Against intuition: how international schools can promote evidence-based pedagogy
Our Year 6 students recently completed an important part of their primary years’ experience, the Exhibition.
Erin Threlfall, ISL’s Primary Years Programme Coordinator, explains the aim and the process of the extended, collaborative, in-depth project. “Exhibition, called PYPx, is the culminating experience for students in the PYP, wherein they take on the challenge of creating their own unit of inquiry. This is an opportunity for students to demonstrate how they have developed as independent learners over the last 8 years within the ISL Primary School. The final stage of the exhibition unit is to design an action-based response to what they have learned to help make the world a better place.”
This year, because of the constraints brought about by the current situation, the Year 6 Exhibition was hosted using a digital format. At 18:00 on Wednesday 20 May, the Year 6 teachers launched their PYPx 2020 website. On this website, each “Year 6 Student’s Space” is accessible via a link to his or her individual presentation.
PYPx 2020 provided an opportunity for students to connect to issues of global significance. Through inquiring into the central idea: Finding solutions to the challenges facing the world require all of us, wherever we live, to be involved Global Citizens, Year 6 students researched the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
Students selected one goal that really interested them, and then identified a target area for focus. For example, Leo chose to work on Goal 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and under target 1 for sustainable development of infrastructure, he asked: How Sustainable are Electric Cars?
Harry explored Goal 16: Peace Justice and Strong Institutions, with a special look at target 1: Significantly reduce violence and related deaths everywhere. The introduction to his project is below.
Anne, along with seven other students, completed her project on Goal 3, Good Health & Well-being. Anne explained: “I chose this goal because it sprang out to me immediately because I believe that everyone should have accessible health care.” Watch the video below, which is part of Anne’s video blog post on the PYPx website.
Four students worked on Goal 4, Quality Education. Luiza completed her PYPx Exhibition on providing more teachers in developing countries for the following reasons: “I think that everyone should have a good education if you don’t learn you don’t have many choices for a job, most of the jobs include education like math, reading, and writing and many more things. Not only school teaches you subjects but helps you get friends, and brings a good childhood.”
Discover her research below:
Reduced Inequalities is Goal 10, and six students were inspired to focus their project on this goal. Tilly explains, “I chose reduced inequalities for people with disabilities and including them with life and with everyone, I chose this topic because I feel for people who are disabled and how they feel.” As the action part of her project, Tilly created a board game, “I made a board game so people can have fun and learn at the same time.”
It is clear that many of the year 6 students care about the creatures in our lakes and oceans, evidenced by the fact that 16 of our students chose Goal 14: Life Below Water.
Fran explains that, “We really need to take care of our ocean and its marine life because over three billion people depend on the ocean and its marine life so if we don’t take care of our ocean, and we keep on polluting it, there will be more plastic in the ocean than marine life.” In addition, Maxim explains, “Every year that I travel to the seaside, I see plastic or I see people leaving plastic on the beach which makes me think that one day all the corals will die and I won’t see any fish anymore.” For his project, he created a list of solutions. Some of which include:
- Use less plastic
- Recycle properly
- Avoid buying things that contain microbeads
- Support some organisations that are trying to stop plastic pollution
- If you see any plastic on the ground pick it up and put it in the nearest trash can. (wash your hands afterwards)
- Use reusable bags to carry products
- Use a bamboo or metal reusable straw
- If you don’t like a product, don’t throw it away if it’s in good condition. Rather give it to someone as a present, or to someone you know that will like the product.
Leonor chose Goal 2, Zero Hunger. “I chose it because in my opinion it is a very important issue that needs to be solved. I don’t think it’s fair that some people have food while others need to work extremely hard to afford basic needs like food and water to help their families survive. I also chose this goal because I want people to know more about it, so they can help.” Leanor planned an action for her project (for after the coronavirus). Have a look below:
Finally, a message from ISL’s Year 6 team: “We are enormously proud of how our students have overcome remote learning with its own particular brand of challenges, to come up with, what we believe to be, some wonderful presentations, videos, and actions full of passion and conviction.”