Learning for whom?

The IB Learner Profile calls for all learners to be thinkers and inquirers, who ‘communicate confidently and creatively, collaborate effectively and listen carefully to the perspectives of other individuals. We thoughtfully consider our own ideas and experience, working to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.’

These attributes are the essence of effective professional learning communities.

Writing my chapter for the IB book ‘Journeys in Communities of Practice‘ was a highly rewarding experience. It provided an opportunity to reflect on the development of a learning culture in my school and the community of practice we had built over time. In addition I enjoyed working with and learning from editor Dale Worsley, as well as meeting him in person and participating in one of his inquiry circles, while visiting New York earlier this year.

By the time the book came out, a year after writing the chapter, it was interesting to reflect on our further growth too! As our school years draws to an end, I’m excited by the achievements and reflections of teachers who, through being part of this thriving learning community, have

  • made strong connections between theory and best practice.
  • opened classroom doors for collaboration and team teaching.
  • stepped aside to let students take ownership of their learning.
  • overcame anxieties about technology.
  • deepened their understanding of inquiry and concept driven learning.
  • created learning spaces that reflect their beliefs about learning.

We often take our own situations for granted and, to be honest, I was happily involved in the ongoing learning at my school and hadn’t thought very much about how challenging the process of building such a learning community can be. I hope educators around the world benefit from reading my own and others’ stories in the ‘Journeys’ book.

I can’t help but wonder though…

What percentage of schools and educators can afford to pay $60 for a slim paperback book? (That’s the cost including shipping)

and…

How many could pay $50 to participate in a webinar based on the book? (There are – as there should be – a growing number of free-access opportunities for educators to learn online.)

The IB Learner Profile, mentioned at the start, also calls for us to be principled.

‘Principled – We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere… ‘

Does the IB as an organisation model its own principles?