The IB learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 2st century. It is a statement of the aims and values of the IB, and an embodiment of what the IB means by “international-mindedness”.
High ideals, but the challenge is: how can we make this vision come alive?
The IB learner profile is displayed in every classroom, and particular attributes are selected for focus during each unit of inquiry. Adults look for ‘teachable moments’ when we can catch a child demonstrating a learner profile attribute and use it to help others understand what it looks like.
However, the profile should not be a focus just for our students. Perhaps the most powerful, yet challenging, strategy for teaching students these attributes is that of modeling, as all this idealistic talk holds little value and meaning if the adults in our community fail to model the attributes we want to see our students exhibit.
The entire school community – students, teachers, support staff, parents – all need to work together to demonstrate an understanding of, and commitment to the attributes of the learner profile. To this end, we are introducing the spotlight feature – an opportunity to take some time to explore each attribute, develop our own understandings of what each means, and strive to demonstrate it in action.
In your IST appointment calendar (created by EPN, and on sale in the Elementary Front Office) you may have noticed that each month, a learner profile attribute is described. November’s attribute is the subject of our first spotlight:
IB learners strive to be communicators
They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Here are some ways IB community members around the world have made the attribute of communicator their own:
We are communicatorswhen we listen and observe carefully the thoughts, words, actions and feelings of our children. We recognise that children and parents have 100 different languages. We express ourselves in a respectful and empathetic manner. Parents of children at Wesley College, Melbourne, Australia
I am a communicator when I use my face, body, words, drawings and writing to tell someone how I feel or what I am thinking. A student from K International School, Tokyo
We value open and honest communication with staff, parents and children and encourage opportunities to express our ideas and listen to others. We openly communicate our goals and ideas.Educators at Wesley College
Here’s my challenge to the IST community: let’s make the idea of communicators come alive through words, photos, symbols, quotes – any way we can.
Here are some ways you can be a communicator:
- Listen to everyone and respond clearly
- Let people finish their sentences
- Express your feelings
- Use a different language
During the rest of November, I’ll be on the hunt for photo opportunities around campus that illustrate communicators in action. I’ll also be asking children and adults to tell me what they think it means to be a communicator, or share examples. Please join in by contributing in one or more of the following ways:
- sharing your own photos showing communication in action
- helping your child represent the attribute through pictures, words, or other media
- sharing anecdotes from home of when someone (adult or child) was an effective communicator
- finding stories that illustrate the attribute
Email me your examples of communicators in action and I’ll post them here. Log in to add your comments directly.