The Learner Profile is one of the first things you see when you read about the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. It follows quickly after the IB Mission Statement, and for good reason: this is the embodiment of the qualities which must be actively promoted in students in every IB school. They equate these qualities with what it means to be truly “internationally minded.”
Perhaps, more importantly, they represent the characteristics of a rounded, global citizen in an ever changing, demanding, and diverse world. The attributes, in themselves, make the navigation of international life instantly more rich and profitable, as well as less challenging and unsettling. However, these qualities are not restricted to those who traverse the globe.
Inquirers – Knowledgeable – Thinkers – Communicators – Principled – Open Minded – Caring – Courageous – Balanced – Reflective
Looking at them objectively, and employing some reflection for ourselves, which of these would we not embrace as positive additions to our arsenal of tools to approach life?
These attributes permeate all we do in the PYP and, this week, in Grades 4-5-6 we have been examining them in an altogether novel manner. In “Morning Meeting” we might move our portraits on our class display to reflect on what we have been on any given week; our face next to an attribute showing what we were. We might reflect upon our ability to reach for these ideals as we finish a unit of inquiry; relaying what we did that made us this moniker. We have never before considered using abstract art to convey how we feel we have been achieving the Learner Profile; we did that this week!
After examining the nature of abstract art, how it is composed and how we can express ourselves through it, the students set about creating their own motifs to communicate their recent reflection on this integral part of the PYP. The works themselves are beautiful but the expressions and depth of thought are even more impressive.
In referring to being internationally minded, the IB says:
“The learner profile is central to the PYP definition of what it means to be internationally minded, and it directs schools to focus on the learning. IB World Schools should be proud to send out into the world students who exemplify the attributes expressed in this profile.”
Looking at the work of Grade 4-5-6, the depth of their thinking and their actions, the students are living up to this expectation.