Pre-IB (1): What on Earth is TOK?

When asked about what makes IB students better ready for university than others, admissions officers tend to highlight two things, the Extended Essay and TOK. TOK, which is short for Theory of Knowledge could be regarded as the heart and the crown of the IB. It forms the foundation of the whole programme and it elevates the DP curriculum to a level of sophistication not achieved by other qualifications. Sure, it is possible to pursue courses in Critical Thinking outside ...

Your PP needs mistakes! (its GOOD to make mistakes)

It’s obvious. It’s probably so obvious that it doesn’t need saying. But I sometimes encounter students who are perfectionists - or at least try to delete/hide all evidence of mistakes in their visual arts journal and/or Process Portfolio. It’s not that they hate making mistakes, its more that they don’t like to leave any evidence behind. I get it – why reveal your “weaknesses” when you are up to your neck in assessment worries? You want to impress the examiner with the consistently high ...

The IB Learner Profile, ATL and Anti-Plagiarism Software

I recently found myself involved in the review of a school's Academic Honesty Policy, which led me to some background reading, which (as often happens) caused me to fall down an internet rabbit hole: First stop: NPR ED "Turnitin And The Debate Over Anti-Plagiarism Software" (August 25, 2014, Heard on All Things Considered) [audio mp3="http://blogs.osc-ib.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/20140825_atc_turnitin_and_the_high-tech_plagiarism_debate.mp3"] Coming as I do from the IB world, this phrase in the post caught my eye: The fact that anti-plagiarism software can't tell the difference between accidental and intentional plagiarism is just one reason ...

Using Public Domain Images

In August I wrote about how to cite  Creative Commons photos.  Today I'd like to investigate how or why to cite Public Domain photos.  The following is not to be taken as legal advice, but as general guidelines for academic work, in a school setting. Rights are country-specific, so there is no "one size fits all" discussion of this topic.  Wikipedia begins the page on Public Domain with this paragraph: "Works in the public domain are those whose exclusive intellectual property rights ...

Reflection in the BM classroom

Learning to think and reflect is crucial in IB classrooms. I recently wrote some resources for an examining board, which had developed a skills based programme. While researching for these materials, I came across the Harvard Project Zero site that looks at thinking and reflection skills and provides some very simple, but effective ways of developing learner profile attributes. The Visible Thinking section and tools are particularly useful for teaching and promoting understanding. You will have to scroll through the ...

RESPONDING TO FEEDBACK ABOUT THE DIGITAL UPLOAD

Two readers have posted responses to blogs (my posts from 2013 and more recently) so I’d like to thank them for taking the time to reply and post here my replies to them. Links to my original blogs: http://blogs.osc-ib.com/2013/04/ib-teacher-blogs/dp_visarts/examining-the-digital-upload/ http://blogs.osc-ib.com/2014/02/ib-student-blogs/visual-arts-digital-upload-get-started/ FIRST COMMENT (responding to April 2013 post) The first comment was posted at the end of April 2014 in response to a post about the digital upload that I made in April 2013 Nigel writes “Digital upload assessment is only advantageous on the grounds of cost, nothing ...

It’s an approach to LIFE!

Are you courageous? Principled? Reflective? Caring? Are you a risk-taker? If you are reading this, you are probably in an IB school.  Maybe it runs all 4 IB programmes  – but if so that’s quite unusual. Either way, the IB has a philosophy which is in itself quite unusual. Many schools offering a curriculum (national or otherwise) just run the different subjects provided and these subjects/subject teachers probably don’t ask that students think about being caring or open-minded etc. The subject teachers may like their students ...

Corporate social responsibility, social enterprise and philanthropy

The IB provides a distinct educational qualification, which rests on a strong philosophy related to the Learner Profile attributes. IB Learners strive to be inquirers knowledgeable thinkers communicators principled open-minded caring risk-takers balanced reflective As IB teachers we need to consider how best to represent these attributes within our subject. The aims of the business and management course at HL and SL are to: promote the importance of exploring business issues from different cultural perspectives encourage a holistic view of the world ...

The IB Learner Profile (10) – Reflective

Reflective. Something that is vital to teaching and something that you just can't help getting away from. My favourite spot for reflection is washing the dishes (as outlined in a previous Learner Profile posting) but how can we incorporate this into our Chemistry lessons ..... .... The obvious example is through the conclusion and evaluation (CE) part of IA (or any lab). We need to think about what went well .... and what did not go so well ..... and most importantly ...

The Learner Profile (9) – Balanced

Balanced. One of my favourites for many reasons. We need to teach our students how to balance equations correctly. No, seriously .... ..... we want the young Chemists of the future to have balanced minds. To be able to see both sides of the argument. To see how a positive can also be a negative (pun not intended here) and how to make a sound decision based on the evidence in front of them. Making decisions on evidence is where the Chemistry starts. ...