Extended Essay May 2017: the final countdown

This time of year is stressful for history teachers: we tend to have a lot EEs, we are trying to mark and enter our IA grades and we have to determine predicted grades.  We are also still teaching our classes, trying to finish the syllabus and also help students revise for the IB exams.  Just when we think everything is going well, a student raises her hand and asks, "What exactly is paper 1?" Well, at least the EE is drawing ...

The Internal Assessment

The Internal Assessment (IA) is usually referred to by students, as ‘coursework’. You should have finished this by now, at if not, be very close to the end. It is important to complete this work as well as you can for two big reasons: The work is worth 20% of the course – so it can lower the highest grade you can achieve by up to 2 grades if you are unlucky – this is a real penalty. The other ...

Another approach to Literature and Film

For Part 4, many of us think of linking longer works such as novels to feature films.  However, another imaginative and productive approach might be this one, suggested by a workshop participant: poetry and short videos. YouTube, in particular, provides many options for creating this kind of linkage.  For example, you might want to create an anthology of poems about animals as one of your works. Blake's 'The Tyger' always seems a success with students with its mysterious tone and hypnotic ...

Plato’s rejection of Athenian politics

In his alleged Seventh Letter, Plato recounts his three visits to Sicily at the court of Dionysius, the tyrannical ruler of Syracuse and his vain efforts to change his political views. However, before embarking on his first sea-journey, Plato casts his mind back to the period of the Thirty Tyrants and notes that: ‘When I considered all this, the more closely I studied the politicians and the laws and customs of the day, and the older I grew, the more difficult ...

Family planning in South Korea

For Koreans wishing to have a child in 2017, there is good news. Starting in July 2017, those receiving infertility treatment will be guaranteed three days of unpaid leave per year. At the same time, paternity leave will increase from KRW 1.5 million (c. £1000) to KRW 2 million (c. £1250) fir fathers staying at home to care for their second children. Thirdly, the government plamns to have infertility treatment covered by health insurance  from September 2017, and finally, from ...

Man Made Minerals

This blog post was inspired by a recent BBC article I read on minerals. The full article can be found here if you would like to read more (after you have read this blog post, of course!): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39133897 It has recently been announced that over 200 ‘new’ minerals (4% of the total known minerals) have been discovered – these minerals own their existence to us. As strange as it sounds, human behaviour has led to the formation of these substances. To me, ...

Using objects as a starting point

For the student blog this month I focused on how the use of the towel in 'Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures' had inspired me. To get your imagination flowing, watch the short section below that is also on the student blog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AetGr81mIJs&list=RDAetGr81mIJs#t=45 For teachers I thought that it would be good to compile a few activities, related to theorists, that use objects as a starting point for work. Some will be old, some new, but I hope that you will find them all ...

The February 1917 Revolution

The February revolution took place from 23 February to 3 March according to the Julian calendar, or 8-16 March according to the Gregorian, or current calendar, in Russia.  Either way, the centennial of this revolution is upon us. This was a spontaneous rising that marked a convergence of factors. Since the revolution took place there have been numerous theories as to what was the most important cause but most can agree on a list of causes: War weariness Poor conditions on ...

History Paper 1: The Move to Global War Study Guide is Available Now!

History Paper 1: The Move to Global War has been added to OSC's IB Study Guide Series and is available to order now! The guide is written by experienced IB History teacher and OSC Subject Advisor, Joe Gauci. Find out more below.     The Move to Global War This revision guide provides a clear description of the course content for the IBDP History syllabus Paper 1, covering all the required topics within the prescribed subject: the Move to Global War. To help you get ...

Child Exploitation in Mining Cobalt

More than half of the world's supply of cobalt is mined from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Cobalt is a key element in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries required for mobile consumer products such as cellphones, laptops and other mobile devices. This shocking report from Sky News shows the exploitation of child labors as young as 4 years old in the cobalt mines in the DRC. It has been estimated by UNICEF in 2014 that as many as 40,000 child laborers ...