Monday, November 30, 2009

What IB can teach to teachers !!!

There are many interpretations and assumptions as to what IB methodology can do to Schools and students. Many think that it gives an international branding to schools and makes students study in an international curriculum. In fact one teacher working in a CBSE school in a suburban area asked me as to how our students will learn about Lord Ram and Gandhiji if they are studying in international methods. Except for feeling sad at a teacher’s ignorance I did not react much.

If Schools truly consider ‘concept’ teaching is more important than content teaching and wish to groom students as lifelong learners who will show their learning in their attitude and action-then IB provides a perfect direction.

But what it does to teachers is more interesting.

When we decided to request IBO for methodology support, we knew that we had a mammoth task ahead of us. We had teachers who were ‘just doing a job’, some who wanted to spend morning hours fruitfully and yet some more who have a degree in teaching. To align diverse people towards one cause of making- learners with values- was indeed a challenge.

We had to first understand the integration of subjects-the transdisciplinary themes. Brainstorm ourselves into thinking beyond our compartmentalised knowledge of science social and English.
To continue with known practices and live in that comfort zone is easy but to come out of our cocoon and venture into new horizons needs persistence.

• Challenged ourselves into realising the importance of concept over content
• Empowered ourselves to build a curriculum that balances the national goals yet make it transdiciplinary.

We turned into learners once again. If we are teaching about UNO, we realized that teaching about the way nations come together to help each other is more important than just teaching the facts about UN. We started exploring the concepts behind every fact.

Knowledge is power, but values are eternal and universal. To groom young children with positive qualities is our School’s goal. When we understood the attributes of a student’s profile as recommended by IBO, students to be- “inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, balanced, open-minded, risk-takers, reflective and caring” – we realised that we as teachers should be having these attributes before we lead our students.

We worked on all these ten attributes in different situations-professional, personal, inter personal and public interactions. If we have to help a child to be principled in the classroom or balanced in the sports field or think before he acts, we the teachers have to know how to follow these in our personal lives. We started rediscovering ourselves in a new profile.

We never thought that teaching will actually help us define our attitudes.IBO suggested some attitudes that every child should be encouraged to have.
“Appreciation, commitment, cooperation, creativity, confidence, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, integrity, independence, respect and tolerance.”

To inculcate such attitudes, we the teachers started recognizing them in each other. We used these terms to convey our feelings and thoughts to each other. It helped a lot in understanding ourselves and our colleagues in a new light. When we wish one another on birthdays and special days we highlight their attitudes and praise them.

And thus we the teachers learnt to brand our own attitudes thanks to the fact that we have to groom our students with these attitudes.

All knowledge should lead to action. Our progressive growth as teachers who are facilitating a student centric learning-has helped us show our learning in our actions.
As a School, our motto is to take our students ‘where the mind is without fear and the head is held high’.

Internationalism helped us develop a responsibility in our students-“ that they have a role to play in the global development.”
IBO’s mission matched with our school’s mission of grooming global citizens who will help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

We developed a global perspective from our local, regional and national inferences and began to quote everything from the ‘big picture’.

IB made us into enthusiastic learners once again.

Episode punch
IBO conducts workshops frequently.
An observation from my teacher who attended the regional workshop last week at Mumbai :
“Now I realize what an important profession I am confidence has tripled with this exposure that teaching is the most important vocation”

The four IB regional workshops that I attended in Thailand, Mumbai and Hyderabad have actually helped me understand how schools across the world are making their own interpretations of the evolving teaching/learning patterns.
To get a perspective of nearly 600 educators from at least 25 different countries on making true education happen-is indeed a privilege we get when we attend the regional workshops.
I have been in the field of education for the past 18 years. The work culture, professionalism , commitment and sincerity that I have seen in IB fraternity is commendable.
With this exponential growth in empowerment through education, I would strongly recommend young people to take up teaching as a profession.
Teaching can be so empowering - personally and professionally.


kruthi said...

Hi madam,
Many people do not understand the importance of IB. It's really good of you to write on this topic.

Warm regards,


Rajakumari said...

Dear Madam,
Right from my childhood I always have great respect and empathy towards teaching profession. I completely honour and accept your words. Extremely happy to convey that I'am an IB teacher.

shivraj said...

I completely agree with you mam,
" We the teachers learnt to brand our own ATTITUDES which will lead us into ENTHUSIASTIC LEARNERS".
I always use these words while teaching my students "BRAKE THE SHACKLES OF FEAR" & " COME OUT OF THAT COCOON"....
As a teacher indeed we are challenging ourselves and empowering ourselves with the new curriculum.
My coach always use to teach me applied knowledge will empower our own self.
With Regards,
Shivraj Odhel.

Sumeet said...

strongly agree, that young have to be motivated to take up teaching. wish there could have been guest lectures,as it happens at PG.

ravali said...

hi ma'am
really very interesting ma'am... u made us aware us about the importance of IB. i do agree with u ma'am,concept matters than content.
i always admire my teachers and i do love to become a teacher.
with regards,

Sangeeta said...

There has been a drastic change in everyone- the teaching and the learning fraternity and lot of positive energy has been spread around in the institution. Actually we all are proud to be a part of IB both as teachers and students.


padma said...

Hi madam,
I completely agree with you mam. I am very happy that i am working in an organization where i am learing each and everyday and implementing in my daily life. Life will be more happy when you do things which you like but not for others. I suggest that what ever work we do if we take with Passion & possitive will be always sucess.what ever changes come if we are ready to accept we will be happy and always feel that we are young.

Aniruddha said...

Dear Madam,

Thanks for sharing the information on the blog and breaking the 'taboo' that our knowledge is to be kept hidden, secret and limited to few members only.

The methodologies are very interesting and practical.

I am not saying simple because simple is something any one can do without focusing on it even with clumsy hands.

Education field is not for the ones with clumsy hands but for the ones with hands that create and minds that motivate.

It was nice to know more about the IB methodology and the regional workshops they organise.

One thing is becoming clearer to me and that is in IB methodology the knowledge will be 'ad libitum' and the student has to decide how much he can take and grasp.


shivani verma said...

it was a delight to read your blog mam.i coming from a completely CBSE school was scared initially as to how i would learn this entirely new methodology but being a risk taker took up this challenge and i can proudly say that i think i kw much of IB.IB helped in opening my horizions and made me a human .on a very funny note i would like to share that i am very much caring as i am takin care of newly born 8 puppies in my home.the culture of our skool is imbibed in each and everyone of us.

mita said...

there was a tremendous change in my perspective and behaviour after coming to this school.i have explored and discovered myself by imbibing the attitudes and atributes and also gained bundles of knowledge