000) elected and served on Board of Directors of the only
professional organization serving international schools in Africa.
Served as Treasurer from 1997-2000.
Westwood School Foundation (1995-2000) served as member of Board of
Directors of foundation established under U.S. Code 501.c.3 for the
purpose of further developing the equity and endowment base of Westwood
International School in Botswana.
American Business Council (1995-1999) - appointed to serve the interests
of businesses and professional constituencies in Botswana which, in
part, originated from an American orientation.
Accreditation of Lusaka American International School (1995) - served as
member of accreditation visiting team to Lusaka, Zambia which served
the joint accreditation exercise of the European Council of
International Schools (UK) and the Middle States Association of Schools
and Colleges (US).
Selected Professional Reports and Products
Strategic Planning Projections and Detailed SWOT Analysis, Westwood
International School (April, 2000) - report requested by School
Governing Board for transition planning.
Annual Report of Westwood International School (1991-1999) - prepared
and edited an annual report for presentation to shareholders and parent
members of the holding company of school. Reports covered financial,
academic, development and legal chapters.
Principal's Reports to the Governing Board, Westwood International
School (six reports each year, 1991-2000) - responsible for regular and
comprehensive reports of finance, staffing, school program and capital
A Handbook for Parents - Westwood International School (1992-2000) - an
annual comprehensive resource for all parents produced by the
Principal's office which provided all relevant descriptions of policy
and program at the school.
Accreditation Final Report (June, 1998) - submitted by Westwood
International School to the New England Association of Schools and
Colleges (NEASC) and to the European Council of International Schools
Report to Panel of Inspectors, Ministry of Education, Gaborone, Botswana
(1998) - in partial fulfillment of requirements for official inspection
of Westwood International School by the government authorities in
Information Technology Master Plan, Westwood International School (1997)
- developed a formal report to School Governing Board for long-term
Results of Survey of Technology programs of International Schools in
Africa (1997) - presented to Information Technology Institute for
Administrators of Association of International Schools in Africa in
A Workshop Manual for Use in a Strategic Planning Retreat for School
Governance (September, 1997) - developed with the Chairman of the
Westwood School Council, a training manual for use with the
International School of Tanganyika, Dar es Salaam, in a workshop/retreat
sponsored by the Association of International Schools in Africa.
Report of School to School Partnership, Chicago and Gaborone (1996) -
three year report of activities of exchange program between Westwood
International School and Lyons Township High School, Lyons Township,
Illinois which was presented to the respective Governing Boards of both
schools in the United States and Botswana.
Handbook for Professional Staff, Westwood International School
(1996-2000) - developed a comprehensive orientation and documentation
booklet for all professional staff and professional recruits.
Proposal for the Establishment of a School Foundation under US501.C.3
(1994) - successful application for the establishment of an independent
foundation that served to attract tax-free international support for the
activities of Westwood Intenational School.
Report of School to School Partnership, New Jersey and Gaborone (1993) -
three year Report of Activities of Exchange Program between Westwood
International School and Trenton State College which included the
supervision by the Principal of teacher-trainees from Trenton State
College (now - The College of New Jersey) who were undergoing six weeks
of supervised teacher practice at Westwood International School.
Grant Proposals to Office of Overseas Schools, United States Department
of State (1991-1999) initiated, developed and supervised a series of
State Department grants to Westwood International School over a ten-year
period which included activities in the area of professional
development, school science facility development, expansion of
information technology programs and the support of American History
offerings in the primary and secondary schools.
Proposal for Financing of Capital Development at Westwood International
School (1992) - comprehensive financing proposal submitted to every
financial institution in Botswana and successfully submitted to Botswana
Development Corporation who, in response to the proposal provided over
$2,000,000 in capital support on terms extremely favorable to the
school. The school was the first ever non-profit company in Botswana to
receive funds in this manner.
WESTPAC - The Conditions of Service and Contract Documents for Westwood
School (1991) one of the first documents produced as Principal of
Westwood School was the combined documentation from the conditions of
service package offered by Westwood School Council.
A Teacher Training Manual for Initial Reading Instruction, United
Nations Institute for Namibia ( December, 1988) developed for use with
teacher trainees at the United Nations Institute for Namibia, Department
of Teacher Training and Upgrading. The six chapters included; The
Stages of Reading Development, Basic Strategies Used in Learning to
Read, Basic Strategies Use in Teaching Reading, Phonics Skills, Reading
Aloud to Children, Classroom Observation of ChildrenÕs Reading.
Primary Course for Namibia, Social Studies PupilÕs Text (April, 1986)
engaged teacher trainees and an indigenous artist/illustrator in
developing suitable illustrations for a draft primary school Social
Studies text for use in an independent Namibia. The work was associated
with the classroom program of the teacher trainees in such a way that
the theory of textbook and curriculum design was woven in the classroom
A Handbook for Reading Instruction, K-12 - International School of
Lusaka (1980-1984) Developed a comprehensive reference source book for
all teaching staff, updated annually.
A Re-examination of the Obligations of Pastoral Care in a Secondary
School: Conflict Resolution at an International School, Westwood
International School (April, 1999) - the results of a four-month
interview survey of students and teachers regarding the incidence of
peer intimidation and efforts by teachers towards conflict resolution.
Report of Survey of Secondary Students and Their Use of Technology at
Westwood International School (January, 1999) - a report to teachers,
parents and governance on a survey of secondary school students related
to their use of information technology at home and at school.
The Use of Strategic Planning Principles in the International School
(June, 1998) - a workshop presentation to parents and governance members
interested in examining the dynamics of decision-making at the
A Workshop and Strategic Planning Retreat for School Governance
(September, 1997) International School of Tanganyika, Dar es Salaam,
Tanzania - a workshop/retreat sponsored by the Association of
International Schools in Africa in which teams of school heads and
school board chairpersons assisted as facilitators in a training and
strategic planning weekend exercise.
Study-Skills Instruction as an Instructional Tool for Primary and
Secondary Levels (September, 1997) - a workshop presented to all
professional staff at Westwood International School in an effort towards
re-examining the efficacy of study skills as a central tool of all
subject teaching in an international school.
Developing Mission Statements for Each Subject Area in the School -
K-12, Westwood International School (April, 1996) - an effort to extend
the curriculum structure at each grade level by identifying the
controlling principles of teaching and learning in each subject area.
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child - A Curriculum
Resource (1992) - developed an introduction of the CRC for classroom
teachers following the decision by the school to adopt the United
Nations document as a school wide statement of values.
A Brief Investigation into the Levels of Reading Difficulty and the
Control of Sentence Length in the (draft) Namibia Junior Secondary
History Text (November, 1985) - a professional critique of the first
draft of a history text for Namibian schools which was presented to the
Seminar on Education for Liberation at the United Nations Institute for
Namibia, Lusaka, Zambia.
Selected Conference Presentations
Association of International Schools in Africa (October, 1999) - Annual
Conference, Harare, Zimbabwe - workshop presentation on behalf of Board
of Directors, AISA regarding the review of member school mission
statements and the revised mission statement of AISA.
Special Needs Association of Botswana (May, 1996) - acted as host to
annual conference of the second annual meeting of a newly-formed
national professional support organization.
International Reading Association, Annual Convention (May, 1984) -
presented workshop entitled "Initial Reading Programs in Multilingual,
Selected Articles and Theses
(2001) The Mission of International Education in Africa, Principles of
human unity in school mission statements and in the literature of the
Baha'i Faith (unpublished dissertation), University of Bath, United
(2000) The unintended classroom: changing the angle of vision of
international education, International Schools Journal, vol.19, no.2, pp
(1998) Through the lens of diversity: inclusive and encapsulated school
missions, in International Education: Principles and Practice, Hayden
M C and Thompson J J (Eds), London, Kogan Page, pp 103-118.
(1974) A Critical Survey of Literature Supporting Worldminded Education,
(unpublished dissertation), Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater,
(2001) From the Sands of the Kalahari to the Snow-Filled Streets of
Boston, National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP)
website, International Education,
jhtml, September 2001
(2001) Disintermediation and Research, IB Research Notes, Information
for the IB research community, International Baccalaureate Research
Unit, vol. 1 no. 3,July 2001, pp 13-14.
(2001) The Death of Distance, IB Research Notes: Information for the IB
research community, International Baccalaureate Research Unit, vol. 1
no. 4,October 2001, pp 11-13.
You can download my resume in RTF format, as
well as my resume for Baha'i activities.