a.nthenge - Posted Wednesday, Oct 31, 2018 4:14:00 PM
The Patherfinder Programme was recently featured on the IB Community Blog. Here is a glimpse of what they wrote about the Program
Written by: IB Community Story Team
The International School of The Hague is piloting a self-directed learning initiative, empowering students to pursue curiosity-driven projects
Imagine allowing your Middle Years Programme (MYP) students to create their own individualized curriculums for a whole year, where they decide what to learn, how, when and why.
That's what The International School of The Hague (ISH), in the Netherlands, is doing with its Pathfinder Programme. Instead of attending regularly scheduled subject-based classes, students work together with Learning Guides (subject specialist teachers) from each subject area to develop and put into action their own projects.
"The Pathfinder Program developed naturally from constant conversations going on at the school about how we can best prepare students for their futures," explains Pathfinder Coordinator Ollie Quinton, who adds that he and his colleagues have "learned a lot from other IB World Schools like Western Academy of Beijing and BEPS International School, who are redesigning the way they implement IB programs".
ISH's first Pathfinder cohort of 17 students, aged 12 to 15, are now undertaking curiosity-driven projects from finding ways to improve traffic safety around the school and starting a business to raise money for charity to writing and staging a Broadway-style show and planning an evening aimed at changing perceptions about graffiti art. "A close look at the work shows an immense amount of learning—in terms of both knowledge and skills—associated with these activities," says Quinton.
But how does Pathfinder fit within the MYP? According to Quinton, "it doesn't so much 'fit' with the MYP, it is the MYP! For us, the MYP is a framework that helps to structure and make sense of learning through inquiry. This makes it an integral part of the Pathfinder approach."
He adds: "Pathfinder students begin by making a project proposal, using basic prompts that are connected to key elements of an MYP unit plan. We ask them to explain how their project is going to have a positive impact, thus integrating service and action into almost everything they do. Learning Guides then evaluate the proposal and decide who is best placed to advise the students. Students and Learning Guides meet to turn these ideas into unit plans and provide resources and ongoing support. Students also help each other with ideas by advertising their project proposals to each other."
In planning their projects, students make connections to key concepts and global contexts, and identify key approaches to learning that they will need to develop on the way. They also discuss how they will be assessed.
Students are encouraged to develop "random moments of curiosity"—questions and thoughts that might pop into their heads through the day. For example, explains Quinton, when some of the students cleared out a cupboard, they found an incomplete collection of rocks and a photomontage of a geography field trip from 1999. This led one student to make it his mission to replace the missing rocks, while others decided to track down the people in the photos and make a history project from it.
Pathfinder is based on three pillars: individualized knowledge and motivation, skills, and developing positive identities and self-perception (which springs from understanding the contribution they make to the world). "By having freedom to choose what to learn and how to apply it, the knowledge students acquire is more likely to be integrally connected to their 'world' and therefore more powerful and enduring. It will also be more substantial as they are motivated to learn by their own interests," says Quinton.
"Harnessing this intrinsic motivation is surely the holy grail of teaching. Instead of spending hours planning a curriculum that we hope will engage all of our students, or trying to trick them into learning through 'edutainment', why not use school time to help explore and build upon their interests?"
Quinton adds: "If we do this, we will not only promote effective learning, but we are also more likely to instill a lifelong love of learning, and provide young people with the space to explore who they are and what unique contribution they can make to the world."
o.boutayeb - Posted Monday, Oct 22, 2018 9:48:00 AM
It has been a jam-packed first half to the term for the Silverbacks sports teams. They have been competing and travelling every week since the start of term and results and performances have been excellent. As Season 1 comes to an end we look forward to the final ISST tournaments for our Varsity teams. This is then followed by the start of Season 2 - more information to follow on this. Have a great HALF TERM BREAK.
j.davis - Posted Thursday, Oct 18, 2018 2:45:00 PM
During the month of November, the staff at ISH will be raising money and awareness for the Movember Charity. This incredible charity that aims to make a difference for men's health – in prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.
Men’s Mental Health
Grow – This year we call on the male teachers and parents to grow their Mo-ustaches in support of the charity. Should you wish to join the ISH team then please first sign up with the Movember website using this link. Sign Up to the Movember Website
To join our ISH team or to make a donation to our team then please use the following link ISH Movember Page
When your request to join the team has been approved you will be part of the ISH team. You can then share the Donate link with friends and family so that they can donate to the team.
j.davis - Posted Friday, Oct 12, 2018 4:22:06 PM
Imagine walking around in a dinosaur museum or gallery with a guide helping you learn everything about dinosaurs and fossils. Today the Year 3P students went on an exciting 'virtual field trip' together with the Year 5 students from 5M.
The Y5 shared their newly-explored technology skills and demonstrated the iPad application Google Expeditions to the younger students. The app Google Expeditions is an educational app to bring virtual objects and places into the classroom. As real explorers, students went on a Dinosaur Walk at the Natural History Museum in Melbourne Australia.
j.davis - Posted Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 5:01:00 PM
The Dutch Primary Department has been doing a series of lessons related to PrinsjesDag. We had an organised trip to Madurodam yesterday, where we learned about how the gemeente (municipality) functions and how cities are designed and built. The children created their own "Demo - City" and then had a tour around Madurodam where, in teams, they had to decide how and where to spend the money or budget.
After this, we went to the Binnenhof and to the Tweede Kamer. We were lucky enough to see the prime minister! These lessons really brought politics to life and everyone enjoyed being part of the democratic process.