The Urban Dictionary defines ‘shaking the cage’ as challenging a social system to instigate change.
It’s been suggested by a respected colleague that perhaps I ‘shake the cage’ too often. The way we did it was fine. Leave things as they are. People have ownership of the old way. Too much change. Too many obstacles….
As I work in an IB PYP school, I’ve been reflecting on ‘shaking the cage’ through the lens of the IB Learner Profile. It’s our goal to develop the attributes of the Learner Profile in our students, so don’t we need to live them ourselves? We need to ask ourselves these questions:
1. Are you a thinker?
Do you think critically and make reasoned decisions? What do you believe about how learning takes place? Have you thought about why you do things the way you do?
2. Are you open minded?
Are you open to new ideas and different ways of doing things? Do you seek and evaluate a range of viewpoints and are you willing to grow from the experience?
3. Are you knowledgeable?
Do you constantly explore concepts, ideas and issues? Are you constantly growing as a learner? Are you keeping abreast of new ideas in education?
4. Are you principled?
Are you totally honest with yourself and others about why you prefer to maintain the status quo? Do you have a responsibility to help your students learn in the most effective ways?
5. Are you an inquirer?
Are you curious and do you actively enjoy learning? Do you constantly question and wonder how to create the most engaging, challenging and meaningful experiences?
6. Are you reflective?
Do you give thoughtful consideration to your own and your students’ learning? Do you constantly reflect on your practice? Do you listen carefully to your students’ reflections on their learning?
7. Are you a communicator?
Do you express ideas and information clearly and creatively? Do you listen to and build on the ideas of others? Do you work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others?
8. Are you a risk taker?
Do you approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought? Do you have the independence of spirit to explore new ways of doing things?
9. Are you caring?
Do you work at making a positive difference to the lives of others? Do you care deeply about your students and how best they learn?
10. Are you balanced?
Do you understand the value of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve well-being for yourself and your students? Do you embrace the necessary changes to achieve this?
If we live the Learner Profile, we are going to be shaking the cage all the time. We owe it to our students…
In some examples, I have used and adapted the actual language of the LP definitions.