VP Student Services Profile

I am a New Zealander who has been in the education sector since the early 1970s. I joined DMES as VP for Student Services at the beginning of the 2017 academic year. Prior to this, I have had many leadership positions in the following countries: Kazakhstan, UAE (both Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Qatar, Jordan, Malta, Australia and New Zealand. I have also worked in Libya and Syria.

 I am an educator who reflects on a range of teaching and learning philosophies. I draw significantly on rigorous constructivism underpinned by foundational learning: learning that is utterly essential for all. Importantly, the process component of the curriculum is as essential as the teaching and learning of the content. In fact, processes form a significant part of the content. The curriculum must focus on: thinking, researching, problem posing and problem solving, brainstorming, learning to learn and transference of knowledge to new situations. Knowledge, skills, understandings and competencies must underpin our teaching and learning.

I am a leader who enables staff to realise their full potential. Effective leaders help senior management and teachers realise both their own potential and the potential of others; personnel are able to function at higher intellectual levels. I firmly believe that teachers who function at higher cognitive levels produce higher achievement in students. A leader nurtures and develops the talents of staff. Of critical importance is the development of leadership skills in staff. Empowering staff to lead inspires delegation which is liberating. Empowered teachers empower students. I have expertise in developing teachers of English, Mathematics and Science.

My responsibilities here at DMES mainly lie in students’ commitment to learning. Our aim is to have all our students actively committed to learning both at home and school. Part of this role is to assist in the management of students who need support in both academics and how they commit to their learning.

I look forward to working with the whole School community in assisting DMES to develop its education initiatives in the best possible ways.


Michael Chittenden