Thursday, June 5, 2014


Doing online PYP courses for the International Baccalaureate is a great way of keeping my ideas about international education sharp.  Recently I have been reading a new position paper Reflections and projections on the IB learner profile by Dr George Walker, Professor Wing-On Lee and Dr Farid Panjwani,  that was published on the IB Learner Profile which deals with international mindedness.  It is defined in the following way:
International-mindedness is the motivation and the capability to study issues from different national and cultural perspectives.
I like this definition as it provides a solution to the often one-sided perspective we are presented with of the problems that occur between and within nations.  The idea is that if a person's mindset shifts from a local one to a global one, the issues can be viewed from a position of shared humanity.

The IB Learner Profile is at the heart of what it means to be internationally minded - some have likened it to a description of the ideal learner or even the ideal person.  This is expanded upon in the paper in the following way:

The ideal learner is:
  • a learning being (inquirer, open-minded, knowledgeable).  Inquirers and open-minded learners are intrinsically motivated and enthusiastic about learning.
  • a social being (caring, communicator) who cares about others and who shares what s/he has learned and knows
  • an action being (risk taker) who applies knowledge to action and who is willing o risk uncertainties in the process of learning and action
  • a wisdom seeker (thinker, reflective) who goes beyond information and knowledge to seek understanding.
  • a principled being who converts all their learning and experience into principles and is unafraid of being different from others who hold different views and beliefs
  • a balanced being that intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally combines the above attributes.
I like the way the attributes of the Learner Profile are linked with international mindedness.  In our #pypchat today we discussed wellbeing (both teacher and student wellbeing) and the last of these points about balance really resonates with our discussions.

Original artwork by an ASB student 

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