Message from the CEO

  From Kim Polgreen, CEO It is now OSC’s 27th year, and looking at it today, I am so proud of what my mother and brother created in 1990, and of what the OSC “family” of IB teachers and supporters have achieved.  Together we have helped tens of thousands of IB students with their studies, and OSC has become a wonderful global community of IB teachers and friends, ably coordinated by our fabulous, happy and hardworking Oxford team. The key to success ...

New IB History Study Guides Available!

History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Germany 1918-1945 and History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Russia 1917-1953 have been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and are available to order now! These guides are written by experienced IB History teacher and OSC Subject Advisor, Joe Gauci. Find out more below.     History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Germany 1918-1945 uses emergence and rule of Nazi Germany as a discrete example. History Paper 2: Authoritarian States: Russia 1917-1953 focuses on Soviet Russia under Lenin and Stalin.       These ...

Does Knowledge Have a Sell by Date?

Naomi Klein’s controversial book and subsequent film adaptation, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (2014 and 2015 respectively), was meant to give a new take on the issue of the relationship between the current dominant economic model and the price our planet has to pay for its success. To many of its critics the book/film only rehash well-trodden arguments and offer unrealistic or downright silly solutions, their damning verdict is that in fact the book and film do not ...

April Sale – OSC Study Guides

As a bonus for students looking to boost their revision this Easter holiday, we are currently offering a 10% discount on orders of 3 or more OSC IB Study Guides. Simply select your subject titles, add them to the basket and the discount will be applied automatically*. OSC's IB Study & Revision Guide Series is the largest IB-specific publication range and is used by IB students and schools worldwide to supplement textbooks and teaching notes.   *Offer not valid with other discounts. Offer ...

“DOES DIGITAL ART MATTER?”

“DOES DIGITAL ART MATTER?” The question was posed by a teacher in a recent IBDP Visual Arts Workshop.   The “Lens based, electronic and screen-based forms” column in the Visual Arts Guide “Art-making Forms table” has provoked some heated discussion among art teachers, some of it from extreme ends of the spectrum – e.g. those who have serious doubt about the value of spending even more of your life just tapping at a keyboard and staring at a screen as opposed to ...

Was Plato a precursor of Freud?

Despite the twenty-four centuries separating the two men, both Plato and Freud shared the same pessimism regarding human nature: man is driven by his desires or what Freud called ‘drives’ or instincts. The latter was a scientist who firmly believed in the power of rational enquiry. As a father who lost one of his sons in the First World War and who had to leave Austria for England in his old age in order to avoid the systematic anti-Semitic repression ...

WRITING FOR THE EXHIBITION

Hi students, if you are in a Northern Hemisphere school and in your final year as a DP visual arts student, the end is nigh. DP Arts deadlines are earlier than the deadlines for other DP subjects, and your teacher will probably ask for various files even before the ‘official’ deadlines so that he/she can check that all is OK. It’s probably a little stressful for you, but I know quite a few teachers who find this time of the year very ...

On the proper use of Cyberspace

In his book ‘Free Speech’, Timothy Garton Ash proposes the following principle related to knowledge: ‘We allow no taboos against and seize every chance for the spread of knowledge.’ In his attempt to delineate the contours of his liberal ‘open society, the former journalist turned academic acknowledges the central place played by knowledge in every aspect of human life and endeavour. Yet, in an age driven by computer technology, it is essential to be aware of the differences existing between ...

Puzzle time again

Last year I posed three mathematical puzzles in a blog. This time there's just one, but don't just read it and then look at the answer - it's a really good puzzle to spend some time trying to solve; most people give up, and yet when you see the solution, it's surprisingly straightforward. And please note: there are no catches, no tricks, no sneaky wordplay; the puzzle is exactly as I present it. Four people are being chased by a dragon. ...

Of Personal and Shared Knowledge

One of the central distinctions about the nature of Knowledge in TOK is that between Personal and Shared Knowledge. Personal Knowledge is meant to refer to knowledge which has been acquired by the individual based on their own experiences, efforts and conclusions. Shared Knowledge is knowledge which is held communally, by groups which will vary in size depending on the type of knowledge being explored. For a start, I am not at all convinced that it is genuinely possible to ...