International Mindedness is What??


Say what? Exactly what does ” international mindedness” mean and is it even a word? It’s certainly thrown around a lot within IB schools, that’s for sure.

My research through several dictionaries, brought zero results.
Learning about our heritage

 My new post as 4th grade teacher at an IB school in France has me immersed with no less than TWELVE different nationalities within my class of 23 kids!! You think I’d better grasp ” international mindedness” and fast?!
The IBO states that each school, international or not, promotes and celebrates the diversity of is own cultural population, both within the school and in its local community. This can be done in so many ways. Most communities have a wealth of cultural diversity within. These can be visitors to the town, the family backgrounds and historical roots of the area. All of this can be harnessed and brought within your classroom.

These amazing children, in the few weeks I’ve been privileged to be around them, have taught me what it means to accept others and their cultural differences, learn from others about surviving and thriving in a “foreign” environment and ultimately, how we are all just human beings trying to enjoy life as it is presented to us, surrounded by challenges and victories. At the grand age of nine, many speak three or more languages, all are currently learning a language (either English or French or both) and all are accepting of change in their own degrees of experience. It really is a learning opportunity for me just to be in the same room as these children.

The Themes Behind The PYP and International Minds.

The themes of the IB PYP are designed to bring this international mindedness into the classroom from all aspects of life, time and places. Children learn through local, national and global inquiries and becoming aware of the human commonalities across the world.
Exploring language in relation to Who We Are

Be sure to include an explanation to the children of the theme of each unit at the beginning of each inquiry. It builds the correlation for them, between what we are doing and why we are doing it. The central idea is inherently tied to the theme after all.
By providing resources that allow the children access to different cultures, perspective and languages, the learner profile is administered, with a climate of open communication and careful expression of ideas, feelings and attitudes.

Implementing International Mindedness.

I like to begin each inquiry with a look at the theme and the central idea and use it as part of a provocation to promote inquiries and action from the children.

Who We Are: International Action

Part of our recent Who We Are unit, in my Tpt store.

looked at the ways we maintain balance of health within our mind and body.
Having looked the factors that influence us through our heritage and culture, the children were inspired to create a healthy snack stand to raise funds for new playground toys. This was a local school issue brought to the forefront by the children. The result was an incredible array of colourful foods from all the nationalities within our class! Truly an international merging of minds to culminate our first unit of inquiry of the year.




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