Keystone Magazine - Page 25

“There is also the reputation that the IB Programme is very rigorous and challenging.” Q: The IB learner profile clearly defines what characteristics an ideal learner should possess. And sets a framework from which the three stages of the IB curriculum are designed. What characteristics of this learner profile will the Keystone graduates possess? A: Q: The IBDP is a rigorous and challenging programme that demands a lot from its students. In some cases, the content and rigor is similar to what is presented in an undergraduate university class. How can students transition from the IB MYP to the IBDP? What measures will Keystone implement to ensure that this transition is successful? A: The learner profile is a framework of 10 attributes. It is supposed to be the outcomes if the IB mission statement is effectively acted out within schools. It fits with different values and attributes that might be found in different contexts. And that is quite often the case that schools will have particular values of their own. I remember visiting this one school that had seven pillars, which they identified as specific aspects of character that where very important to them. They had their own learner profile, but that is fine because the IB learner profile is a framework from which different attributes, characteristics or values can be added or combined; it is not exclusive. Several years ago the IB started to look at data that came from DP exam results to see if there was any connection between how well a student performs on the DP and whether or not they completed the MYP programme. They found that, every year since they started collecting data, students who entered the DP programme from the MYP perform better overall. And while there is no causal effect proven yet, there is a continual indication that the MYP is doing a good job, and possibly better job than other programs, in preparing students to be more successful in the DP. For Keystone, we will want to look at attributes in a certain way and within our context of China. The really important thing that we want to ask ourselves is: How do we want ourselves, both students and teachers in community, to grow and develop throughout our time and experience here? And then looking at ways to make that happen. The idea is that one takes ownership within the school. The IB learner profile attributes are not just a list; they mean more than that. What do they really mean? How do we get all of us on the road to practicing and developing these? These are questions that we have asked. At Keystone, we will implement the MYP really well because this should give students fabulous preparation for the DP. In many ways, the MYP echoes elements in the DP; the MYP focuses on developing student’s critical thinking skills in every single subject, and requires students to complete a research-based, 4,000-word essay, and community service. Interdisciplinary learning, which helps students to look for and see connections between subjects, is also taught in the MYP. As administrators, we ensure to address every detail of the MYP thoroughly, and plan carefully and recruit good teachers who have not only worked with the programme, but delivered it in an effective way. We have five virtues for Keystone Academy. Our virtues include: Compassion (人 Ren), which relates to the attribute of caring; Justice (义 Yi), which relates to the attribute of principled behavior; Respect (礼 Li), which relates the attributes of caring, and open-mindedness; Wisdom (智 Zhi), which relates to the attributes of knowledgeable, inquirers, thinkers, and reflective; and Honesty (信 Xin), which relates to the attributes of principled behavior. So Keystone’s virtues align very well. I think what we have done is a really good example of taking ownership of the learners’ profile. We have said, “Yeah, this is how it looks in our context. This is how it relates to our particular context and the really important values here.” 23