A Wider World (Part 1)

Assuming that you're on this site because you're interested in the kind of reading and writing that your literature and language courses may or may not involve, these three (or maybe more) blog entries will be looking outside and inside of conventional 'English class' materials to provide new directions and unpack some older ones. Widening our sense of graphic novels  Take a look at these four graphic narratives. A Game for Swallows Born in the midst of the Lebanese war when the city ...

Forced Marriages in Britain

According to the Guardian newspaper, over 3,500 reports of forced marriage were made to the police during a three-year period. Charities believe that there are thousands more victims living in conditions of modern slavery in homes across the UK. Data from the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation recorded 3,546 reports between 2014 and 2016. However, some experts believe that this is merely the tip of the iceberg. During the same period, a UK helpline run by a different NGO received ...

History Internal Assessment Tips: What you don’t find in the Subject Guide

The most important thing for students to do is to choose a straightforward, answerable question on a suitable topic. The Subject Avoid ‘well worn paths’.  There is little new that you could add to our understanding of Hitler, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s five-year plans or the causes of World War I. Do not waste your time with conspiracy theories.  There are lots of them floating around the internet.  If government inquiries and hundreds of books cannot discover the name of JFK’s assassin, you ...

Biomimicry in Design Technology

Although Biomimicry is not set within the Design Technology IB syllabus...I always utilise it as a wonderful way to add inspiration to a specific project as part of a design brief. It hopefully gives students another element within their toolkit when they are starting the design process and can immeasurably to their design process and creativity. Here are three case studies with videos which really do show the breadth of inspiration that can happen utilising biomimicry: you could utilise these as ...

Martin Buber’s ‘I and Thou’ Relation

In an age where identity is being questioned in the light of the latest technological advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, Martin Buber’s thought is a welcome reminder of how our relation with others remains the deepest and most solid foundation of our morality and humanity. Steeped in Jewish theology and culture, Buber (1878–1965) was one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century as he transcended his own Jewish faith to encompass the Christian tradition and offer the ...

Good Ideas for Interactive Orals (Part 2)

Here's another approach shared by Wendy Boisonnault and Arlene Lee from Sir Winston Churchill in Calgary. If you haven't encountered Andree Chedid's From Sleep Unbound, you might want to consider it for your syllabus.  Here's a brief summary from  Ohio University Press: From Sleep Unbound portrays the life of Samya, an Egyptian woman who is taken at age 15 from her Catholic boarding school and forced into a loveless and humiliating marriage. Eventually sundered from every human attachment, Samya lapses into despair ...

Sustainable Design and Corporate Strategy: Why Does It Go Wrong?

Sustainable Design is at the heart of the Design Technology IB Syllabus both in Standard Level Unit 2 and Higher Level Unit 8, but it is always worth ensuring that students really understand the complexity not only of creating excellent sustainable design but ensuring that it is successful in the marketplace in which it has to thrive if it is to change our habits and support our environment. The best way to study this is to utilise so examples of ...

Return of the Bison to the Netherlands

Some eighty years since they were hunted to extinction in Europe, a small herd of wild European bison have been successfully reintroduced to the coastal dunes of the Dutch coast. It could lead to them being reintroduced elsewhere in Europe. The European bison is the largest land-living animal in Europe. It has been extinct in Europe since 1927, and from the Netherlands for hundreds of years. There were attempts to breed the species in Poland in the 1950s, but the European ...

Philosophy and May ’68 (Part 1)

Fifty years ago a spontaneous youth movement erupted and spread across the world, threatening to undermine the very foundations of prosperous nations, enjoying full employment and growing consumerism. This student revolt echoed, in scope, the short-lived 1848 revolutions in Europe and like them, ended up in frustration and disillusionment for millions of students and workers. The French ‘events’ of May ’68 encapsulated the essence of a profound social and political ‘malaise’ felt from Paris to San Francisco and Tokyo. Philosophy, ...