Being aware of the importance of perspective taking and diversity, internationally minded individuals can interpret from different cultural viewpoints and consider the impact of a course of action on both the local and global communities.
The British School, Warsaw representing over 70 nationalities within it demonstrates international-mindedness at the IB level of education by encouraging multilingualism (the study of a primary language and a secondary language), increasing intercultural competence and promoting global awareness. Specifically, the IB Diploma Programme core components: Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), Theory of Knowledge (TOK), and the Extended Essay (EE) are said to be responsible for nurturing and fostering international-mindedness throughout the programme (Mannix, 2012), with the ultimate goal of developing responsible global citizens.
As education of international mindedness relies on the development of learning environments that value the world in all of its complexities, in the IB it focuses mainly on three basic tenants of students needing to be informed, reflect and involved (head, heart and hands movement). While IB students have shared international mindedness through their various course syllabuses, and discussed concepts both on a global and local scale with the information that they gain through their lesson; Year 13 students have most recently been very active with international mindedness in their TOK classes. The TOK essays titles have been released and students will be eagerly working on them now in order to produce a 1600 word essay that will analyse the statement and provide global or local examples as evidence of their argument. This essay, which is externally assessed, really tests students understanding by having them research the information behind the question, reflecting on what they need to answer and how, as well as writing an analytical piece of work that comes to a clear conclusion based on global or local evidence. Embedding international mindedness into the daily structures of learning only helps to make it a natural part of our lives.
Below are the 2021 TOK essay topics, these might lead to some very interesting conversations around the dinner table. See how much international mindedness can be practised with reference to global and local examples.
1. “Accepting knowledge claims always involves an element of trust.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. Within areas of knowledge, how can we differentiate between change and progress? Answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.
3. “Labels are a necessity in the organization of knowledge, but they also constrain our understanding.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
4. “Statistics conceal as much as they reveal.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.
5. “Areas of knowledge are most useful in combination with each other.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.
6. “Avoiding bias seems a commendable goal, but this fails to recognize the positive role that bias can play in the pursuit of knowledge.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
Mannix, C. (2012). “DP Core Update”. Presented at the IB Africa, Europe, Middle East Regional Conference, Madrid, Spain, October, 4-7.
KS3-5 Humanities Teacher
Head of Year 13