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Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.

by Marie Baird - Tuesday, 28 January 2014, 04:55 AM



1. Consider the learner profile attributes* and for the sake of discussion,
identify the one you think is most important:
a) Upload a photograph or provide a written description of a person, place,
thing, event and/or experience that has helped you develop this trait in
and/or out of the classroom. Explain. (Please keep the file size of your
images below 300kb. Low-resolution images post more easily.)
b) Respond to at least one of your colleagues postings, explaining how
you have cultivated/or will cultivate the learner profile trait s/he has
identified as most important in your own teaching.
*Learner profile attributes
Inquirers
Knowledgeable
Thinkers
Open-minded
Principled
Caring
Risk-takers (Courageous)
Balanced
Reflective
Communicators


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Bronwyn WYNGAARD - Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 12:17 PM




Although it was difficult to rank the learner profile characteristics because
they are all so important, I have gone with inquirer. Im a South African,
and my picture shows something that happened in June, 1976, in the
township of Soweto, a ghetto area on the outskirts of Johannesburg. At
that time, I was a student in a whites only Primary school in
Johannesburg. (All schools back then were segregated along racial lines
and usually along gender lines as well.) In June 1976, black students in
Soweto took to the streets to protest against the use of Afrikaans as a
medium of teaching. The police responded with shocking brutality, and
students, some as young as I was, were beaten, arrested, tortured and in
some cases shot dead. Of course, as a person who had been categorized
as white, I was isolated from all of this and did not see it actually happen;
and censorship was such that I did not get to see much footage or many
pictures of what was going on. However, I did see some. And this was
enough to get me started on INQUIRY. What on earth was happening out
there, beyond the Johannesburg that I knew? Why was it happening?
Why wasnt it happening elsewhere? My inquiries got me into a lot of
trouble over the years, but this is one of the traits I treasure most in myself:
that I was inspired to start asking questions and never stopped, has lead
me not just into trouble but into learning and facing truths that would have
left me much poorer had I never faced them.



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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Wednesday, 29 January 2014, 07:43 PM

Hello Bronwyn - and welcome!
Your story really strikes a cord. In Swaziland I taught in a "non-racial"
school (Waterford Kamhlaba UWC) and many of our scholarship students
were from Soweto. Their stories, their commitment to education as a
means to change their future, and the future of SA, were such a powerful
part of my life there. Thank you for sharing a powerful example of the
importance of Inquiry.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Bronwyn WYNGAARD - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 06:45 AM

Thanks, Marie. I know quite a few people who taught or are currently
teaching at Waterford and it seems to be a wonderful school. When I first
became a teacher my early experiences were in, first, a rural school in a
remote part of South Africa; then in a school in a squatter camp in Durban.
Both these schools were specifically developing an anti-Apartheid
curriculum and trying to counteract the dogmatic educational approach of
the times (1980s).The thirst for education in those days, and the whole-
hearted enthusiasm with which the students seized the opportunities
offered them in these schools, was inspiring. With your background, you'll
know what I mean.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by May MATAR - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 08:20 AM

Choosing one of the ten learner profile characteristics wasn't an easy task
for me since each and everyone is of extreme importance. However, and
after deep thinking, I chose to write about "communicator".
Last year, I had the chance to visit UK as part of my work as a teacher.
There, a relative of mine lives and works. Her name is Malak Jaafar and
she's one of the BBC anchors. I visited her office where I was enlightened
with her knowledge, vision, awareness, insight and forward thinking ability
necessary to pass to all her fellow friends. It was so clear that everyone
wished to spend more time with her because they respect her knowledge
and value conversing with her.
I had the chance to observe Malak while preparing for her upcoming
episode. I couldn't but get impressed by her organizational skills that
reflected a lot of professionalism. She was writing down all possible
scenarios that might face her during her episode_ for she believes that
preparation is an important key to self-confidence, which she'll sure reflect
through the camera lens.
During the meeting, she was also mentioning to all the colleagues that
collaboration is the key to success, Thus, she was asking for their input.
What impressed me the most was the way she communicated with
different team members who are of different nationalities and each in his
language. This showed that she's linguistically knowledgeable, being able
to express her ideas perfectly using a wide variety of languages and
modes.
Meeting the lady and getting intouch with her work environment have left a
positive impact on my personality. I have started reading more to widen my
vision and insight. I have also become a more organized person_I prepare
ahead of time and distribute my work evenly. Moreover, following her
advice, I'm listening to soft music which has helped me to become more
peaceful and relaxed. This way, I feel that I'm more patient and
understanding when it comes to dealing and communicating with my
colleagues who come from diverse cultures and backgrounds. I have also
decided to enroll in French language classes and my next on the list is
Spanish. I could see through her the importance of being fluent in several
languages especially that nowadays we feel all countries have become
one.
If I hadn't had the chance of meeting Malak Jaafar, my life would have
lacked the considerate perspective, the refined confidence and the variety
of communication modes that I now have.




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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 04:45 PM

Thanks May - and welcome! What a valuable experience. And what a
valuable connection! Many topics within the study of media and language
(Part 2) might well benefit from insights or direction Ms Jaafar could
provide.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Robin ULSTER - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 12:28 PM

Choosing the most important learner profile attribute was an extremely
difficult task for me and I ended up wavering between caring, principled
and thinker. Principled seems to cover more of the traits - to be principled
you must care about people, you must be reflective and you must be
thoughtful.
So how do we learn to be principled? How do we develop this trait in
ourselves and in our students?

For me, it may sound corny but it was my parents who helped me to
develop this trait and inspired me to try to develop it in others. My family
and I lived in a typical suburban Toronto (Canada) neighbourhood in the
1970s but we were anything but typical. My parents ended up splitting up
when I was 10 and the reason was because my father was gay (still
is). Our neighbours were religious and conservative and judgmental and
my parents were hippies. My brother was a target for bullies, people put
anonymous notes in our mailbox about our "appalling lawn" (too many
dandelions) and we always had friends and family of friends staying in our
house while they navigated through the various crises in their lives.

It was not only these experiences but the ways in which my parents
handled the judgement and handled themselves that influenced me as a
person and as a teacher. I saw what they did and how they treated others.
I saw them think before they reacted. I listened to them when they told us
to stick to our beliefs because they stood up for what they believed
in. Even as a teenager I was grateful for the turmoil because I knew that I
would be a stronger, more principled and open-minded adult as a result.

My parents taught me to be ethical, to be patient, to think and to care
about others. They have influenced my values and the ways that I develop
these traits in my students.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Bronwyn WYNGAARD - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 01:55 PM

Robin, I was moved by your post and have decided to respond to this.
Before doing the assignment part of this, Id like to say on a personal
level that I really admire your parents integrity and respect what it taught
you. Thinking about how to develop the trait of being principled in students
is quite challenging, I find. I would definitely want to avoid coming across
as preachy, which I believe would simply alienate students. PSHE
classes are an obvious forum for this kind of thing, but I think that almost
for that very reason, students sometimes either switch off when they
enter the PSHE class, or take the path of least resistance they say what
they think we want to hear, without really thinking (or feeling) it through for
themselves. When teaching Literature, though, I do think a lot of
opportunity arises for an exploration of what it means to have integrity and
to take a moral stand, and here it is less cut and dry, because we would be
discussing characters in literature, and scenarios arising from literature;
the students have less opportunity to hide behind the platitudes they
assume we want them to parrot. It would be a good idea to use the moral
dilemmas or situations involving moral crises in the fiction we are studying,
to develop into activities in which the students would have to reflect and
react by working out their own principles. For example, Pride and
Prejudice could offer a chance to explore gender and class issues not just
as themes in the novel, but as very real concerns here and now in
students lives. Students could blog their concerns, showing how such
issues have affected them or their friends and family. They could design
posters to put up around the classroom, on which they state their own
basic principles in these matters. They could present speeches in which
they outlined their principles in these matters. Now that Ive started thinking
about such activities I find that it isnt so hard after allthe ideas are
flooding in! Storyboards; role playas long as the students are actively
and honestly exploring what they think, feel and believe about the moral
issue being looked at, almost any activity would ensure good learning. One
thing to watch out for, I suppose, is that students dont act immaturely
about this and perhaps target each other inside or out of class, for having
conflicting opinions or an unpopular stance. I think the best we could do
about that would be to ensure absolute support for the exploration of
morality from all teachers and the school management, and make sure that
all students know this.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 04:51 PM

Robin, thank you for sharing such a detailed and powerful example. You've
reminded us that - whether we're speaking about our homes, or our
classrooms - really transformative experiences that shape us positively do
not occur in a moment (or in a single class activity). To effect really
positive growth in our students, we are committed to the long haul! And
often it is the unscripted stuff (our behaviour, our attitudes) that resonates
most.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by May MATAR - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 08:38 PM

I would like to thank you for sharing this experience with us. Its quite clear
that this experience has positively molded your personality that you are
confidently passing it to your students. Principles and personal values are
extremely important because they provide us with a road map for the kind
of life we seek to lead and live. The more our choices line up with our
values, the better we generally feel about ourselves and affect others
around us. Its not easy to implant these principles and values in our
students lives but being their idol, having high moral principles, can help a
lot in the integration and cultivation of this trait in our teaching.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Hannah PAYNE - Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 10:22 AM

I totally agree and have had similar experiences growing up with 'hippie'
parents. I remember nothing more embarrassing than my parents. When I
was 16 I realised that I agreed with their beliefs and since then I have felt
empowered by my parents and the priciples they have taught me.
I also remember my teachers actually putting me down in class because of
my parents- I was not strong enough to stand up to them then but it has
instilled in my since a sense of stubborn pride that I try to give to all my
students, especially the girls, that it does'nt matter what other people think
you have to be true to yourself and treat others with the respect you would
like back. We are mirrors for actions and thoughts!
My students know me, I am open and honest about myself and think that
sometimes I might be the only person in their life that puts forward a
particular perspective and it is important for them to see someone they
respect can have differing views and may not fit the stereotype presented
in the media.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Joanna HERMANIUK - Thursday, 30 January 2014, 09:56 PM

All the learner profile attributes are of great value, but first and foremost, I
would like all my students to be...
Before pursuing career in teaching, I had tried all sort of different
occupations. I worked for my dad, who is a carpenter, nailing, debarking
logs, planing boards. I was a barista, cashier in Ireland, assembly line
worker in the Netherlands, assistant director in a small theatre, book
reviewer, sales assistant and a cosmetic consultant. Of course, all of those
experiences taught me something, but there is only one that I could reflect
upon as life-changing working as a receptionist in a hostel.
I met people of different ages and backgrounds from all over the world,
and made friendships that, hopefully, will last a lifetime. I have learnt about
different cultures, accents and life choices. I met people who devoted their
lives to travelling, quite a few language teachers, a number of musicians
(professional and amateurs), athletes, Peace Corp volunteers, former
soldiers, refugees, political expatriates, people who were looking for
friendship and love (which they were unable to find where they came
form), and individuals impossible to categorize.
That 18-months experience of working in an international environment
most and for all taught me open-mindedness.
First and foremost, I would like all my students to be open-minded.



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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Friday, 31 January 2014, 04:00 PM

Thanks Joanna. What a great opportunity to meet a wonderful spectrum of
people - yet all with something in common (the desire to experience travel
and new environments in a much more authentic way than the 4-star hotel
experience could ever provide).


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Allyson WEILAND - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 01:37 PM

I hope that you share your wonderful experience with your
students! Open-mindedness is something that I strive to teach, and show,
in my classroom as well. Open-mindedness, and the ability and desire to
consider values and ideas from outside of what is 'normal' and accepted is
very challenging for my students. I have found it best to discuss
similarities first. I've had some good results starting with a common fairy-
tale told in different cultures as a way to help them open up in the first
week or so of class.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 05:21 PM

Hi Allyson - and welcome. The fairy tale activity can be a great way to get
students talking. A Canadian author by the name of Robert Munsch wrote
a great twist on the classic fairy tale ending - "The Paper Bag Princess".
My students have loved this as part of the fairy tale activity (I can still
remember a Korean student - fifteen years ago, in one of the first classes
where I used it - responding with amazement after I'd read it to them -
"This is feminist literature!").


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Yasser HAMAD - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 06:02 PM

Thank you Joanna for sharing your experience about being open-minded.
Ive lived in multicultural societies, and I value the rich experience of being
in such a diverse environment. In such societies, you can never learn or
communicate with others unless you are open-minded. I believe in Ralph
waldo Emersons quote: In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in
some way, and in that I learn from him. If a learner is not open to others
ideas, he will never learn.
In my classes, I have students from different cultural backgrounds. All the
time, I accentuate the idea of open-mindedness and try to show how
important to be open to others ideas.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Christopher WINCHESTER - Friday, 7 February 2014, 12:31 AM

Joanna, it was a toss up for me between open-mindedness and reflection,
and I find them both to be the just as critically important for an IB learner
and any other human being. I too have been fortunate enough to live and
travel through a host of foreign countries, and I always have felt that I
came out having grown from each experience. This quality, I think, is
particuarly important now as some of us are teaching in countries that are
foreign to us. Thus, it is not only imporatnt for our students to be open
minded to each other and the ideas discussed in class, but in addition
ourselves as teachers need to keep an open mind to the ideas and cultural
differences that our students have. Thanks for sharing that awesome
experience.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Alexandra MOLINA - Friday, 31 January 2014, 02:40 AM

In relationship to the question I would choose risk taker. First of all we
must define what being a risk taker is according to the IB profile: Risk
takers approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and
forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles,
ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their
beliefs.
Being a risk taker involves trying out something new and unknown, It is
facing challenges and change in a positive way , it is exploring new ideas
and innovative strategies.
We need students that are willing to experiment, face and explore
unknown situations with courage. We need students who will not feel
discouraged if they fail but take it as learning experience and use it as a
springboard to keep fighting to reach their goals. We need students who
are determined and perseverant and who are not easily let down. Where
would we stand if Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas A. Edison, The Wright
Brothers, Steve Jobs,- just to name a few -would have felt disheartened
the first, second, or third time they had a setback. They were not afraid to
explore and experiment. They knew they would have to face adversity and
mishaps but they had faith in what they were doing and were convinced
that the risk they were taking had a purpose and most of all they believed
in themselves.
They had to believe in themselves in order to plunge into their adventures
without really knowing what the outcome would be but being certain that
they would take the risk, take the first step into doing something no one
else had the audacity and courage to do.
A risk taker has to have many positive qualities in order to succeed. They
have to be inquirers, thinkers, open-minded, reflective, communicators all
of which are Ib profiles and in one attribute-risk takers- we can find the
others.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Halvor HEGLAND - Friday, 31 January 2014, 11:27 AM

Thank you, Alexandra, for an inspiring reflection on being a risk taker. It is
important to remember that new knowledge comes at a cost. As a teacher,
it is all too easy to forget the frustration of trying to learn something new.
As a fresh student in the IB-system, I am reaquainted with that feeling of
not knowing where to find the answers. It is a healthy frustration, I think!


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Robin ULSTER - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 09:34 AM

Alexandra, First of all I just want to say that I really like the way that you
defined risk-takers and connected the quality of risk-taking to the other IB
learner traits.

In order to build this quality in my students I try to make the classroom
environment as safe as possible for students to "experiment" and to not
feel discouraged if they fail but take it as learning experience," as you said
so well.

I try to model some of the risk-taking my sharing stories with them and by
sharing some of my writing with them. I try to encourage them in reading
and writing conferences to be willing to share their ideas with the class and
with the world. I also try to encourage them to follow their passions and
not to be afraid to share those passions with others.

Your post made me challenge myself to come up with more concrete
activities that I can do to develop this trait in my students. Thank you.




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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Helen DUNNING - Monday, 3 February 2014, 05:21 AM

I do like the definition of risk-taker as you have defined it, although I am
also aware that what this looks like will differ from student to student based
on where they start from, their personal background and personality.
The examples you included have some range in type, but I always think of
the painfully shy kid for whom speaking at all is a risk, or the students who
come from cultures where risk-taking is not encouraged. Each of the
attributes you mention, I think, are ways of taking risks and qualities that
risk-takers can develop.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Camille GOUVEIA - Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 01:17 AM

Alexandra,
I really enjoyed reading your post because I believe that you made really
great points! Taking risks allow you to both succeed and fail so that you
are able to learn how to succeed. Taking risks also challenge the student
to reflect on their self-esteem and confidence; it seems like all of the IB
profiles connect and intermingle with each other. Each profile needs the
other to create a well-rounded individual to contribute to our society. Great
post!


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Halvor HEGLAND - Friday, 31 January 2014, 11:13 AM

The most important learner profile attribute to me is being a communicator,
perhaps followed by the close runner-up of caring.
In my first year of teaching in the North of Norway some twenty years ago,
I was cocky and arrogant with newfound conviction. Luckily, I was put into
classroom of an experienced teacher named Turid Nilsen, to work with a
pupil with special needs.
What I learnt there changed my approach to teaching. She was humble
and caring towards her pupils at the same time as always focusing on
ideas and rendering correct information.
To me this was the true education and as the long winter progressed, I
gradually relaxed and dared to shift focus from myself to the needs of my
pupils.
Later I have moved to the south of Norway and older pupils, but I keep with
me the lesson from that first year.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Friday, 31 January 2014, 04:05 PM

Thanks Helvor, and welcome! Where would we be without the inspiring
mentors in our teaching lives?! They teach us lessons we never learned in
a university classroom!


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Helen DUNNING - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 05:30 AM

I'm going to select balanced as an answer to this question, mostly due to
my recent experiences working at an international school in Korea. Most
people have heard about Korean students and societal pressure, and it's
definitely true. Most of the students who moved to our school from outside
the country go through a period of shell-shock at the amount of work and
intensity of the competition that exists. This was driven home to the
teachers at the end of the 2011-2012 school year when we started running
surveys on how much homework students were doing and how much
sleep they were getting. The results were horrifying, and are apparent in a
very real way in their learning.
All teachers new to the school will comment on how hard-working the
students are, how well-behaved, but also how little they think and how
much of their energy is dedicated to 'resume-padding' in order to get into a
good, almost invariably US, college. Often service activities are done in
pursuit of college-acceptance rather than actual caring and courses are
selected in order to be competitive.
A lack of balance affected every other characteristic of the IB Learner
profile negatively: they didn't have energy to care, they couldn't take risks
or their GPA would fall, they were too exhausted to be open-minded or
inquirers, they would communicate exactly what principles, reflections and
ideas they thought would get them the closest to college.
Which is not to say they're not wonderful students, they just have less
chance to be themselves.
My focus has been, therefore, on ensuring that the quality of what is done
in class and for homework is high so that the quantity is less important -
basically working towards developing the IB learner profile within the class.
I have extended the nature of the reflections students do and get their
input on content and ideas, but also pacing and level of challenge. I try to
be more aware of other things students are involved in, which has led to
better relationships with the students as you talk to them about their other
classes and activities beyond the classroom, and adjust timing where
necessary and possible. There's a lot more negotiation and choice in the
class now.
The last couple of years focusing on balance has had such an amazing
impact, that has a trickle-down effect that make them more wonderful
people, that just happen to more closely fit the IB learner profile.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Gurpreet KAUR PNAICH - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 06:38 PM

Helen, it was a very well expressed thought in the forum. It is indeed a
learning. Being balanced is not only an important attribute but also, a part
of everyone life. Till you are not balance, you can never be successful.
Most important balance is between the " professional" & "personal" life.
I suppose if someone can overcome that, he / she has won half the battle
in life. In relation with students, I suppose each student should balance
their mind by being humble and polite not just towards the teachers but
also towards friends and family who spend most of the time with the child.
As correctly said " charity begins at home".




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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 08:09 PM

Thank you Helen. I've certainly shared your experience - and it is
heartwarming and affirming when we persevere with our students and help
them understand that there may be alternative ways to approach their
understanding of "education" (always, of course, respecting the incredible
pressures that they still receive from parents and families who are less
involved in the transformative IB experience). These students have helped
me better understand what it means not only to be bilingual but also to be
bicultural, as they come to terms with, and value, such a different
perspective.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Bronwyn WYNGAARD - Monday, 3 February 2014, 01:02 PM

Helen - couldn't agree more. Without balance, everything falls down.
Thanks so much for a very helpful post.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Gurpreet KAUR PNAICH - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 05:57 PM

I strongly feel that all the attributes of learner profile are interlinked as they
form a web ,as one leads to another. Everyday rather, every minute of life
is full of risks. I feel I have been strongly embedded as being, as a Risk
taker (Courgeous) as an attribute, although I have many instances to
support it but would like the best example to express the above.
As I am a teacher by profession, (in one of the American schools based in
India) we had planned an excursion to a nearby adventure camp (
www.camproxx.com). It is a spot where every age group, be it a child or
a parent cant return without being thrilled. It constitutes by in large
adventurous camping on hilly area, where kids are bestowed with hands
on experience of trekking, feg fire fox, Mowgli walk, loop bridge ,rappelling
,Burma-bridge. We were divided into five groups each lead by a teachers
and 10 students in each group.
Children were first trained and then asked to perform all the different
activities. Especially there was one 90ft Burma Bridge mainly consists of a
bottom wooden ladder, which you need to walk on with a balance;
connected to two cables, which are hand rails, by wearing a harness
connected to a cable above your head. Even the slightest breeze has you
wobbling precariously over to another side. The famous words dont look
down are totally negated here, as you have to concentrate on placing your
feet neatly on the ladder, while staring wide-eyed down at the potential
plunge. Even though you know that, you cannot fall because you are
strapped in and connected to the top cable.
After the assurance of a trainer being there to support ( as shown in the
picture attached ), but there are always a few who are either shy or less
sporty. Many backed out in the Burma Bridge activity, as a leader and to
set an example I took the charge of showing that if a lady teacher, whom
the students considered their favorite could well perform, so could they.
Once I started I had fear in my mind as I have batophobia fear of heights,
but I didnt want to take the short cut instead lead by example. There the
journey started, one-fourth the way & I wanted to return but thats when a
thought striked , if I return the few students who are considering to take the
initiative might loose hope and would never be able to let go their scare. I
with all gods grace not only completed the activity, but following which was
crossing the bridge most of the times with the students and the trainer.
This lead me to achieve and destroy the risk which was in my mind and
also helped me be an inspiration in the kids eyes.




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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 08:04 PM

Hello Gurpreet - and welcome. I share a fear of heights (my feet are
tingling even as I look at this image), but I firmly believe in the maxim that
we should "do at least one thing each day that scares" us.
Job well done!


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Gurpreet KAUR PNAICH - Friday, 7 February 2014, 05:29 PM

Thanks Marie ...sorry for the late rply .I feel the same and this is the way I
try to overcome my fears one by one in due course of time .


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Joanna HERMANIUK - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 08:41 AM

Dear Gurpreet, I think the photo is a great depition of the IB learner profile
attribute of being rist-takers. With your post you reminded me of an
excursion to an adventure camp that we did with our students last year. I
agree how important is to be an inspiration our students' eyes. Expecting
them to exceed their limitations should also mead we constantly strive to
exceed our own.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Gurpreet KAUR PNAICH - Friday, 7 February 2014, 05:31 PM

Dear Joanna ,You are right that we need to set an example infront of our
kids inorder to convince them to follow to some task


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Yasser HAMAD - Saturday, 1 February 2014, 10:00 PM

"What do you think.?"
"Don't accept things as they are."
" You have to ask more questions to get the correct answer."
" The truth is always there, waiting for someone who knows how to ask
clever questions."
" All answers are subject to change. What is correct today can be wrong
tomorrow and vice versa."
"When we stop asking questions, we must be dead."

I still remember my father guiding me by these instructions. He succeeded
to help me overcome my shyness and ask as many questions as I can until
I feel completely convinced. He taught me that my mind will always try to
answer the question I asked; it will take me towards the direction I guide it
to, so I have to be careful and ask only inspiring and motivating questions.
In my classes, I follow the same policy. I try to get my students ask as
many questions as they can. I am always keen on showing them the power
of questions and how they may reshape our lives. If I have to choose a
learner profile attribute, it will definitely be "inquirer". An inquirer is open-
minded, knowledgeable and thinker.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 05:25 PM

Thank you for sharing this Yasser - I hope you share it with your students
as well.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Allyson WEILAND - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 01:24 PM

It was also very difficult for me to choose just one of the attributes from the
list. They all contribute to making well-rounded individuals. However, for
me, the most important attribute is that of risk-taking.
Before I became a teacher, I spent a summer working with inner-city teens
from San Francisco in the redwood forests in Mendocino. For these
students, many of whom had never left the city before, coming to the forest
was an incredible risk. They were completely unfamiliar with their
environment, cut off from the safety net of online friends, and seperated
from their cell phones. It was a challenge for all of them.
Accepting this challenge, taking that risk, and choosing to throw
themselves completely into unfamiliar territory resulted in tremendous
growth. I spent 20 days with them, and by the end of each session, it was
impossible to ignore how much they learned. They were more effective
communicators, more open to change, more curious, and more ready to
show off their personalities.
Without taking a risk, these teens might never have gotten the opportunity
to open themselves up to new challenges. I feel that within a classroom,
we ask students to take risks all the time, and I very much appreciate it
when my students are ready to try something that might have been
completely alien.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 05:29 PM

Thanks Allyson. In our many contexts, it's easier for some than for others
to get their students into alternative environments. I've always really valued
the "Week without walls" or "camp week" or whatever we call it in our
individual teaching contexts - they can offer such wonderful opportunities
for all of us to be challenged and grow.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Martinez KARLA - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 02:33 PM

The profile learner that I have chose OPEN MIND
I am describing an event that I think that has help me to develop this
characteristic in and out of the classroom: I have live in four different
countries and that has developed this characteristic on me.
Now I am teaching (between others) Spanish language A and I have
people from Spain and from Latin-American. That has helped me to treat
the Spanish language in another way. In the beginning of the year I was
taking most of the text form Spanish form Spain. I realized that I was very
focused in this type of variety of the Spanish language. I started to realize
that the cultural differences in my class were bigger than I thought. And I
started to remember when I lived in those different countries and how I felt
when I was considered as a foreigner. This made me open my mind in my
life in general, and now has helped me to see the different varieties in my
class, so that now I can adjust more my class thinking about the
differences that I have there.
I like that students in my class recognize all the varieties in Spanish,
accept and work with them.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 05:32 PM

Thanks Martinez. You share something in common with the English A
teachers. We must be very careful not to let one variety of the language
(British English, American English) predominate in our classrooms and
underrepresent all the other "Englishes". Spanish, like English, is a world
language and we can draw on so many different perspectives and contexts
to truly represent its diversity.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Helen DUNNING - Monday, 3 February 2014, 05:29 AM

I agree. A couple of my students were talking the other day about how
Queen's English makes people sound smarter and "better" and it reminded
me how much culture and class are embedded in language and how
limiting restricting yourself to a single dialect would be. Exposure to and
acceptance of the richness that different dialects provide is important.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Yasser HAMAD - Sunday, 2 February 2014, 06:03 PM

Thank you Joanna for sharing your experience about being open-minded.
Ive lived in multicultural societies, and I value the rich experience of being
in such a diverse environment. In such societies, you can never learn or
communicate with others unless you are open-minded. I believe in Ralph
waldo Emersons quote: In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in
some way, and in that I learn from him. If a learner is not open to others
ideas, he will never learn.
In my classes, I have students from different cultural backgrounds. All the
time, I accentuate the idea of open-mindedness and try to show how
important to be open to others ideas.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Camille GOUVEIA - Monday, 3 February 2014, 10:59 PM

Last summer, I was granted the opportunity to have a teaching internship
in on a Naval base in Sasebo, Japan. I was able to see traveling and
learning in a light I was never able to before. This was the first time I had
traveled to country where a language was spoken that I was not familiar
with from being in Florida (Spanish and English). I started to understand
how it felt as an English Language Learner. I came to Japan not
understanding ANYTHING that was being said to me, and I had to learn
the language to be able to communicate the moment I flew into the Airport
in Tokyo.
The learner's profile that I find to be most important, especially from my
experiences, is 'being open-minded'. I strongly feel that being open-minded
opens the gate to all of the other learning profiles. When one is open
minded, one has the ability to become more open minded, gain more
knowledge, think critically, aquire newfound principles, care about those
one may encounter, be encouraged to take more risks, live a more
balanced life, become reflective of what one has become open-minded to,
and begins the line of communication with someone a person would never
typcially communicate with.
In Japan, I encountered many people who were willing to help me any time
I was lost, and would offer walk me 10-15 minutes out of their way to assist
me with whatever I needed (even if I was just trying to find the biggest
Forever21 I had ever seen!), despite the language barrier that may have
existed. It was not only great that they were open-minded about helping
me, but I had to be open-minded to approach them in the first place. Being
open-minded allowed me to decide to take a risk, and in turn
communicate!
I took away so many memories that summer, but it truly inspired me, and
made me realize that even though I was in a country that was so far from
home and that I was experiencing a culture so much more different from
my own, internally, I am the same as the person I was initially afraid of. I
translate this experience to my classroom by making sure that students
understand that there isn't a right or wrong perspective; there isn't a
society that is considered 'backwards' or out-of-touch. When two people of
different cultures are put next to each other, it can become increasingly
apparent that there will always be something the two have in common. I try
to share pictures and stories with my students with the hope that it will
inspire them to be open-minded and think differently about cultures outside
of their own.
(I asked her where Forever21 was, and she literally walked me 15 minutes
out of her way to the store. I celebrated the find with a picture :D )



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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Monday, 3 February 2014, 11:11 PM

Welcome Camille. Great picture! and a heartfel testimonial to the positive
power of open-mindedness...
M


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Hannah PAYNE - Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 10:09 AM

We actually gave this task to our students to help them understand the Ib
Learner profile as my school transitions to IB next year. We had each
grade present an interpretation of the concept to the rest of the school.
We had all kinds of ideas come forward- for instance the 'balanced and
reflective' group led us in yoga to remind ourselves that quiet reflection is
really THAT important.
My group went with 'thinkers'. We discussed what would happen if
someone told them dinosaurs were actually pink with purple spots- the
students straight away cried out this was obviously ridiculous based on
science, what we currently know about animals, evolution and camouflage
(all their ideas)- the kids were great at reasoning this problem. For 8th
grade to argue and counter agrue I was pretty impressed with them. We
decided critical and creative thinking impacts everypart of our lives. When
given a more challenging question you could see the lights turn on in most
students in the room- questioning the worls around us is vital- Aha!! We
discussed how we understand the world and ourt place in it- and of course
pop culture. My picture shows a character from the matrix who knows the
truth about the matrix (humans being used by machines to power the world
while having thoughts programed in their minds) but chooses to go back in
and live in ignorant bliss...
The learner profile says we should think critically, creatively as well as
reason and make ethical decisions- if these are not the skills we should be
instilling in our kids I dont know what is...




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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Thursday, 6 February 2014, 04:06 AM

Hi Hannah - and welcome. This is a great preparatory activity as your
school readies itself for IB authorization!
M


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Yasser HAMAD - Saturday, 8 February 2014, 04:45 PM

Hi Hannah, I'm really impressed by thd activity you had in your school. It
enlightens the way to both teachers and students. My school is still
applying for candidacy, and whenever we are candidates, I'll apply the
same activity.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Mara Jess MORENO SOLS - Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 07:15 PM

I have chosen this picture of one of my activities in Philosophy made by my
students in which I have worked with them the oral communication, plays,
investigation and reflection. They had to research and find documents
about some philosophers in the old Greece and they had to create a play
in which they had to tell the way of thinking and the life of Scrates,
Platn, So that they have developed two of the most important qualities
for the IB estudients: inquirers and communicators. Apart from writing the
text, they had to perform it and due to it they develop another Ib profile:
open-minded.
To sum up, I think that if I had to choose one od the most important
qualities of the IB students, I would choose inquirers, communicators and
open-minded. As the Language and Literature teacher I would choose as
the most necessary communicators.



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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Thursday, 6 February 2014, 04:08 AM

What a great way for students to really engage with the profile attributes!
And what a lovely photo -- looks like a picture that should be featured in
the yearbook for sure!
M


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Christopher WINCHESTER - Friday, 7 February 2014, 12:23 AM

It took me a while to choose what I thought was the most important of the
learner attributes, but I would like to explore the importance of reflection in
and out of the classroom. I think it's particularly important for students
nowadays, who receive countless amounts of stimuli daily, to be able to
reflect and disseminate what they have seen, heard, read, etc. Often, in
the days of viral videos, instagram, and all the other things that smart
phones do, we see people (myself included) ingest the various media, and
without a second thought are onto the next link. I think that it is more
important now, more than ever, to have the skills to be able to process and
reflect upon what we are seeing and what it means in our lives and it's
overall cultural context.
I also chose this attribute because of a recent conversation I had with a
friend. While on this recent holiday I spent time with a close friend of mine
who has recently undertaken meditation as one of the core facets of his
life. He told me that it allows him time to think and process many aspects
of his life that he felt he didn't have time to explore before. Today, I wrote
him an email and thanked him for his hospitality. He responded, saying he
was happy to have me and that he had spent the afternoon "reflecting" on
many of our conversations, trying to process all of the things that we talked
about. That is why I include this picture of a person meditating--I figured
my friend would appreciate his privacy.
If there is one thing I always try to do with my students is probe them into
where their ideas come from and to support their answers with a
refelection.



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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Friday, 7 February 2014, 05:33 AM

Thanks Christopher - and welcome. Reflection within the English
classroom is essential. I build it into most assessments, giving students
time to record their thoughts as they look back at the process and
production of a task. Those reflections become an important component of
students' dossiers and they're encouraged to read and reivew the
reflections before attempting new tasks. Initially some of them are very
superficial in their reflections ("I must do better!") but others are very
specific and give themselves excellent advice that suggests they are really
progressing.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Jordi TUR - Saturday, 8 February 2014, 03:13 PM

I also feel that all the attributes of the learner profile are interlinked and
one without the other would leave an empty space. However, if I had to
choose one I would choose Open-minded.


I was born in a big cosmopolitan city, but both my parents came from
families from a small, rural, very traditional island: Ibiza. I feel fortunate for
having been exposed to the best of both worlds. During the school year,
my life was that of a city boy, walking to school, playing football in the
streets, catching the metro to go meet with my friends But as soon as
school was over my parents sent me to grannys house in Ibiza. That to me
was paradise, a world that today has almost dissapeared and that I wish I
could offer to my children. My grandmother taught me how to make bread,
how to milk a goat, how to water the orchard, how to collect figs and olives,
how to make wine, olive oil or flower. My trips to Ibiza also left me with
something that Ive come to appreciate deeply now that I look back, and
that, I think, shaped me as a person. First of all, it shocked me that an
island so traditional, prude and religious could addapt so easily to embrace
with open arms all the newcomers.

Secondly, with the invassion of the island with hords of tourists from all
around the world, I felt, as a kid, that Ibiza was a Tower of Babel of
understanding. Even though this seems like a contradiction in terms, the
idea that stuck was that the island was a place of communion where race,
language, colour, sex, class or style didnt really matter. I learn to accept
the difference as a rule and not as an exception and that made me
appreciate my land and culture even more, incorporating values and
traditions from other cultures that I found lacking in mine.


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Re: Activity 1 - Reflection on the IB learner profile.
by Marie Baird - Saturday, 8 February 2014, 04:27 PM

Thanks, Jordi, for sharing your experiences and story with us. The
contrasts you describe seem quite profound. You are fortunate indeed!