Wednesday, December 20, 2017

IB Online Workshop: Reflections on Module 4 - The World Studies EE and Approaches to Learning

I am sharing once more my reflections on the learning engagements I do in the IB Online Workshop.

This module is the most challenging for me because of the newness that the World Studies EE posses. Coming up with a topic and RQ for a WSSEE requires macro-micro levels of thinking, and vice-versa, apart from a good grasp of global issues. As a librarian, I am challenged very much to review the information and intellectual systems and structures that will support the student who is working on a WSEE. Sourcing of data, records and information sources is one of the important factors that spells the success of a WSEE.

What resources can you suggest to your students who may be interested in a world studies extended essay?

I will first recommend titles of books in assessing and developing one's thinking skills, especially critical and creative thinking skills. I will make available in the library the resources, print and online, that tackle global issues. The Day, New York Times are two media and news source outlets that come to mind. For specific global themes and issues, I will collect a directory of experts, scholars and researches that specialise on subject specific topics. Government agencies, foundations, non-government organisations can also be of help when searching for resources.

One of the trends in library services today is the staging of the Human Library. It is an event where experts and stories of resource persons are discussed to break down the walls of prejudice and to take in new perspectives of the world. There was one academic library in Manila that had a Human Library session about Martial Law. Human rights victims told their stories about abuses of power during Martial Law in the Philippines during the rule of Ferdinand Marcos. Another Human Library session was about the Lumads of Mindanao, an indigenous group, who experienced abuse from authorities and were driven away from their ancestral lands. The Ifugaos of Northern Philippines have a similar experience back in the 80s over a dam to be built in the mountains. How these things happen in the 21st century was a good discussion in the Human Library session. 

This is something I can consider doing in our school through the library's programs and services.

What else can be added to your personal action plan?

I have added teaching strategies on reflective teaching and learning, as well as Thinking skills as important components of the EE and research writing in general.

Can ATL (Approaches to Learning) in your classroom be extended to the extended essay? How?

This remains a challenge in our school. While teachers identify ATL in their unit plans to be taught and facilitated to students in the MYP, skills need to be strengthened in the DP still. This goes to show that the EE is a learning experience that is connected to the Personal Project, thus, a continuing development of ATL must be recognised. Not all learners come to the DP with fully developed ATL.

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