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. ...

The Learner Profile (8) – Risk Takers

Risk Takers. This is my least favourite term in the learner profile list. Why? Do we want our Chemists to take risks? The images that this term brings up are of students mixing together random chemicals, explosions, poison gas and so on! Do you want this in our lessons? Of course not, but we do want our students to take risks. But what sort of risks? This term is hard to make specific to Chemistry (I would be interested in your thoughts - please, ...

The Learner Profile (7) – Caring

Caring. Without getting stuck into how us teachers are generally caring I want to focus on how we can be caring CHEMISTRY teacher. In other words, what sort of 'caring' do we do that other teachers don't. I think it boils down to lab work and the environment. We need to show / teach our students that they need to care for each other and themselves when they carry out lab work. We have a responsibility to ensure that the work they ...

The IB Learner Profile (6)

Open minded. I don't think we would be teachers, let alone Chemistry teachers if we were not open minded. We need to be open to the idea (philosophy) of life long learning. We need to be ready to change our teaching methods by talking to others, listening and learning. I don't think you would be an IB teacher if you did not do this. How are we open minded Chemistry teachers though? Fundamentally, we need to be fully aware of the fact ...

The IB Learner Profile (5) – Principled

Principled. I think this goes beyond teaching and starts reaching into how you act or behave for your students - what type of role model you are, if you like .... but I won't go into this, I'll save that for another day. I want to focus on being a principled Chemistry teacher. As well as covering the curriculum, we need to demonstrate to our students that we mean what we say. It is no good teaching students about the importance of looking ...

The IB Learner Profile (4) – Communicators

Communicators. The first thing that springs to mind (for me anyway) is talking - and as teachers, we all the know importance of talking! We need to ensure that our instructions to students are clear, concise and to the point in a very complicated system. But after thinking about communication more deeply, it is also important (arguably more so) in the way we communicate the written word. How clear our writing is on the board? How concise it is? How precise it ...

IB Learner Profile (3) Thinkers

Thinkers. I hope that as a teacher we do a lot of thinking. 'How could I tailor this concept to be assessed for IA?' 'How could I teach the concepts of systematic and random errors so that my students fully understand it?!' 'Why is Kc x [H2O] a constant value?' And so on ..... But what I hope we all do is inspire our students to think the same way, to challenge themselves with what they curently know and to question us about what they are ...

The IB Learner Profile 2 (Knowledgeable)

Knowledgeable - like most statements in the learner profile, this has obvious and not so obvious parts associated with it. Yes, we (teachers) and our students are knowledgeable about the subject material (admittedly, some parts we are more knowledgeable on than others!) but knowledgeable goes deeper than this. Knowledgeable is when we know what labs will work well and what won't work well. We know the pitfalls and mistakes people make and are able to pass this onto our students to stop ...

The IB Learner Profile (1) – Inquirers

Yesterdays posting introduced the IB learner profile and over the next 10 or so postings I will aim to focus of each aspect of the learner profile with respect to Chemistry. It is a useful activity and one that you may wish to carry out with your students. In what ways are Chemists inquirers? Well, a nice easy one to start with. We ask questions about the world both seen and unseen. We have a natural curiosity about the world. Why do ...