17 November 2012

Learner Profile Crowns . . .

Towards the end of October, I had my 2nd graders (all 120 of them) create Learner Profile crowns. 

At the center of Stamford American International School's curriculum is the IB Learner Profile which details the qualities that our students are encouraged to develop and demonstrate.

Part of this project was me wanting to bring a little bit of costuming play into the classroom and part of this was for me to get to know my students--and how they see themselves--a little bit better.  

Here's a brief synopsis of each Learner Profile quality and how it's defined by our curriculum:

Inquirers  They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning.

Knowledgable  They explore concepts, ideas, and issues that have a local and global significance.

Thinkers  They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems.

Communicators  They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively.  

Principled  They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice, and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities.

Open-minded  They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories and are open to the perspectives, values, and traditions of other individuals and communities.

Caring  They show empathy, compassion, and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.

Risk-takers  They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas, and strategies.

Balanced  They understand the importance of intellectual, physical, and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

Reflective  They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience.

I was surprised by how many of my students chose risk-taker as the profile they most identified with. I was also taken with how many of them chose balanced as the best way to describe them. I don't think that I could even describe myself as balanced now. And I am almost certain that I was not balanced in 2nd grade.

It was incredibly interesting to me how classes sort of identified with one profile, together. It was generally a profile that sort of fit their collective personality. For example, my more boisterous classes described themselves as communicators or risk-takers. And my quieter, more introverted classes described themselves as caring or thinkers. Most likely the students were feeding off of responses from their peers.  

Upon finishing his crown, one of my students--who recently moved here from Great Britain--said that he was going to march up to the Queen Mum wearing his crown and say, "Move over lassie, this is my house. I'm in charge now." Needless to say, his crown says risk-taker on the front of it.

I'm really pleased with how the portraits of the students wearing their crowns turned out. We may even take these a step further and have the students create watercolor self-portraits from these images.  

How would I describe myself? I would definitely say that I'm a risk-taker. I think that a certain level of risk-taking comes with being an artist. I'm pretty confident with my ability to take chances on new ideas and new experiences. 

What is the Learner Profile that best describes you?  

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