Thursday, July 20, 2023

Why IB educators are different

Over the course of the past four of five years, since leaving full-time work in a school, I've visited many IB schools in Africa, Europe and the Middle East (probably between 80 and 90 schools).  These visits have been verification visits to authorise schools, evaluation visits and making visits as a consultant to support schools in the candidacy phase.  I've also visited schools to lead in-school workshops, including some virtual visits when it has not been possible to actually travel to the school in person. Each time I learn something new - and each time I marvel at the difference an IB education makes to students, their learning, their families and the educators I meet.  

Today I was reading through a publication about adult learning, and I came across a section based on a research study of IB educators: what sets them apart is a love for teaching and learning - and of course it is easy to build on that as a workshop leader because all teachers are also lifelong learners themselves and eager to learn more and improve their practice.  

We are told that IB educators:

  • teach students to think globally through examining a variety of global issues and encouraging an awareness of and respect for other cultures
  • are open to new ideas, new experiences, new cultures and changing teaching approaches
  • are flexible and exercise professional judgment to meet student needs and align with the iB philosophy
  • use pedagogical approaches that are based on concepts and inquiry in authentic contexts.
  • collaborate in planning instructional activities and sharing resources and reflections on teaching
  • care for the whole student
  • demonstrate love for learning and teaching
(Bergeron and Dean, 2013)

And once again, today, I have reflected on how fortunate I am to have been in the "right place at the right time" in  my own educational career, and that I was blessed to be encouraged to take on new roles by the school leaders I encountered in those international schools.  

Photo Credit:  Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

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