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Notes from the Teranga Center: IB Conference Points Toward Innovation, Creativity, & Open-Mindedness

As we launch the MYP and strive to improve the Diploma Program here at ISD, we are always looking for ways to improve ourselves as educators. Last week our Secondary IB Coordinators had the opportunity to attend the IB Global Conference in Abu Dhabi. This was the first IB World Conference ever held in the Middle East in the IB’s 51years. The theme for this year was ‘Generation IB’ and looked to shine a lens on the growing number of IB graduates around the world affecting change.

During the one day Pre-conference our MYP Coordinator, Jen Loria attended a session that spoke to how best to implement the MYP. It was evident that ISD is doing a very thoughtful job implementing the program as many other attendees, including one named Yolanda, wanted to know how we were accomplishing all that we are doing whilst continuing to provide a day to day focus on best practices for teaching and learning. The DP Coordinator attended a session focussing on ways to integrate of Theory of Knowledge ideas into different subject areas as a vehicle for conceptual learning.

Mr. Paul Lennon at the Global IB Conference

There were also break out sessions where the topics ranged from professional learning communities, advisory and how to bring the IB Career Program into a school curriculum.

A highlight was the keynote speakers. Rosan Bosch opened our minds as she spoke about how to rethink the physical environment of a school for better student learning. Her architectural focus is based upon the idea that play is the main human activity through which we learn. She inspired us to truly open our minds and made us want to tear out some walls, to continue to reimagine ISD.

Michael Furdyk, the co-founder and Director of Innovation at TakingITGlobal took us through his amazing journey as an entrepreneur, what he learned from his education, and how he now works with schools to make this world a better place.

Tina Blythe, the Director of Learning and Outreach at Harvard Project Zero made us think as we explored the concept that sometimes we find the best things when we aren’t looking, to be sure to keep our minds open.

A highlight of the conference was listening to Sir Clive Woodward who among career highlights was the last professional rugby coach to lead England to World Cup victory. He also managed Team GB to their largest ever number of Olympic gold medals in 2012. He has a saying, “We don’t lose, we either win or learn.” We have changed this saying for ISD to be, “We either win and learn or lose and learn.”

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