Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Session 2: International Mindedness and the Learner Profile

International mindedness is encompassed in the IB Learner Profile.  It is further developed by practices under the PYP standards.

From the IB Mission statement

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. 
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. 
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Venn Diagram:  How does the IB Mission Statement compare with ASB's mission statement? Refer to p10 in the workbook.

Explore and develop understanding of internationalism

International Mindedness - What is it?
Quadrant Brainstorm with a definition at the centre that all share.

International Mindedness, the IB Mission Statement and the PYP

Our visual definitions of International Mindedness:

The Learner Profile is the expression of the PYP and contributes to being an international person

from Making the PYP Happen
What, then, is a PYP school? It is a school that, regardless of location, size or constitution, strives towards developing an internationally minded person. What is an internationally minded person? It is a person who demonstrates the attributes of the IB learner profile.
This is the kind of student we hope will graduate from a PYP school, the kind of student who, in the struggle to establish a personal set of values, will be laying the foundation upon which international-mindedness will develop and flourish.
The school promotes international-mindedness on the part of the adults and the students in the school community.
The school provides students with opportunities for learning about issues that have local, national and global significance, leading to an understanding of human commonalities.
To summarize, when seeking evidence of international-mindedness in PYP schools, teachers need to look at what the students are learning, how they are demonstrating that learning, and how to nurture students within the school community. They need to consider whether students are making connections between life in school, life at home and life in the world. By helping students make these connections and see that learning is connected to life, a strong foundation for future learning is established. In striving to make it happen, and in looking for indicators of success, teachers, principals and/or heads of schools need to look everywhere, since all aspects of the school, from overarching philosophy through to policies and their ensuing practices, will reflect either the presence or the absence of a sensitivity to the special nature of PYP schools.

Diamond Rankings of the Learner Profile

This is a Visible Thinking routine for connecting new ideas to prior knowledge (workbook page 11).

How International Minded is ASB? Individually complete the chart on p12 of the workbook then share with a partner.

How can we foster the Learner Profile at ASB? Bus Stop
How do we promote international mindedness and the learner profile in the classroom? Refer to p13 in the workbook.

Teaching Practices
  • Student voice and choice 
  • Differentiation/individualization 
  • Explicitly telling students that a "wrong answer" contributes to everyone's understanding 
  • Open ended questions 
  • Promoting a safe environment 
  • Community agreements 
  • Encouraging discussion 
  • Allowing student choice to drive the inquiry 
  • Self assessment and reflection 
  • Individual, peer and group assessment 
  • Responsive classroom 
  • Opportunities to work within small and large groups 
  • Creating safe places where students feel OK making mistakes - "celebrating mistakes" 
Classroom Environment
  • Physical space contributing to intellectual and emotional learning 
  • Build a sense of belonging 
  • Place to show student learning and growth 
  • Reflect children in the room and also other cultures (even those not directly represented) 
  • Students own their space through their own artifacts 
  • Space for student's voice to be heard 
  • Build in respect for "stuff" 
  • Students work in "caves" 
  • Warm and inviting and comfortable 
  • Materials should be accessible

Daily/Weekly Routines
  • Morning meetings - helps being a risk taker and working with different partners 
  • Being a good communicator when playing games 
  • Closing circle - how was the day? What did you learn? 
  • Reflect on their skills 
  • Energizers 
  • Transitions (safe) 
  • Being open and learning new games 
  • Time to share with peers 
  • Student ownership 
  • Thinking/quiet time 
  • Challenges that make them think 
  • Balance 
  • Outside active time and routine 
  • Student owned time 
  • Recess 
  • Time to make
  • Self-evaluation and self-reflection 
  • Understanding what you learnt 
  • Giving opportunities for students to be assessed in other ways (i.e. take a test verbally) 
  • On-going assessment 
  • Ability to work with others 
  • Process not product 
  • No assessments 
  • Multi-sensory assessments 
  • Dialogue with parents and peers 
  • Narrative component 
  • Examining personal growth 
  • Variety of artifacts 
  • Not what you know but how you know it and how you learnt it - and what you think about it 
  • Authentic assessments 
  • Pre - to know where they are, Post - whey they successfully reached
Student Learning
  • Intentional structure 
  • Time to think - reflecting on profiles 
  • Encouraging students to have confidence in themselves and their inquiries 
  • Provocations 
  • Emphasise understanding and empathy 
  • Learning reflections (assessed) 
  • Active and hands-on 
  • Document the process and the outcome 
  • Connect the student needs and interests to the profile 
  • Field trips, PBL 
  • Fill your bucket concept 
  • Provide student choice to encourage wonderings 
Reflection on the blog: Reflect on the learner profile and your teaching practice:
  • which attributes are well developed in your classroom? 
  • which are challenging for you? 
  • what is your take away in promoting these in your classroom? 
Reply to this post to answer this question.


  1. Some attributes that are well developed for me and my making activities are caring and risk-taking. Everyone respects what everyone else is building and we tend to do small share outs where we can all get excited by other peoples work. Risk-taking is also well fostered in making because they usually are going to be trying to build something they have never tried before or something they are not 100% sure how it is supposed to look.

    One of the learner profile attributes that I would like to see more of is reflective. We often don't much time and I want to spend time getting to the "fun stuff" which is actually making and tinkering with their hands. But by the end of the activity it is time to clean up and the day is over. A way I see to foster more reflection in making is by allowing small sharing between students as they are making for the purpose of more feedback from others. We can also discuss what we did last time at the start of the activity so we aren't trying to cram reflections into the last minutes.

  2. That attributes that most prevalent and intentional in my classroom are: thinker, inquirer, reflective, caring, risk-taker, knowledgeable and communicator. The challenges, or attributes I need to focus on developing more, are principled, balanced, and opened minded.
    I need to be more intentional and balanced in supporting students in developing all the attributes. I need to support students in taking more ownership of what each attribute looks like, developing these as we develop are understanding of UoI.

  3. The attributes that my students are exposed to are inquirer, thinker, caring, communicator and risk-taker. The attribute that I find challenging with the four year olds are knowledgeable, open-minded, balanced, reflective and principled.