25. October 2011 11:08
When it comes to the IB, we are all aware of the various facets and precepts involved...but what better way to bring those messages home to your students than to incorporate them into the daily school environment?
That’s exactly what the United World College of South East Asia has done. A group of 13 visionary schools, the United World College very much places experiential learning at the heart of its curriculum. So much so, they have broken the IB messages free of the classroom notice board and policy document in favour of the walls, floors and pillars of their school – they are now literally part of the fabric of the school!
20. October 2011 18:22
Over the past eight years, the IB Heads World conference has become a staple event for IB school Heads from across the globe – which is where I come in. In keeping with the nature of the conference, the events are held in each of the key IB regions in turn – Asia Pacific, the Americas, EMEA and this year, much to my delight, Singapore (IB Asia Pacific). With the conference theme - “The Adventure of Leadership”, and a number of inspirational presentations and talks from the likes of Monique Seefried, and Kavita Ramdas, there was certainly plenty to look forward to!
And when such great minds collide, what better place to host the event than in Singapore, and more specifically the iconic Marina Bay Sands Hotel? Built on reclaimed land, the hotel is a truly stunning spectacle and one which is really representative of the country at large. Safe, clean and non-corrupt, Singapore has recently been defined by the World Bank as the “best country in the world” to do business and has become one of the world’s most developed countries in less than 50 years. A remarkable feat and one which really serves to bolster the importance of strong leadership and inspiration in driving success – a key tenet of this year’s conference.
So far, so impressed – but what about the talks themselves?
Kicking off the opening ceremony was Professor Sugata Mitra of the University of Newcastle. A really thought provoking lecture in which he discussed his extensive research across India – little known fact; it was his book “Q & A” which inspired the Blockbuster that was Slumdog Millionaire. By placing computers in the walls of a number of Indian villages, Professor Mitra has been investigating the basic premise that groups of children can teach themselves, a learning process which the internet has made even more profound. A very inspirational talk but with some challenging findings which we were all left pondering; is there a role for education, for teachers, for schools? Do schools and formal education actually slow down learning? Food for thought!
For any educational leaders with an eye on the future, I'd definitely recommend attending.
Philip Hurd, Head of School, International Community School