Transform Yourself & Others in Service

What better way to partner up in a service activity than to share your skills and expertise in a fun and enjoyable activity, not only to help a partner in a real life challenge but also to learn much about yourself? This report from a recent edition of Tennis magazine highlights the transformative power of experiential learning in a service project. Three years ago, Ellie Carmody was looking for an enjoyable way to fulfill her school’s required service hours. As an avid tennis ...

Doing good is good for you: Ethics and the Human Sciences, TOK and CAS

(re-post from December 16, 2013 blog. It's so appropriate for this time of year!) Is there really anything newsworthy about the value of doing good to others?  So much has been said over so many centuries that surely current psychological research cannot add tremendously to our understanding!  And surely doing good falls within the scope of ethics -- and not within the scope of the human sciences!  Yet, quite the contrary: recent studies in the human sciences do contribute knowledge -- and knowledge that is particularly welcome at a ...

Hong Kong student activism – is it CAS?

By Tuesday, September 30, 2014 , 0

Last Saturday evening, after facilitating Day 2 of a DP-CAS workshop in Victoria Shanghai Academy, I was in a hotel courtesy bus on the way to dine with an ex-student who now resides in Hong Kong. He's a pilot for Cathay Pacific and we had arranged to meet at Hong Kong Station. As the bus neared my destination I looked out the window and I could see large numbers of young people gathering around Central - Hong Kong's CBD. Those numbers swelled ...

“We need to harness youthful idealism”

I still remember the context of this ‘resource’. As I entered the room for our weekly HS Leadership meeting at JIS my colleague Bill (Head of HS Science) handed me this opinion essay by Peter Dalglish from The International Herald Tribune. “Here Steve, you should read this,” he said with a smile. Of course I immediately did so and I paid little attention to the meeting that we were attending. Thanks to Bill I have been using this ‘resource’ in my CAS workshops ever ...

empathy and youth

Two weeks ago, March 11 marked the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit the Tohoku region in 2011. This date and this event resonates for me. Over 40 years of teaching English I have had the privilege to teach many Japanese students. Last August I had facilitated a CAS workshop in Japan. It was my first, long anticipated trip to this country. That trip and CAS workshop had me much more aware of the role that young people now ...

One second everyday – reflection

Originally a reflection was a remark made after looking back on something or some event. One way to reflect and trigger memory is to use visualization techniques. In the IBO document "Creativity Action Service: Additional Guidance" (2012, page 9) there is a clear statement that "students are free to choose their own way of demonstrating evidence of reflection". This app made by Cesar Kuriyama might help you to visualize and summarize, and in doing so demonstrate evidence of your 'looking back' at 18 ...

The Vacation Question

This week and throughout this month schools resume and students and teachers return after their summer, or winter, mid-year break. While we most often associate vacations with fun and not learning, Matt Davis is an educational blogger for Edutopia and he explores this dual feature in a post about student engagement over a holiday period. A common thread of conversation on the first day back in the schoolyard and in faculty room conversations is ‘the vacation question’, “What did you do in your ...

“The noble heart”

Last night I downloaded my most recent copy of Rolling Stone. It was eagerly anticipated. I knew that this edition had been ‘a sellout’ largely due to a controversial, albeit clever-marketing, decision to put Jahar Tsarnaev on its cover – usually a place of fame. I immediately reflected that just a few months ago, as I was on my way to present a workshop on the island of Batam, I too had been thinking about the ramifications of the actions and the ...

Courage

On Friday July 12 Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes, addressed hundreds of young people at the United Nations, urging them to use education as a weapon against extremism. We should not forget that she just turned 16 on that day and that she's the same age as most Year 1 IB-DP students. How many of us could stand tall and give such an inspiring speech to deserve so long a standing ovation? I invite ...

Peta race for artificial meat.

"People are surprised to learn that PETA is interested in lab-grown meat, but we have overcome our own revulsion at flesh-eating to champion a breakthrough that will mean a far kinder world for animals. One million dollars is a lot of money, but it's a small price to pay for something that has the potential to save about 1 million lives every hour." oDCmLya-lZc Using stem cells, scientists are attempting to produce commercial quantities of “cultured” meat, thus replacing the world’s reliance ...