Human Ingenuity: An Overview of IB Thinking

This presentation from the AAIB 2009 Conference was from Malcolm Nicolson – Head of MYP (Cardiff)

He talked about the 1986 split into IB and IGSCE? and the history of the IB and how the various sections had developed individually and how the different programs talked about inspiration and ingenuity.

He acknowledged that the IB currently didn’t have an over-arching focus on ingenuity, but that was a goal they were working towards as a direct result of this conference. It was a fairly tenuous link he made at times. It was also blue dotpoints on the official IB template. Hmm.

It was more interesting when he discussed where IB should go in the future; ie. Can we address 21st century learners with these structures. This had been the focus for a recent discussion in England and came up with some points such as:

Teaching and assessing in multiple ways, disclipined minds, synthesising minds, creating mind, respectful mind, ethical mind…

How easy will it be for students to be individuals and have time for personal reflection with a desire for developing self-reflection skills when students are ‘never alone because they’re on Twitter and Facebook’ Students are wanting to present their learning on Facebook, on blogs, on wikis. What is the IB going to do about that? How relevant is the written exam now?

Should IB do more about sustainability?

How should IB respond to technology overall?

He talked about their work with Harvard Graduate School of Education (USA) and publications coming from that association. One of the emphases here was on rigorous learning in the discipline and interdisciplinary synergy as well as focus on real world projects and issues.

One interesting point he made was that the MYP program provided opportunities for creativity and innovation in a way that many state-sponsored curricula didn’t. Teachers are ‘given the freedom to create their own courses.

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