GSLC approach to the Personal Project

Our Year 10 MYP team have updated our approach to the MYP Personal Project over these holidays in order to help our Year 10’s independently navigate their way through the IB MYP Personal Project. If you have used our approach prior, it is very similar, with just some slight adjustments and transitioning this to Google Slides so we can share these documents with students via Google Drive.

Please feel free to use this as a resource for your school and if you wish to have an editable copy of these Google Slides, we are more than happy to share so you can adjust for your context.

Welcome to the IB MYP Personal Project

The Personal Project Inquiry Cycle

Personal Project Supervisors

Investigating 1.1

Investigating 1.2

Investigating 1.3

Planning 1.1

Planning 1.2

Planning 1.3

Taking Action 1.1

Taking Action 1.2

Taking Action 1.3

Reflecting 1.1

Reflecting 1.2

Reflecting 1.3

Personal Project Report

Enjoy, we at GSLC hope this is a useful tool for the Year 10 students in your school.

Breaking down the IB MYP Community Project

Through continual reflection and collaboration, our College is working towards ways to facilitate the IB MYP Community Project for our Year 8 students. After much reflection this past fortnight, we have come up with changes to how we originally engaged students in the Community Project.

Please feel free to use this as a resource for your school and if you wish to have an editable copy of these Google Slides, we are more than happy to share so you can adjust for your context.

Welcome to the IB MYP Community Project

The Community Project Inquiry Cycle

Investigating 1.1

Investigating 1.2

Investigating 1.3

Planning 1.1

Planning 1.2

Planning 1.3

Taking Action 1.1

Taking Action 1.2

Taking Action 1.3

Reflecting 1.1

Reflecting 1.2

Reflecting 1.3

Presenting the Community Project

Enjoy, we at GSLC hope this is a useful tool for the Year 8 students at your school.

Blessings.

Trekking Everest Base Camp

There were many different titles I could have given this post: ‘Falling to the communists on Everest’, ‘Trekking with a Chesty’, ‘Aunt Flo and I make it part way up a very big mountain’, ‘Cough, Climb, Cough, Climb’, ‘Clumsiest Trekker in History’, ‘Darwin Girl Freezes on Everest’ and so on. They all sound a little dire, when in actual fact, it was an incredible experience shared with the loveliest people the world has to offer.

Day 1: Upon arrival at the iconic Kathmandu Guest House, I met quite possibly, the world’s coolest trekking team — Clare, Noelle, Cosette, Cheryl, Hamish, Anne-Marie, Lachlan and Zing — and the very patient and highly competent team leader, Milan. Milan gave us a rundown of the trek ahead, how to pack and prepare and then gave us all our seriously cool Intrepid totes before taking us all to a hiking gear hire shop to rent the much needed down jackets.

At this point I was both extremely excited and extremely nervous due to the fact that I had spent the past three weeks trekking from Kolkata to Kathmandu with a vicious chest infection. I really was not sure if I’d make the hike, but being the incredibly stubborn person that I am, I was determined to at least try my hardest and if I really could not make it, my insurance would cover a super-cool helicopter back to Kathmandu. I felt it was a win-win situation either way.

Day 2: At 6am we all lugged our Intrepid duffel bags down to a taxi in the guest house pick-up area, threw our bags in the back and clambered on in for the ride to the Kathmandu Domestic Airport. To prepare myself for the plane ride to Lukla, reassuringly named “The World’s Most Dangerous Airport”, I had watched every possible YouTube clip of this fight so I felt I was relatively prepared for this seemingly terrifying experience. I was expecting a significant amount of turbulence and was quite prepared to simply close my eyes, block my ears and gently hum Ave Maria the entire flight. However, positive and kind reassuring from the wonderful Anne-Marie and Zing gave me the confidence to keep my eyes open, relax and attempt to enjoy the flight. Thankfully for the other 15 passengers there was no humming required.

It was actually a smooth, turbulence-free flight with the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. Watching from a plane window the sunrise over the Himalayan mountains was such a magical experience, and the landing in Lukla was very fast and actually kind of fun. We simply bumped onto the runway, bounced a couple of times and came to an abrupt stop.

Cockpit

At Lukla we met our trekking assistants, the calm and gentle Nema, the kind and hilarious Anil and the downright hilarious and energetic Phurba, and the five incredible porters who would carry our duffel bags up the mountain for us. I soon discovered that our porters were some of the most incredibly strong people I have ever come across, not only do they carry our bags on their backs, but they can also simultaneously sing and dance and climb whilst lugging over 20 kilos. At altitude. Mind blowing stuff.

From Lukla we trekked for three hours to Phadking, mostly downhill and flat terrain following the milk-white Dudh Kosi River. We spent the afternoon resting at a Phadking guest house reading, drinking hot chocolate and playing poker using popcorn kernels as chips. I was feeling a little sore in the throat at this point, so Milan, Anil, Nema and Phurba were kind enough to prepare a tiger balm steam for me that evening so I could be well enough for the trek the following day. We had heard that the second day of trekking was by far the most difficult, so I was sincerely hoping my chest and lungs would be up to the challenge.

Pic 2

Day 3: After a delicious noodle soup breakfast and a ginger, lemon and honey tea we began our trek from Phadking (2610m) to Namche Bazaar (3440m). In terms of ascent, it was the most challenging day. There were several times when I simply looked up at the climb ahead and thought “oh crap, what have I gotten myself into, that is freaking steep!” After the first couple of hours, the cold wind had begun to really impact my throat and chest which meant my coughing became super vicious and I had to regularly stop, cough up all sorts of things by the side of the path and blow my nose. Our Trek leader Milan was so patient and simply stood to the side and encouraged me to keep going slowly, slowly and take my time. At one particularly steep incline, by the time I arrived at the top my lungs were heaving and I was seriously questioning whether I was well enough to keep trekking. My fellow trekker Hamish came to trek with me and said, “Don’t worry Laura, even if Lachlan and I have to carry you, we will make sure we get you to Base Camp.” It was that kindness and the continual encouragement of the team that gave me a massive boost of confidence. I’m very thankful.

Horse

That evening we decided that the best option for me was to visit the Namche Bazaar Health Post to get the go-ahead or no-ahead from the doctor. The thought of turning back just devastated me as I’d flown all this way and really just wanted to enjoy the trek. Milan, Anil, Nema and Phurba were once again kind enough to prepare a tiger balm and herbal steam for me that evening so I could breath just that little bit easier in my sleep.

Namche Bazaar

Day 4: I awoke on Day 4 with a feeling of dread as I had a feeling that the doctor would deem it best for me to head back to Kathmandu. We began our acclimatization day with a climb to the national park headquarters and had our first glimpse of Everest and the beautiful Amadablan. The views of the Himalayan valley were mesmerising.

After spending time enjoying the scenery and exploring the museum the team headed further on for their altitude adjusting hike, and Nema took me back to Namche Bazaar to visit the Health Post. It turned out the Namche Bazaar doctor was actually sick that day so the Health Post was closed. I was secretly relieved. We decided the best thing for me to do was to simply spend the day resting by the heater, drinking copious amounts of lemon, ginger and honey tea and we would see by the evening how my flu was going.

The remainder of the day was spent playing cards, solving incredibly frustrating riddles and listening to Clare read aloud the terrifying Ghosts of Everest. My word, the world has produced some seriously hardcore mountaineers, that book is a definite recommend. I was feeling so much better by 6pm, my coughing had reduced and my breathing was so much easier, with hardly any pain. Once again, Milan, Anil, Nema and Phurba were kind enough to prepare a steam, bundle me up in a giant blanket, stay with me and even sing while I coughed and gagged my way through the steaming process. When it was over, Anil had a hot water bottle waiting for me and I was able to curl up in my down sleeping bag and sleep peacefully without waking up multiple times to cough and cough and cough and cough.

Hamish and Clare Reading

Day 5: I awoke to discover that Aunt Flo had paid a very early visit indeed. We were not meant to meet until I arrived back in Kathmandu. To fall to the communists in the comfort of one’s own home is challenging at best, but to fall to the communists whilst climbing a bloody mountain is a whole new level of challenging. After a few moments of shock and thinking “what the actual hell?” I figured I’d just grit my teeth and simply put one foot in front of the other continuously until we made to Phortse Gaon.

After period

The walk that day was beautiful. We followed the milk-river and crossed several suspension bridges with some of the most beautiful views of valleys and mountains. Although my cough was still very present and my lungs were beginning to slightly scream in pain, I was still able to enjoy the exquisite scenery. There were times when one literally just has to stop and just take in the sheer magnificence of the mountains.

Magnificent

After lunch we began the final leg of the trek to the township Phortse Gaon and part way there it began to snow. Walking through gently whirling snowflakes was magical at first, however, after an hour or so it was getting pretty cold and by this point I was feeling pretty hormonal. As we reached the last kilometer and entered the very pretty township of Phortse Gaon, Milan in his very gentle and encouraging way pointed up to where we were staying that night and reminded Noelle and I who were at the back of the line that we were not far. However, as it was whirling with snow and I was at this point struggling to tame the hormonal dragon within that wasn’t sure if it wanted to laugh, scream, cry, fall asleep, eat an entire block of chocolate while watching Bridget Jones or just start hitting and/or hugging trees, I misunderstood Milan and thought he had pointed to the beautiful maroon and gold building at the top of Phortse Gaon. As we were halfway to what I thought was our destination, a really kind monk caught up with us and said “Namaste, keep going, you are doing well” and then politely inquired into where we were staying the night. I simply thanked him and replied that we were staying at the maroon building at the top of the hill. An awfully confused expression crossed his face and Milan quickly jumped in and said “No, no, we are staying at the guest house.” The monk just nodded, looked at me suspiciously, said “Namaste” and walked away. Milan then informed me that I had told the monk that I would be staying at his monastery. Wildly inappropriate. Oops.

I was thrilled to curl up by the fire in the guest house that evening and eat delicious Dal Bhat and for the sake of my throat and lungs drink ginger, lemon and honey tea.

Dal Bhat

Day 6: We awoke on Day 6 to a completely snow covered landscape. Looking outside our guest room window we could see the pretty township of Phortse Gaon covered in inches of white snow and we could watch the sun rising above the surrounding mountains. The Himalayas really are outstandingly beautiful.

Phortse Gaon

The walk to Dingboche comprised of lots of jumping to the “safe side” to let the massive yak’s pass, colourful prayer flags, oodles of adorable puppies and from my spot at the back of the line I could hear ahead of me Cosette and Lachlan discussing food, Clare telling stories in multiple accents, Zing teasing Cheryl and Noelle, Hamish teasing Phurba and Anne-Marie giving multiple trekking tips to those of us with dodgy knees as she zigzagged her way up the ascents. Behind me I could hear Milan and Nema chatting and laughing, and occasionally I would hear the porters singing.

Pretty Pic

That night we settled in a guest house in Dingboche and spent the evening playing cards huddled around the fire. At this point it was starting to get really cold and we were all by now wearing our down jackets with multiple layers. This little tropical girl, was really beginning to feel the cold and my lungs and throat were by now beginning to worsen. My oxygen levels were strong and although physically I felt incredibly ill, just knowing that we were only two day’s hike away from Base Camp made it much easier to cope.

There was a full moon that night and for all of 30 seconds I could stand outside and admire the moon, shadows of the mountains and the stars. The night sky in the Himalayas is just exquisite. The cold unfortunately drove me straight back to the fire.

Snow Flakes

Day 7: We were able to sleep in until 8am on Day 7 as this day was an acclimatization day. The guesthouse windows were covered in pretty snowflakes and the surrounding mountains were covered in snow. The macro and micro beauty of the Himalayas is just breathtaking. We trekked up Nargajun Hill to help our bodies adjust to the altitude before coming back down to our Dingboche guest house. On the way there were three helicopters flying from Gorakshep back to either Lukla or Kathmandu taking with them sick travelers. It is quite remarkable being so high up that one is eye level with the helicopters, it’s a very strange feeling.

Prayer Flags 1

Prayer Flags 2

The remainder of the day was spent around the fire, playing dumbal and relaxing before our trek to Base Camp the next day. Our team member Anne-Marie became quite ill this day, so we made sure she was warm close to the fire and able to sleep and gather strength for the next days trek.

Day 8: This day was a very cold day of trekking and unfortunately my chest and lungs were really heaving with each incline. The scenery however, was just so beautiful. Clear blue skies, snow covered mountain peaks and what appears to be never ending valley’s.

Moir Is

After an incredibly steep incline we made it to Memorial Hill. Memorial Hill is a very sobering part of the trek as the plateau at the top of the hill is covered in monuments made of rocks and prayers flags for travelers who have died attempting to summit Everest. The wild and unpredictable nature of the Himalayas becomes very real when standing in the midst of memorials to those who have not survived the elements.

Scott Fischer

Memorial Hill

The remainder of the trek to Lobuche was not at all what I expected of the Base Camp Everest trek. I was surprised to see that there are actual rock pools along the path that were incredible turquoise colors. Most were frozen over as it was incredibly cold, but some had water running down from rock pool to rock pool. My iPhone camera unfortunately could not do the colors justice.

Rock Pools

Our team member Anne-Marie was beyond incredible today, she was feeling so very ill and weak, but was still moving forwards and keeping up with intense inclines. She had been ill for the past couple of days, but with astounding strength and fortitude had made it 4900m at altitude to Lobuche. Remarkable. I was in awe.

That evening was really very cold and my throat and lungs were really struggling by this point, so I skipped the moonlit trek up to 5000m and opted to stay by the fire. Once again, Milan, Anil, Nema and Phurba were so kind to prepare a steam and sit with me as I coughed and coughed and coughed and coughed. I’m so thankful for their care and patience.

Day 9: The morning of Base Camp we awoke at 5.30am to the sound of our trekking assistants knocking on our doors with a big “good morning”. We were greeted with a candlelit breakfast by the fire, such a sweet way to start a very, very intense day of climbing. Throughout the evening unfortunately Anne-Marie had begun to worsen and her oxygen levels dropped dangerously low. That morning she and Zing were helicoptered back to Kathmandu so she could receive medical help. We had to start trekking without her and Zing. We all felt really sad to be going ahead without them. It was quite a somber walk that morning as we made our way to Gorakshep.

Once we arrived at Gorakshep guest house we were really, really freezing. I actually had a hard time keeping my teeth from chattering, it was that cold. After lunch we rugged up and began the 2-hour trek to Base Camp. The first 100m is actually walking on sand, it is a very strange feeling to be standing on sand and looking up at snow covered mountains. Not at all what I expected. As we neared the Base Camp the terrain became quite rocky and in the snow, very slippery. To actually reach the Base Camp we had to cross some sloped icy sections before we could make our way down to the actual Base Camp.

Standing at Base Camp is a pretty awesome feeling. Apart from the “oh my gosh, we made it” feeling, the mountains feel pretty epic from that location. At the Base Camp you can spin around 360 degrees and see mountain, after mountain. We were blessed with clear blue skies so Everest was visible for us. The Khumbu Ice Falls are magnificent and slightly scary, the sound they make when they move must be terrifying. When I actually stopped and just spent timing looking around, I realized just how short my breathing was and how limited the oxygen is above 5000m.

Base Camp 1

Base Camp and Khumbu Falls

To be standing just 3,500m from the highest point of the earth is a really incredible experience. Actually summiting Everest and looking out across the mountains peaks must be euphoric (although after watching Everest, I have absolutely no desire to climb any higher than Base Camp 1). The scenery and feeling of accomplishment outweighed just how ill I was feeling at this point. I was super glad that the doctor was absent at Namche Bazaar and I had decided to push on.

Base Camp 2

Base Camo Grup

That morning I had developed mountain swelling. Living in the tropics I am no stranger to fluid retention, but this mountain swelling was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I was worried that my skin wouldn’t have enough elasticity to hold the swelling and due to my feet swelling I developed my first blister. It was a very strange feeling trekking with legs that had an additional layer of fluid, I was very glad to have the swelling begin to go down as we arrived back in Gorakshep.

The temperature that night went down to -25 degrees, to say it was freezing cold is an understatement — it was well below freezing cold. Even with two hot water bottles, thermals and a down sleeping bag I still shivered for most of the night and I was extremely glad to be heading down the next day to warmer climes, although still very cold, not -25 degrees cold.

Mountain

Day 10 and 11: The ascent this day was through the Windy Valley, kilometers of shrub strewn valley surrounded by magnificent mountains. It felt good to be walking downhill rather than uphill. However, I did have the abrupt realization that I well and truly have 31-year-old knees that are not as hard wearing and durable as they were in my early twenties. The only challenging part of the day was a very steep 45-minute climb before we reached Orsho. After a day of downhill and undulated walking, this was a bit of a shock, so much so, I even dropped the f-bomb.

Orsho

That night at dinner one of our porters, Raj, began to develop a harsh cough. However, as there were several of us coughing it seemed quite normal, we had just come from -25 degrees! We went to bed quite early that night, after making our #TeamWalkyTalky t-shirt and nailing it to the Orsho guest house roof and once again playing multiple rounds of dumbal (many rounds of which I kicked ass). In the morning when I woke up I walked past the porter’s bedroom to the bathroom and saw Raj sitting up in bed covered in piles of blankets with a giant oxygen tank beside him and a mask covering his face. Overnight his cough had worsened and he had rapidly developed HAPE. I was absolutely shocked at how quickly altitude sickness can strike. Milan, Anil, Phurba and Nema along with his fellow porters had spent the night keeping him on oxygen until morning when a helicopter could come and take him to Kathmandu. I felt quite guilty, I had been peacefully sleeping while they had spent the evening keeping their friend alive. They really were incredible trekking leaders and guides.

After breakfast we began the nice short walk from Orsho to Tengboche Monastery. The views of Amadablam along the way were just magnificent and although still cold, it was so good to feel the the cold become less intense. Half way to Tengboche we came across the section where the French trekker, Nassim Nador had slipped and fallen into the Dudh Kosi River. I could totally see how this accident could so easily have occurred — it is quite slippery terrain in some parts. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Day 10 and 11 were very sobering reminders of the dangerous nature of trekking the Himalayas, not just the environment but the way in which our bodies react to the altitude. Thankfully my only reactions were swelling and a great increase to my usual clumsiness thanks to the lack of oxygen. Generally I’m quite a dotty individual, but thanks to the lack of oxygen, my dottiness reached a whole new level of dotty.

The guest house staff were kind enough at Tengboche to start the fire for us straight away and it felt so good to eat a delicious wood fire pizza beside a super toasty fire. A little slice of Himalayan heaven. Tengboche is such an eclectic place. The monastery and surrounding grounds have horses grazing, dogs lounging and cats slinking about the place. The monastery itself is very beautiful, the carvings and paintings are colourful and intricate. I felt like I’d stepped back in time.

That night was spent once again by the fire, with a few of us lathering our faces in coconut oil to help deal with the wind and sun burn while the rest played dumbal. Milan had news that afternoon of Raj, he was in Kathmandu ICU and would spend 4 days there until he was well enough to be released. His family had joined him and he was in good hands. Phew.

Tengboche

Day 12: Today’s trek was hilarious. The first part was a significant distance of just straight downhill. Now I am clumsy at the best of times. If there is a door to walk into, I’ll walk into it. If there is a rock to trip on, I will trip over it. I’m just clumsy. Put me in hiking boots, a backpack and a very steep descent and we are in for some hilarious antics. Hamish was kind enough to trek behind me and on four separate occasions he literally caught me by my backpack as I slipped and nearly went head over heels. Thank you Hamish, that was so very kind and wise of you. On one occasion I slipped too fast and ended up sliding down a part of the descent with my legs doing the splits and my walking sticks out the sides sticking up at awkward angles. It must’ve looked hilarious. Milan strategically jumped in front of me at this point, I really was a special needs trekker.

Once we were on relatively flat ground I was much more coordinated and only fell over once more during that part of the trek. This day was a really sweet trek that took us through Sherpa villages which of course meant lots of cute little children and adorable puppies. We found we were regularly turning back and saying “where’s Clare?” to find that she was taking multiple photos of the super cute puppies. We are looking forward to a Puppies of Everest album. One of the really cool aspects of the trek were the dogs. In the morning a dog would simply start trekking with us and stay with the team for the entire day. One dog even stayed with us from Dingboche to Gorakshep!

That evening we stayed at Monjo. Before dinner Hamish was in his room packing and Clare was in a room nearby packing and prepping for the next day. Cheryl, Noelle, Cosette, Lachlan and I were sitting around the fire and somehow the conversation went from how excited we were to have our first shower in two weeks in two days time to discussing cushions. I think subconsciously we were just thinking about the comforts of home after roughing it for so long. As Clare was getting ready in her room she overheard poor Lachlan banging on Hamish’s door and saying “hurry up and get out here, they are talking about cushion patterns!!” Sorry Lachie.

Pano Pic

Day 13: The next morning I was woken up by the usual *knock, knock* “Good morning, Laura” and even though I was by now feeling incredibly ill and my chest and lungs were obviously in desperate need of a doctor, I was excited for the last day of trekking knowing that a hot shower was just one day away! I had however forgotten that to get back to Lukla required a lot of ascending, and I mean a lot of ascending. I don’t remember too much of the trek, no doubt it was just a lot of coughing, nose blowing and climbing.

I was so excited to see the entrance way to Lukla. We had made it there and back and now my body could just collapse and get on with being sick. It felt good to stop, eat some celebratory momo’s and relax for the remainder of the day.

momos

That afternoon at the Lukla guest house the host was kind enough to let us use their TV to watch Everest. After having just climbed to the Base Camp in -25 degree conditions, we had a whole new level of empathy for the crew, especially the poor Sherpa for the selfish New York socialite. That evening we had our special dinner with the whole crew to thank our porters. Cosette and I were encouraged not to sit next to each other as we may have overwhelmed others with our enthusiasm and volume. It was nonetheless a noisy evening with rounds of dumbal and Phurba and Anil cheating their way to dumbal victory.

Even though I had a raging fever and my lungs were screaming in pain, it felt so good to go to bed that night knowing that I only had to climb about 50 steps to the Lukla Airport the next morning.

Day 14: In our bid to catch the first plane back to Kathmandu we were up super early in the morning and made our way to the Lukla Airport. I felt quite sad saying goodbye to Anil, Nema, Phurba and our porters. They were the best trekking assistants and guides that one could ask for.

Lukla

I was feeling a little nervous about the takeoff from Lukla Airport, so as we took off I had one eye closed and filmed the takeoff so I could watch the whole thing later from the safety of the Kathmandu Guest House. Lukla truly is “The World’s Most Dangerous Airport” — landing uphill and taking off downhill with a giant valley drop at the end of the runway can make nerves of steel become nerves of jelly. Partway through the flight we had to take a detour to a military base 20-minutes from Kathmandu to refuel and wait for the fog to clear from the Kathmandu Airport tarmac. It was relief to land in Kathmandu and we were super excited about our first hot shower in two weeks!! We had arrived back at Kathmandu Guest House with greasy hair, cracked lips, wind burned skin and very, very tired bodies. It was so good to have a hot shower and a nap.

Group ic

That night we were able to reconnect with Anne-Marie and Zing, who were thankfully very healthy and completely well. I believe they are heading back to conquer the Everest Climb in April — whoever has them on their team has not only an awesome addition to their group but they’ll also be trekking with the most stylish, color-coordinated pair on the mountain. After our group dinner I curled into bed with the heater on and slept for 12 hours — it was so nice to be warm, clean and curled up with blankets and comfy pillows.

The next morning it felt very strange to not be woken up by the *knock, knock* “Good morning, Laura” and even stranger to slip on havaianas rather than my hiking boots. I attempted shopping in Kathmandu, however the majesty and peace and quiet of the mountains had ruined me for Kathmandu’s noise and busyness. I could survive just half an hour of shopping before heading back to the Kathmandu Guest House gardens. The Himalayas are indeed one of the most beautiful, peaceful places on earth — I find myself occasionally missing the mountains and their peace.

Kathmandi

After a fairly intense ten days of antibiotics the horrific chest infection cleared and I could actually absorb the epicness of the adventure — climbing to Base Camp Everest with a chest infection. I must say, I felt pretty hardcore and thankfully there was no long term damage to my lungs. Phew.

A very big thank you to our incredible Trek leader, Milan and trek assistants Anil, Nema and Phurba. You are so patient, kind and so very funny — you really did make the trip an unforgettable one. A very big thank you to our incredibly strong porters who lugged our luggage up the mountain and back again — such strength. And a very big thank you to my amazing trekking team — Clare, Cosette, Anne-Marie, Zing, Cheryl, Hamish, Noelle and Lachlan — you were truly an awesome trekking family and I’m so very thankful that I got to experience the Himalayas with you all.

Namaste! (For more pics see @lugrace on Instagram)

Unity is not uniform

I stumbled upon this image and quote on the Instagram page of Californian Hip-Hop artist, Propaganda (@prophiphop), several months ago.

Unity is not uniform …

mlkjnrmx
Photographer unknown (1964). Source: Wikipedia. 

I was intrigued by the possibilities of this idea: unity is not uniform. This idea is not just relevant for much needed social movements, but can be transferred to multiple contexts. One of the primary contexts that I am most passionate about is that of education – I truly believe education is central to making a better and more peaceful world for all. The educational context that I am most passionate about is the classroom – where we as teachers are given the opportunity to inspire, motivate and cultivate our student’s ideas and ways of learning.

For teachers to fulfill their multifaceted role, they can be that much more effective within the context of a school where this principle – unity is not uniform – is applied. While I think of our College and the various personalities and approaches to learning that the teachers I work alongside embody, I am convinced that our students greatly benefit from the diverse range of personalities they encounter.

Our vision is central – to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and compassionate young people who are motivated intrinsically to serve their communities selflessly. This is where we are unified. Our pedagogy is inquiry-based and we firmly believe that positive learning relationships are the heart of creating safe and happy learning environments for our students to grow. Our purpose and pedagogy is unified.

Our individual approaches within the classroom are not uniform – we are diverse. We have quite and calm classrooms where the teacher creates a calm environment for reflection and transfer. We have noisy and chaotic classrooms where the teacher creates an excited environment for inquiry and ah-ha moments. We have busy and fluid classrooms where the teacher stands back and allows the students to ponder and play to find solutions. We have joyful and boisterous classrooms where the teacher employs humor to help students engage in what can be traditionally taught as mundane content and skills. Each classroom has its own unique qualities.

As our students experience and learn to apply their preferred ways of learning within this variety of contexts, led by a collection of diverse personalities – they are enriched and better equipped to navigate the various contexts our world offers.

As educators we are unified. We seek to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and compassionate young people who serve their community through selfless service. As educators we are not uniform. We bring our own unique qualities to the classroom and through this we help our students develop as inquiring, knowledgeable and compassionate young people who serve others through selfless service. Our lack of uniformity gives our students the ability to effectively respond to and contribute to a variety of contexts.

For the sake of enriching the lives of our students, may our schools be unified, but not uniform.

GSLC Guide to the MYP Personal Project

Welcome to the GSLC Personal Project guide. This post contains a step-by-step guide to how we provide an offline guide to the the completion of the Personal Project at Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Darwin, Australia. We have uploaded examples along the way from former Good Shepherd Lutheran College Personal Project students.

The guide presented here is an unpacking of the MYP project guides (2014) and MYP: From principles into practice (2014).

We wish you all the best as you embark on this journey that will consolidate your International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme learning and prepare you for the further rigours of learning at Good Shepherd Lutheran College and life beyond your schooling years.

 

Process Journal

Before you commence on your Personal Project, you firstly need to organise a process journal. The format of the process journal is completely up to you. You may use a blog, YouTube channel, iBook, Trello page, Word doc, OneNote book, visual art diary, personalised Personal Project hashtag on a variety of social media, exercise book, etc. It is entirely up to you. You simply must ensure that you back up your process journal continuously – this is an important responsibility that you must fulfil.

Your process journal is a place where you record your thoughts, ideas, problem solving, reflections, responses to questions, inquiry questions, research, images, inspirations, photos/videos of progress, interviews … basically every aspect of your community project. Your peers, family, friends, teachers or any other interested person should be able to have a very clear understanding of your service learning journey simply by reading your process journal.

 

Supervisors

Each Personal Project student will receive a teacher who will serve as a supervisor throughout the Personal Project journey.

The role of your supervisor is to firstly support you throughout our Personal Project journey. This includes the following as outlined by the IB:

  • ensure the chosen MYP project topic satisfies appropriate legal and ethical standards with regard to health and safety, confidentiality, human rights, animal welfare and environmental issues
  • provide guidance to students in the process and completion of the project
  • confirm the authenticity of the work submitted
  • assess the MYP project using the Personal Project criteria
  • participate in the standardisation of assessment processes established by the school.

It is your responsibility to book regular meetings with your supervisor to share the journey of your Personal Project and to seek feedback. It is solely your responsibility to take the initiative and maintain regular contact with your supervisor.

Enjoy the process of getting to know your supervisor.

 

Investigating

Before you get started on your Personal Project, start by keeping two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and we mean EVERYTHING for your Community Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is, how am I making my thinking visible? 

In this part of Investigating you will:

i. define a clear and highly challenging goal and context for the project, based on personal interests.

Step 1: For the past three to four years of your experience as a student of Good Shepherd Lutheran College you will have seen several Personal Project Exhibitions. Now that is is your turn to complete your own Personal Project place into a mind map some of the ideas you have had for your own Personal Project. Mind map your reflections, thoughts, ideas, etc.

Step 2: Once you have completed your mind map, begin to further develop your goal by creating 5W1H questions. What do I want to create for the product / outcome? When do I need to have this product / outcome completed and is this timeframe achievable? Why do I want to create this product / outcome? Who can I have as a support and mentor as I create my product / outcome? Where can my product / outcome have the most impact? How will I create my product / outcome?

Step 3: Now that you have a general idea of what you want to create for your Personal Project, you need to identify a Global Context for your product / outcome. The Global Contexts help you answer the following questions:

  • why am I creating this particular product / outcome?
  • why is my product / outcome important for not just me, but others also?
  • how does creating this product / outcome help me develop as a more internationally minded global citizen?
  • why should myself and others care about the product / outcome I am creating?

GC

In order to identify the most relevant and purposeful global context for your Personal Project you need to explore the possibilities of all six of the global contexts. Using our Global Context Lens model (below), place your developing goal at the centre, what you will create for a product / outcome. Thinking deeply through the lens of each of the six global contexts, explore how your Personal Project goal can be extended by each of these global contexts. Remember you refine your Personal Project goal through the lens of the global context you have chosen, so make sure that you explore all the possible options.

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Questions to ask as you begin to develop your goal:

  • how does this global context give my Personal Project a greater sense of purpose?
  • how does this global context help others understand just how important my Personal Project is?
  • how does this global context cause others to care about my project?

Once you have chosen your global context you can begin the next stage of defining your goal.

Step 4: The next step of your Investigating is to articulate just how your choice of Personal Project is based on personal interest. We always learn best when what we are inquiring into is important to us. 

In your process journals explain how your Personal Project is based on a personal interest. You can refer to past experiences of yourself or friend or member of your family. This could also stem from your passion for literature, languages, sport, hobbies, etc. Or your interest can simply be something you have heard about via social media, the news, conversations, etc.

Step 5: This step requires you to synthesize steps 1, 2 and 3, to ensure that your goal is highly challenging and fully integrates both your personal interests and the global context you have chosen. Using the template below as a guide, rule up a similar chart in your process journal. This simple activity is designed to help you ensure that your Personal Project goal is highly challenging. By articulating how you will extend from a basic goal to a highly challenging goal will help you further develop your goal.

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In the next part of Investigating, you will:

ii. identify prior learning and subject-specific knowledge, that is consistently highly relevant to the project.

Step 1: Now that you have developed a rigorous and challenging goal that is clearly embedded within a global context, you need to identify prior learning and subject specific knowledge that will help you achieve your goal. Think about the skills and knowledge you already have from clubs, training, independent research and the skills and essential elements of what you have learnt in your MYP subjects and Christian Studies that will contribute to the completion of your Personal Project.

3 - MYP Subjects

Using the template below as a guide, rule up similar charts in your process journal. This simple activity is designed to help you articulate the specific learning and knowledge that will consistently help you complete your Personal Project. Think deeply about this, reflect on your learning, go through old exercise books and documents.

Prior learning

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Subject-specific knowledge

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In this next part of Investigating, you will:

iii. demonstrate excellent research skills.

Although you will do the bulk of your research within this part of your Personal Project, you will continue to research throughout the entire project, so make sure you consistently document and reference your sources and research in your process journal throughout the process.

Step 1: Using the research model below, you need to begin your research and ensure that you document all your research in your process journal. Make sure you research a wide variety of primary and secondary sources.

1. Spec Def

2. Information Seeking

3 Location and Access

4. Extracting Information

5 Synthesis

Step 2: Our world is soaked in information, however, not all of this information is accurate. For each source that you have researched, you need to evaluate these sources using the following evaluation skills:

Source Evaluation

Authority – who is responsible for presenting this information?

  • who has written or provided this information and can you check their qualifications?
  • is the information from an expert in this area?

Accuracy – is the information accurate, can it be proven and verified?

  • is the information correct?
  • can you check the accuracy of information through links, footnotes and bibliography?

Objectivity – is the information based on facts, things you can observe or based more on opinions and emotions? Is it from just one point-of-view?

  • is there personal bias?
  • can you verify that facts, statistics and links to sources are accurate and truthful?

Currency – how old is the information and is this important?

  • has the author(s) provided a date for when the information was written?
  • has the information been revised or updated, and if so, when?

Make sure you consistently document your research and evaluation throughout the entire Personal Project. Research is such a powerful way to gain a deeper understanding of each other, our world and how we can innovate and make a positive difference.

 

In this next part of Investigating, you will:

iv. clarify your goal to ensure that it is achievable. 

After extensive research you may have found that your goal has developed even further – this is great, it shows that you are transferring your research to your goal and ensuring that your product / outcome is even more achievable and rigorous. If your goal has remained the same, that is fine. Remember, the key words here are rigorous and highly challenging. You want to push yourself even further and develop as a learner.

Using the SMART goal model, wrap up your initial investigating to ensure that your goal is: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time-based.

SMART Goals

Reflecting on Investigating

The Personal Project allows you to demonstrate your Approaches to learning (ATL) skills – skills that you need in order to positively contribute to the colourful world in which live – your understanding of how a global context provide greater clarity, depth and purpose to our learning and also how you have developed as an IB Learner.

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have strengthened your ATL skills.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have greater understanding of how the global context you have chosen is being woven throughout your Personal Project.

  1. how is the global context I have chosen given my Personal Project a greater sense of purpose?
  2. how is the global context I have chosen helping others understand just how important my Personal Project is?
  3. how is the global context causing others to care about my project?

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you are further developing as an IB learner throughout your Personal Project journey.

Select 2 – 3 of the Learner Profile attributes and reflect on how you have developed these attributes through your Investigating. Articulate just how and why you have developed these attributes in your process journal.

 

Planning

As you continue developing our Personal Project, ensure you keep two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and we mean EVERYTHING for your Personal Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is, how am I making my thinking visible? 

 

In this part of Planning you will:

i. develop substantial, appropriate and rigorous criteria for the product / outcome.

Now that you have set your goal, defined the global context for your project and engaged in extensive research – you need to transfer this into criteria for success for your product / outcome.

In order to develop criteria for your product / outcome you need to develop a set of specifications for your product / outcome.

When creating your specifications ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
  • How can I judge the quality of my product/outcome?
  • How will I know that I have effectively transferred my prior learning and subject-specific knowledge?
  • How will I know that I have effectively represented the global context I have chosen through my product / outcome?

You need to create a minimum of eight rigorous specifications for your criteria.

When creating your specifications you can consider the following options:

6 - Design Specifications

When you have your list of specifications you need to transfer this to criteria for success by thinking deeply about what each specification will look like at the varying degrees of success. In your process journal draw up the following criteria for success layout. This similar to all the assessment task sheets that you have received from all your MYP teachers throughout your years at Good Shepherd Lutheran College.

Criteria for success:

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Thinking deeply about the quality of your product / outcome at an excellent 7 – 8 level, a substantial 5 – 6 level, an adequate 3 – 4 level and a limited 1 – 2 level. Explain very clearly just what you will be looking for in each of these bands, because when you reach the Reflecting criteria you will need to self-assess your product / outcome against the criteria for success that you have created and you will need to justify each decision.

 

In this part of Planning you will:

ii. present a detailed and accurate plan and record of the development process of the project.

Drawing together your Investigating and your criteria for success, you now need to create a detailed and accurate plan for the creation of your product / outcome and for the completion of your Personal Project. What you create in this section of our Personal Project inquiry cycle will need to be continually reflected on in your process journal.

It is essential that you create an achievable plan for your Personal Project. This requires you to forward plan and take into account the timeframe, resources and materials that you need in order to create the product / outcome.

To do this you need to create a Gantt Chart. A Gantt Chart is simply a useful way to plan for a large project, hence, planning for your Personal Project. As we have such a large array of devices at Good Shepherd Lutheran College, you can choose the format you wish to create this in. It can even be using good old pen and paper.

Simply place on the left column all the steps that need to be completed in order to create your product / outcome and for the completion of the Personal Project. Then along the top, place your timeframe. You can use school weeks or specific dates – the choice is up to you. As you take action you simply colour in the tabs once you have completed each step.

Here is an example of a Gantt Chart for the Community Project that our Year 8’s participate in:

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As you take action and create your Personal Project, ensure that you reflect on each section of your Gantt Chart. Were you able to follow each step in the planned order? What changes needed to be made? What adjustments have you made? How have you used this planning chart to help you remain focussed on the completion of the Personal Project? What have you added to your Gantt Chart as a result of changes you have made?

 

In this part of Planning you will show how you:

iii. demonstrate excellent self-management skills.

This part of your Personal Project is embedded throughout each step of the project. Self-management skills are ways of organising the actual project as well as organising our state of mind.

In your process journals, ensure you document and make very visible the ways in which you have done the following. Remember to include examples and scenarios in order to make your thinking just that much more visible.

Organisation skills:

  • meet deadlines
  • stick to your goals
  • make plans that are logically and sequentially efficient
  • maintain your process journal with regular updates
  • select and use technology effectively and productively.

Affective skills:

  • mindfulness – practise strategies to overcome distractions and maintain mental focus
  • perseverance – demonstrate persistence and perseverance and help others demonstrate persistence and persererance
  • self-motivation – practice analysing and attributing causes for failure and practise positive thinking.

Reflection skills:

  • develop new skills, techniques and strategies for effective learning
  • keep a journal to record reflections
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of personal learning strategies (self-assessment).

In your process journal, document your reflection of your self-management. Be brutally honest – managing our state of mind is often one of the trickiest things to do. The more we articulate this and work on the best ways to manage of our state of mind, the more we help ourselves and others.

Reflecting on Planning

The Personal Project allows you to demonstrate your Approaches to learning (ATL) skills – skills that you need in order to positively contribute to the colourful world in which live – your understanding of how a global context provide greater clarity, depth and purpose to our learning and also how you have developed as an IB Learner.

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have strengthened your ATL skills.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have greater understanding of how the global context you have chosen is being woven throughout your Personal Project.

  1. how is the global context I have chosen given my Personal Project a greater sense of purpose?
  2. how is the global context I have chosen helping others understand just how important my Personal Project is?
  3. how is the global context causing others to care about my project?

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you are further developing as an IB learner throughout your Personal Project journey.

Select 2 – 3 of the Learner Profile attributes and reflect on how you have developed these attributes through your Investigating. Articulate just how and why you have developed these attributes in your process journal.

 

Taking Action

As you take action and implement / create your Personal Project, ensure you keep two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and we mean EVERYTHING for your Personal Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is, how am I making my thinking visible? 

 

In this part of Taking Action you will:

i. create an excellent product / outcome in response to the goal, global context and criteria.

Drawing together your Investigating and your Planning you now need to put this into action and actually create your Personal Project product / outcome.

Your process journal should by now be becoming quite full with all your thinking made visible. Within this section it should become even more filled with photographs, screenshots, reflections, annotations, reflection and just all things that capture the process of creating your product / outcome. Make sure you consistently refer to your criteria for success to ensure that your product / outcome is at the best quality possible.

 

In this part of Taking Action you will:

ii. demonstrate excellent thinking skills.

As you place into action your proposal for action to serve your community you need to be making your thinking very visible in your process journal.

The following questions will help you articulate your thinking skills:

  • how is your understanding your the topic of your product / outcome developing? (For e.g., if you are creating a Hang, how is your understanding of musical instrument creation and welding developing?)
  • are you able to sufficiently help others?
  • what obstacles have you encountered?
  • how have you solved problems?
  • how have you overcome obstacles?
  • how have you analysed and evaluated issues and ideas?
  • how have you generated novel ideas and considered new perspectives?
  • how have you taken feedback on board and incorporated this to the creation of your product / outcome?
  • how have you developed flexible thinking strategies by playing devils advocate surrounding the ethical impact of your product / outcome?
  • how have you employed your prior learning in the creation of your product / outcome?
  • how you have used your subject-specific knowledge and skills in multiple contexts?

Make sure these are documented in your process journal – remember, the process journal is your means of communicating and making your thinking visible, so we are not worried about the appearance of this. Draw pictures, jot down inspirational quotes, create diagrams, glue printed images and articles in – show the world the process of service as action.

 

In this part of Taking Action you will:

iii. demonstrate excellent communication and social skills.

The following questions will help you articulate your communication and social skills:

  • how have you developed a deeper sense of empathy?
  • how have you used intercultural understanding?
  • how have you managed to resolve conflict, and work collaboratively with others?
  • how have you taken responsibility for your actions?
  • how have you encouraged others to contribute to your Personal Project?
  • how have you advocated for other’s rights and needs?
  • how have you exercised leadership?
  • how have you given and received meaningful feedback?
  • how have you negotiated ideas and knowledge with others?
  • how have you organised and depicted information logically?
  • how have you made inferences and drawn conclusions?
  • how have you worked effectively with your supervisor and taken their ideas on board?
  • how have you worked effectively with members of the community who are your mentors throughout this project?

Make sure these are documented in your process journal – remember, the process journal is your means of communicating and making your thinking visible, so we are not worried about the appearance of this. Draw pictures, jot down inspirational quotes, create diagrams, glue printed images and articles in – show the world the process of service as action.

 

Reflecting on Taking Action

The Personal Project allows you to demonstrate your Approaches to learning (ATL) skills – skills that you need in order to positively contribute to the colourful world in which live – your understanding of how a global context provide greater clarity, depth and purpose to our learning and also how you have developed as an IB Learner.

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have strengthened your ATL skills.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have greater understanding of how the global context you have chosen is being woven throughout your Personal Project.

  1. how is the global context I have chosen given my Personal Project a greater sense of purpose?
  2. how is the global context I have chosen helping others understand just how important my Personal Project is?
  3. how is the global context causing others to care about my project?

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you are further developing as an IB learner throughout your Personal Project journey.

Select 2 – 3 of the Learner Profile attributes and reflect on how you have developed these attributes through your Investigating. Articulate just how and why you have developed these attributes in your process journal.

 

Reflecting

As you sit back and reflect on your Personal Project, ensure you keep two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and we mean EVERYTHING for your Personal Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is, how am I making my thinking visible? 

 

In this part of Reflecting you will:

i. present an excellent evaluation of the quality of the product / outcome against your criteria.

Flick or scroll back through your process journal to your criteria for success rubric. You need to evaluate the success of your Personal Project product / outcome by giving yourself a grade against each criteria.

In your process journal you need to explain just why you have given yourself the grade you have chosen. If the grade you have given it not an 8, explain how you could improve your project in order to achieve the top marks. If you have given yourself an 8, that is great, explain why. Remember, as MYP students you always fully justify your decisions because this helps you continuously strive to be an effective communicator. 

 

In this part of Reflecting you will:

ii. present an excellent reflection on how completing the Personal Project have extended your knowledge and understanding of the topic and the global context.

In your process journal respond in detail to the following questions:

  • how has completing the personal project extended your knowledge and understanding of the topic of your product/outcome? (For e.g., if you have written a horror novel reflect on how your knowledge and understanding of the genre of horror, writing a novel, the role of fear in literature, the purpose of horror, etc. has extended through the process of creating your product / outcome.)
  • how has completing the personal project extended your knowledge and understanding of the global context you have chosen? (For e.g., if you have chosen personal and cultural expression as the context for your product / outcome, how has you understanding of what is the nature and purpose of creative expression? Reflect back on the focus question of the global context you have chosen and reflect on how you have developed your understanding of this through your Personal Project.)

 

In this part of Reflecting you will:

iii. present excellent reflection on your development as an IB learner through the project.

Throughout the Personal Project you have made continual reflections on how you have developed as an IB learner in your reflections at the end of each stage of the Personal Project inquiry cycle. In this final reflection your need to reflect on all 10 of the IB learner profiles.

In your process journal create headings for each of the IB learner profile attributes and respond to the following questions for each of the 10 learner profile attributes:

  • how have you developed the characteristics of this learner profile attribute?
  • how and why is this learner profile important for your development as a young person who can help create a better and more peaceful world?
  • how and why has this learner profile attribute helped you become more of an active and compassionate learner?
  • how will you employ this learner profile attribute in your future learning for the remainder of Year 10, Stage 1 and Stage 2 and lifelong learning beyond school?

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The Report

Now that you have created your product/outcome and reflected and documented each step of the personal project inquiry cycle, you now need to transfer this information to your personal project report. This is a formal piece of writing that provides a report on the completion of your personal project. The word count is 1500 words to 3500 words.

Step 1: Using the Personal Project report graphic organiser (if you would like this emailed to you, please just let me know in the comments) you need to respond to each heading and ensure that you have the following information under these headings:

Criteria A: Investigating

Define a clear goal and context for the project, based on personal interests In my report:

  • I give the precise meaning of the goal of my project; I explain “what I wanted to achieve; when, where, how and why I wanted to achieve it”..
  • I define the global context that applies best to my project and explain its connection.
  • I describe what makes my project personal: the experiences, interest and ideas that make it important to me.
  • If I made changes to my goal during the project, I explain the changes and why I made them.
Identify prior learning and subject-specific knowledge relevant to the project In my report:

  • I identify what I already knew about this topic/project and the sources of my knowledge.
  • I identify what I learned in MYP subject groups at Good Shepherd Lutheran College before the project started, and how this was helpful.
Demonstrate research skills In my report:

  • I outline the research skills I had when I started the project.
  • I discuss the research skills I developed through the project.
  • I explain how I may have shared my research skills to help peers who needed more practice.

Criteria B: Planning

Develop criteria for the product/outcome In my report:

  • I refer to the criteria I designed to evaluate the project product/outcome.
  • If I made changes to my criteria during the project, I explain the changes and why I made them.
Plan and record the development process of the project In my report:

  • I provide evidence of my planning through timelines, milestones or other tools/strategies.
  • I present a record of how the project progressed from start to finish.
Demonstrate self-management skills In my report:

  • I outline the self-management skills I had when I started the project.
  • I discuss the self-management skills I developed through the project.
  • I explain how I may have shared my self-management skills to help peers who needed more practice.

Criteria C: Taking action

Create a product/outcome in response to the goal, context and criteria In my report:

  • I discuss the product/outcome as the result of the process undertaken during the project.
  • I check that I have included evidence of my product to be submitted with my report.
Demonstrate thinking skills In my report:

  • I outline thinking skills that I had when I started the project.
  • I discuss thinking skills I developed through the project.
  • I explain how I may have shared my thinking skills to help peers who needed more practice.
Demonstrate communication and social skills In my report:

  • I outline the communication and social skills I had when I started the project.
  • I discuss the communication and social skills I developed through the project.
  • I explain how I may have shared my communication and social skills to help peers who needed more practice.

Criteria D: Reflecting

Evaluate the quality of the product/outcome against their criteria In my report:

  • I evaluate the product/outcome against the criteria I designed.
  • I identify the strengths, weaknesses and possible improvements of the product/outcome.
Reflect on how completing the project has extended their knowledge and understanding of the topic and global context In my report:

  • I identify challenges and the solutions I developed to meet them.
  • I demonstrate a deeper knowledge and understanding of my topic and the identified global context.
  • I base my reflection on evidence, including my process journal.
Reflect on their development as IB learners through the project In my report:

  • I identify how I have developed as a learner (using the IB learner profile as appropriate).
  • I discuss my strengths and weaknesses in completing the project.
  • I summarize the impact the project could have on my future learning.

(Further guidance for MYP projects, 2014)

Step 2: Ensure you provide a bibliography and an appendices. (See Bibliography guide for examples of how you need to structure your bibliography – happy to email should anyone wish to have access to this.) Ensure you double-check your report for spelling and punctuation errors and before you show your supervisor ensure you have self-assessed your report against the personal project criteria.

Step 3: Once you have finished your report, you need to book your final meeting with your Personal Project supervisor for their feedback. Before you submit your final report, process journal and product / outcome, ensure that you have taken your supervisors feedback on board.

Step 4: Once you have finalised your report and it is edited and polished you need to print the Academic Honesty form, fill this in and ask your supervisor to sign. Once this is signed, you need to submit the following to the MYP Coordinators office:

  • Academic Honesty form
  • Personal Project report
  • Personal Project Process journal
  • Product / evidence of outcome. If the product is too large or you are unable to submit, ensure you have photographic evidence.

Well done for completing your Personal Project – a very significant achievement. 

 

 

Step-by-step Guide to Completing the MYP Community Project

Community project: Service learning

Welcome to the Community Project!

In the Community Project, action involves a participation in service learning (service as action). As you evolve through the service learning process, you may engage in one or more types of action.

Direct service: This is interaction that involves people, the environment or animals. Examples include one-on-one tutoring, developing a garden alongside refugees, or teaching dogs behaviours to prepare them for adoption.

Indirect service: You do not see the recipients during indirect service, you have verified that your actions will benefit the community or environment. Examples include redesigning an organisations website, writing original picture books to teach a language, or raising fish to restore a stream.

Advocacy: Through advocacy you speak on behalf of a cause or concern to promote action on an issue of public interest. Examples include initiating an awareness campaign on hunger in the community, performing a play on replacing bullying with respect, or creating a video on sustainable water solutions.

Research: You collect information through varied sources, analyse data and report on a topic of importance to influence policy or practice. Examples include conducting environmental surveys to influence your school, contributing to a study of animal migration patterns, or compiling the most effective means to reduce litter in public spaces. (MYP Projects subject guide, 2016)

This online learning experience is your guide to successful completion of your Community Project. Try your hardest and your supervisors, mentors and teachers are looking forward to seeing all that you will create through your Community Project.

Groups and Process Journals

Before we get started you need to organise your groups. The Community Project can either be competed alone, in pairs or in groups of 3. I’m afraid, we are unable to exceed the number of 3 for Community Projects as this becomes too difficult towards the end of your project when you are providing evidence from all your contributions. 

Once your groups are organised you need to organise the format of your Process Journal.

Your process journal is a place where you record your thoughts, ideas, problem solving, reflections, responses to questions, inquiry questions, research, images, inspirations, photos/videos of progress, interviews … basically every aspect of your Community Project. Your peers, family, friends, teachers or any other interested person should be able to have a very clear understanding of your service learning journey simply by reading your process journal. 

The format of the process journal is completely up to you. You may use a blog, YouTube channel, iBook, Trello page, Word doc, OneNote book, visual art diary, exercise book, etc. It is entirely up to you. You simply must ensure that you back up your process journal continuously – this is an important responsibility that you must fulfil.

Investigating

Before you get started on your Community Project, let’s just start with keeping two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING for your Community Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is: how am I making my thinking visible? 

In this part of Investigating you will:

i. define a clear and highly challenging goal to address a need within a community, based on personal interest.

Step 1: Identify the community that you wish to serve through your Community Project. In your process journal explain just who or what this community is and explain just why you wish to serve them.

Step 2: Identify and explain the need within this community. Using our 5W1H model to create inquiry questions and your research skills, in your process journal explain just what this need is. 

5W1H

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.18.54 PM

Now, take your learning outside the College walls and actually engage with the community you are going to be serving. The way in which you engage with the community you are serving can be via the following:

  • interview
  • survey
  • email conversations or another medium of your choice.

Remember,  you want to gain a deeper sense of empathy for those within the community that you are serving. Dig deep, probe issues and put yourself in their shoes. Practise empathy – it is the key to service and action. 

Something to remember when engaging with the community or a member of the community you are serving, as principled learners make sure you respect their rights, dignity and autonomy. This is very important.

“Always leave people better than you found them.” – Anon 

Step 2: Now that you have defined the community you wish to serve and have established contact with those you are serving, you need to identify a global context for your Community Project. The global contexts help you answer the following questions:

  • why am I engaged in this service?
  • why are the issues I am addressing important?
  • why it is important for me to serve?
  • why should myself and others care about the community I am serving? 

In order to identify the most relevant and purposeful global context for your Community Project you need to explore the possibilities of all six of the global contexts. Using our Global Context Lens model, place the Community you are serving and the goal that you are thinking, e.g., fundraising, creating a comic, inventing, etc, within the context of each of the global contexts. Remember we refine our goal through the lens of the global context you have chosen, so make sure that you explore all the possible options. 

Questions to ask as you begin to develop your goal through the lens of a global context:

  • how does this global context give my Community Project a greater sense of purpose?
  • how does this global context help others understand just how important my Community Project is?
  • how does this global context cause others to care about the community I am serving? 

Once you have chosen your global context you can begin to define your goal.

GC

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.47.09 PM

Step 3: The next step of your Investigating is to articulate just how your choice of Community Project is based on personal interest. We always learn best when what we are inquiring into is important to us. 

In your process journal explain how your Community Project is based on a personal interest. You can refer to past experiences of yourself or a friend or member of your family. Or your interest can simply be something you have heard about via social media, the news, conversations, etc.

Step 4: Now you need to define the type of service you will be engaging in. Service is expressed in multiple ways and the purpose is always to meet a need. Read through the types of service listed below and identify what type of service you will be engaging in.

Types of Service

Step 5: This next step requires you to synthesize (draw together) Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 in order to define your goal. You need to create your goal brief by articulating the following:

  • what community you will be serving?
  • the need within that community you will be meeting?
  • what type of service you will be reaching this need through?
  • what global context you have chosen for your Community Project and why?
  • how this goal is based on your personal interests.

Once you have documented your goal brief in your process journal, send a sample to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of Investigating you will:

ii. identify prior learning and subject-specific knowledge that is consistently highly relevant to the project.

Step 1: Now that you have created your goal brief you need to identify prior learning and subject specific knowledge that will help you achieve your goal. Think about the skills and knowledge you already have from clubs, training, independent research and the skills and essential elements of what you have learnt in your MYP subjects and Christian Studies that will contribute to the completion of your Community Project.

3 - MYP Subjects

In your process journals you need to explain in detail the following:

  • what prior learning do you have that will help you complete your Community Project?
  • what skills and knowledge from your prior learning can you use to help you complete your Community Project? Be explicit in just how this will help you.

In your process journals you need to explain in detail the following:

  • what MYP and Christian Studies subject-specific knowledge do you have that will help you complete your Community Project?
  • what skills and knowledge from your MYP and Christian Studies subject-specific knowledge can you use to help you complete your Community Project? Be explicit in just how this will help you.

Once you have documented your prior learning and subject-specific knowledge in your process journal, send a sample to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of Investigating you will:

iii. demonstrate research skills.

Although you will do the bulk of your research within the Investigating part of your Community Project, you will continue to research throughout the entire project, so make sure you consistently document your research in your process journal throughout the process. Make your research visible. 

Step 1: Using the research model below, you need to begin your research and ensure that you document all your sources in your process journal. Make sure you have both primary and secondary sources.1. Spec Def

2. Information Seeking

3 Location and Access

4. Extracting Information

5 Synthesis

Step 2: Our world is soaked in information, however, not all of this information is accurate. Each source that you have researched, you need to evaluate these sources using the following evaluation skills:

Source Evaluation

Authority – who is responsible for presenting this information?

  • who has written or provided this information and can you check their qualifications?
  • is the information from an expert in this area?

Accuracy – is the information accurate, can it be proven and verified?

  • is the information correct?
  • can you check the accuracy of information through links, footnotes and bibliography?

Objectivity – is the information based on facts, things you can observe or based more on opinions and emotions? Is it from just one point-of-view?

  • is there personal bias?
  • can you verify that facts, statistics and links to sources are accurate and truthful?

Currency – how old is the information and is this important?

  • has the author(s) provided a date for when the information was written?
  • has the information been revised or updated, and if so, when?

Make sure you consistently document your research and evaluation throughout the entire Community Project. Research is such a powerful way to gain a deeper understanding of each other, our world and just how we can impact the world for good.

Reflecting on Investigating

The Community Project allows you to demonstrate your developing Approaches to learning (ATL) skills – skills that you need in order to positively contribute to the colourful world in which live.

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have strengthened your ATL skills.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Well done, you have worked through the first part of our Community Project inquiry cycle. Be encouraged, you are making a positive difference in the world.

Planning

Just a reminder: as you continue developing our Community Project, ensure you are keeping two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING for your Community Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is: how am I making my thinking visible? 

In this part of Planning you will:

i. develop a detailed, appropriate and thoughtful proposal for action to serve the need in the community.

Now that you have established the goal, global context, prior learning and subject-specific knowledge, and have engaged in extensive research, you now need to create a proposal for action by creating criteria for success for the product / outcome of your Community Project.

To do this you need to create specifications that you will then transfer into criteria for success for your Community Project. 

When creating your specifications ask yourself the following questions:

  • How will I know when I have achieved my goal?
  • How can I judge the quality of my product/outcome?

You need to create a minimum of five rigorous specifications for your criteria.

When creating your specifications you can consider the following options:

6 - Design Specifications

When you have your list of specifications you need to transfer these to criteria for success by thinking deeply about what each specification will look like at the varying degrees of success. This part of our Community Project will require the help of your supervisor. Once you have your specifications ready to go and have shown this to your peers to receive feedback, take these to your supervisor and they will walk you through step-by-step of just how to create criteria for success. (Please see TEDx-Style Talk Exemplar for very brief example of how we create criteria for success at Good Shepherd Lutheran College.)

Once you have created your criteria for success you need to articulate this in the form of a mission statement for your Community Project that will serve as your proposal for action.

Using the following sentence starters, create your Community Project mission statement:

  • We are / My name is … from … in the … . (Remember to be proud of your school and where you are from.)
  • I/We strongly believe …
  • Because I/we strongly believe, I/we plan to …
  • My/Our hope is that …

Once you have documented your proposal for action and your mission statement in your process journal, send this to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of Planning you will:

ii. present a detailed and accurate plan and record of the development process of the project.

Drawing together your Investigating, criteria for success and your mission statement you now need to create a detailed and accurate plan for the implementation and completion of your Community Project. What you create in this section of our Community Project inquiry cycle will need to be continually reflected on in your process journal.

It is essential that you create an achievable plan for your Community Project. This requires you to forward plan and take into account the timeframe, resources and materials that you need in order to create the product / outcome.

To do this you need to create a Gantt Chart. A Gantt Chart is simply a useful way to plan for a large project, hence, planning for your Community Project. As we have such a large array of devices at Good Shepherd Lutheran College, you can choose the format you wish to create this in. It can even be using good old pen and paper.

Simply place on the left column all the steps that need to be completed in order to create your Community Project. Then along the top, place your timeframe. You can use school weeks or specific dates – it is up to you. As you take action you simply colour in the tabs once you have completed each step. 

Gantt Chart

As you take action and create your Community Project, ensure that you reflect on each section of your Gantt Chart. Were you able to follow each step in the planned order? What changes needed to be made? What adjustments have you made? etc.

Once you have this completed creating your Gantt Chart, take a screen shot or photo and send this to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of Planning you will:

iii. demonstrate excellent self-management skills.

This part of our Community Project is embedded throughout each step of the project. Self-management skills are ways of organising the actual project as well as organising our state of mind.

In your process journals, ensure you document and make very visible the ways in which you have done the following:

Organisation skills:

  • meet deadlines
  • stick to your goals
  • maintain your process journal with regular updates
  • select and use technology effectively and productively.

Affective skills:

  • mindfulness – practise strategies to overcome distractions and maintain mental focus
  • perseverance – demonstrate persistence and perseverance
  • self-motivation – practice analysing and attributing causes for failure and practise positive thinking.

Reflection skills:

  • develop new skills, techniques and strategies for effective learning
  • keep a journal to record reflections
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of personal learning strategies (self-assessment).

In your process journal, document your reflection of your developing self-management skills. Be brutally honest – managing our state of minds is often one of the trickiest things to do. The more we articulate this and work on the best ways to manage our state of mind, the more we help ourselves and others.

Reflecting on Planning

The Community Project allows you to demonstrate your developing Approaches to learning (ATL) skills – skills that you need in order to positively contribute to the colourful world in which live.

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have strengthened your ATL skills.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Well done, you have worked through the second part of your Community Project inquiry cycle. Up next is the really fun part of the Community Project – Taking Action.

Taking Action

Just a reminder: as you take action and implement / create your Community Project, ensure you keep two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING for your Community Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is: how am I making my thinking visible?

In this part of Taking Action you will:

i. demonstrate excellent service as action as a result of the project.

Drawing together your Investigating and your Planning you now need to put this into action and respond to your proposal for action by actually implementing or creating your Community Project product and/or outcome.

Your process journal should by now be becoming quite full with all your thinking made visible. Within this section it should become even more filled with photographs, screenshots, reflections, annotations, reflection and just all things that capture your journey to service as action – your Community Project.

As you take action in developing your Community Project, remember to take video footage and photos and send this to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of our Taking Action you will:

ii. demonstrate excellent thinking skills.

As you place into action your proposal for action to serve the community you have chosen, you need to be making your thinking very visible in your process journal.

The following questions will help you articulate your thinking skills:

  • how is your understanding of your community developing?
  • are you able to sufficiently help others?
  • what obstacles have you encountered?
  • how have you solved problems?
  • how have you overcome obstacles?
  • how have you analysed and evaluated issues and ideas?
  • how have you generated novel ideas and considered new perspectives?
  • how you have used your knowledge and skills in multiple contexts?

Make sure these are documented in your process journal – remember, the process journal is your means of communicating and making your thinking visible, so we are not worried about the appearance of this. Draw pictures, jot down inspirational quotes, create diagrams, glue printed images and articles in – show the world your process of service as action.

Once you have this documented your thinking skills in your process journal, send a sample to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of Taking Action you will:

iii. demonstrate excellent communication and social skills.

Within service as action our communication and social skills often stem from our relationship with others as a result of empathy.

“Empathy is seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another.” – Alfred Adler

Service and Joy Zen
Service Was Joy, created by Zen Pencils.

The following questions will help you articulate your communication and social skills:

  • how have you developed a deeper sense of empathy?
  • how have you managed to resolve conflict, and work collaboratively with others?
  • how have you taken responsibility for your actions?
  • how have you encouraged others to contribute to your Community Project?
  • how have you advocated for other’s rights and needs?
  • how have you exercised leadership?
  • how have you given and received meaningful feedback?
  • how have you negotiated ideas and knowledge with others?
  • how have you organised and depicted information logically?
  • how have you made inferences and drawn conclusions?

Make sure these are documented in your process journal – remember, the process journal is your means of communicating and making your thinking visible, so we are not worried about the appearance of this. Draw pictures, jot down inspirational quotes, create diagrams, glue printed images and articles in – show the world your journey of service as action.

Once you have documented your social and communication skills in your process journal, send a sample to your supervisor for feedback.

Reflecting on Taking Action

The Community Project allows you to demonstrate your developing Approaches to learning (ATL) skills – skills that you need in order to positively contribute to the colourful world in which live.

Take some time to pause and in your process journal, reflect on how you have strengthened your ATL skills.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Well done, you have worked through the main bulk of your Community Project inquiry cycle. Up next we slow our pace down and begin to reflect on how we have contributed to the community we are serving.

Reflecting

Just a reminder: as you reflect on your Community Project, ensure you are keeping two words at the forefront of your mind: Visible Thinking. All your thinking, problem solving, creative response, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING for your Community Project must be documented in your Process Journal. A question to keep in the forefront of your mind is: how am I making my thinking visible?

In this part of Reflecting you will:

i. present an excellent evaluation of service as action against the proposal.

Let’s flick or scroll back through our process journal to our criteria for success rubric. You need to assess your service as action (what you have created or produced as your product or outcome for the Community Project) by giving yourself a grade against each criteria.

In your process journal you need to explain just why you have given yourself the grade you have. If the grade you have given it not an 8, explain how you could improve your project in order to achieve the top marks. If you have given yourself a grade of 8, make sure you explain why. Remember, as MYP students you always justify your decisions because this helps you continuously strive to be an effective communicator. 

Once you have documented your your self-assessment in your process journal, send a sample to your supervisor for feedback.

In the next part of Reflecting you will:

ii. present excellent reflections on how completing the (Community) project has extended your knowledge and understanding of service learning.

In your process journal reflect on 1) how you have extended your knowledge and understanding of just what service learning is; 2) the type of service learning you have engaged in; and 3) how this has changed your understanding of your place in the world. You need to write one paragraph for each of these three reflection points. Challenge yourself and see how you can incorporate at least five of the IB Learner Profile attributes into your reflection.

Once you have documented your your reflections on service learning in your process journal, send a sample to your supervisor for feedback.

In this part of Reflecting you will:

iii. present detailed and accurate reflections on your development of ATL skills.

Throughout the Community Project you have continuously reflected on how you have been developing your ATL skills. In your process journal you need to give your final ATL reflection and use examples from your process journal as evidence of how you have developed your ATL skills. This can simply be a copy and paste, or a notation to see a particular page in your Process Journal. (If this is the case, make sure you number the pages of your Process Journal).

Make sure you clearly explain each of the five ATL skill categories in the cycle below.

ATL Cycle

Communication skills:

  • How have I developed as a Communicator?
  • Through my primary and secondary source research has my ability to exchange thoughts, messages and information through interacting with others improved?
  • Has my ability to read, write and use language effectively helped me gather information and communicate this to others?

Social skills:

  • How have I developed as a collaborative learner?
  • Has my ability to collaborate with others improved?

Self-management skills:

  • How have my organisation skills developed?
  • How have I been able to develop the way in which I manage my state of mind? Am I more resilient? Can I better manage my emotions?
  • How have I developed as a reflective learner?

Research skills:

  • How have I developed as a researcher?
  • How has my ability to find, interpret, judge and create information improved?
  • How have my technology and media skills developed to use and create ideas and information?

Thinking skills:

  • How have my critical thinking skills developed? Am I able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas in a more thorough manner?
  • How have my creative thinking skills developed? Am I able to generate new ideas and consider new perspective?
  • How have my transfer skills developed? How is my ability to transfer primary and secondary research, classroom learning and “real-life” learning to my product/outcome?

Congratulations – you have nearly completed your Community Project.

We now simply need to organise our Community Project presentations in the form of a TEDx-Style Talk and an appendices with evidence from your process journal to support your TEDx-Style Talk.

Presenting the Community Project

Now that you have finalised your Community Project and your Process Journal is filled with your service and action journey. You need to prepare for your Community Project presentation. The way in which we present our Community Project at Good Shepherd Lutheran College is through a TEDx-Style Talk with accompanying appendices.

Community Project Presentation Graphic Organiser

Using this Community Project Presentation graphic organiser, you need to take all your documentation and the thinking you have made visible in your Process Journal and share this through a TEDx-Style Talk that you will share with the College community. The following guidelines need to be followed:

  • Individual student presentations (TEDx-Style Talk): 6 – 10 minutes
  • For a group presentation (TEDx-Style Talk collaboratively presented): 10 – 14 minutes (each presenting for an equal amount of time)

Your TEDx-Style Talk will be a presentation so ensure that you have visual aids such as a PowerPoint, Prezi, image slide show, short video footage, etc.

Once you have finalised writing your report you need to provide evidence from your process journal against every strand of your Community Project inquiry cycle journey. For e.g., in Investigating when you were developing your global context, include the page where you explained how the global context gives your Community Project greater significance and meaning; in Planning you have had to plan and record the development of the process of your project, add your Gantt Chart and a couple of reflections of the process of completing the Community Project, etc.

The best way to think of your appendices is in terms of evidence – you want your appendices to demonstrate how you have make your thinking visible and to verify that the work you are presenting is definitely yours.

Here is an exemplar for the TEDx-Style Talk Script and Appendices: Community Project Presentation Exemplar (This is a limited exemplar, please simply use for ideas of how to articulate your thoughts.)

On the day of your presentation you need to submit to your supervisor the following:

  • The script for your TEDx-Style Talk
  • A completed Academic Honesty Form (your supervisor will have this)
  • Process Journal Extracts – your appendices
  • A bibliography of all your sources
  • Any supporting visual aids that you have used in your TEDx-Style Talk (Keynote, Prezi, video, etc.)

Remember to stand tall and stand proud when presenting your Community Project – you have done an amazing job and should be so proud of yourself.

A way of thinking. A way of seeing. A way of doing.

In her keynote speech at the 2016 IB Asia Pacific Conference in Hyderabad, Linda Lantieri explained that a disposition is a way of approaching life that is unique to a particular person. She used the example of kindness. If a person is consistently kind to others they become known for their kindness. This kindness impacts how they view others and navigate their way through life leaving footprints of kindness in their wake. Kindness is their way of thinking. Kindness is their way of seeing. Kindness is their way of doing. They are kind. Kindness has become their disposition.

This simple explanation of a disposition got me thinking about our role as inquiry-based teachers. After reflecting on my own developing practice and the journey our College has travelled in implementing the IB Middle Years Programme, I have come to the understanding that an inquiry-based teaching approach is in actual fact a disposition. It is a way of thinking. It is a way of seeing. It is a way of doing.


As inquiry-based teachers we are provided with an opportunity to view each child in our classrooms not as vessels to be filled with the knowledge and skills of our discipline, but as an active inquirer who we can equip with the skills to seek knowledge and then to know just how to apply knowledge and skills within multiple global contexts. This is the approach we take within our classrooms. We view our students as highly capable learners in their own unique way who can achieve great accomplishments as a result of their learning.

As inquiry-based teachers we design our classroom environments with multiple opportunities for students to be involved in a variety of learning experiences in order to construct new knowledge and ensure they make their learning meaningful to themselves and their peers. We design learning experiences where our students experiment, solve problems, explore, create, collaborate and understand the “why” of what they are learning.

An Inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning is a pedagogical approach that begins with us, as John Hattie says, ‘seeing learning through the eyes of the student.’ (Visible Learning, John Hattie, 2013) This requires a disposition. A way of thinking. A way of seeing. A way of doing.

The wonderful thing about a disposition is that it can be learned. We can all agree that our education systems need to rapidly evolve in order to prepare our students for the rapidly advancing and globally connected world we live in. In order to fully prepare our students we must equip them with the tools to ask the right questions, become seekers of knowledge and develop the skills to apply this knowledge in order to develop solutions, or become ‘solutionaries’ as Marc Prensky coined in his keynote address, Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century.

With this challenge as teachers we can be open-minded towards the needs of our students and the world they engage in. We can take risks and develop vibrant and engaging classroom environments where our students are truly at the centre of all learning. And we can deepen our care for our students by seeing learning through their eyes.

Just as the person who learns and practices kindness so it becomes their disposition, we as teachers can learn and practice inquiry-based pedagogies so we become inquiry-based learners alongside our students. Our view can be broadened and our practice deepened so our disposition towards student learning is that of inquiry-based teaching and learning where we ‘see learning through the eyes of our students.’

Inquiry-based teaching and learning can become our way of thinking. Our way of seeing. Our way of doing. Our disposition.