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Notes from the Teranga Center: International Mindedness

Moving from the question ‘Where do you come from?’ to ‘Where are you local?’

Last week, Tuesday, December 3rd, was our monthly 'Secondary Coffee and Learning.' The theme for the working session was International Mindedness and the question of "where we come from." International mindedness is a common element of the PYP, MYP, and DP models, and the definition from the IBO provided a starting point for our session.

"International-mindedness is an attitude of openness to, and curiosity about the world and different cultures. It is concerned with developing a deep understanding of the complexity, diversity, and motives of human actions and interactions." (IBO 2009)

The session with parents included elements of discussion around the question, 'Where do you come from?' We then watched the thought-provoking TED talk from Taiye Selasi, "Don't ask me where I am from, ask me where I am local." The fascinating, engaging, and challenging talk looked to question the concept of national identity and focus more on human experiences as a frame for defining who we are as well as our place in the world.

Click here to view our presentation slides as well as the TED Talk. We would encourage you to watch the talk at home with your families and initiate discussion around some of the questions raised. Our vibrant and diverse community provides a beautiful tapestry of humanity from which to look at the wide-ranging issues from many different perspectives.

One of the key thoughts which emerged from the meeting was the idea that the educational journeys we are hoping to shape for our students, your children, are rooted in notions of human experience and the ability to make connections and hear different ideas.

All three IB Programs are looking to initiate wider-reaching questions and our ability to help young people transfer knowledge, attitudes, and skills from one area of learning to another. To engage in some of this at home may provide some exciting and thought-provoking learning for us all.

IB DP Mock Exams

On another note, we have formally agreed to move our IBDP Mock exams into the week where the rest of the Secondary School will be in various locations across Senegal for the Week Without Walls Service trips. Several reasons resulted in this decision:

  • Oxford Study Courses have been the subject of a takeover and will no longer be offering an overseas revision week to International Schools.

  • Based on feedback from our faculty, moving the exams a little later would allow for more classroom time and the option of an extra week of Higher Level hours for students and teachers.

  • Space is at a high premium with the new building still under construction, and so to house the first major exams of the year in a week when the school is quieter will facilitate a smooth and authentic experience for our DP2 students.

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