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.

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 …

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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.

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.47.09 PM

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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 3.12.30 PM

 

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.25.52 AM

Subject-specific knowledge

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 3.17.34 PM

 

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:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 9.53.46 AM

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:

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.29.07 AM

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.

Teachers as stepping stones

As teachers within the Middle Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate we are given the challenge to strive to be the attributes of the IB Learner Profile alongside our students. We are encouraged to model these characteristics in our classrooms. This year I set a challenge for myself to take greater risks as I continue to develop as a reflective inquiry-based teacher, who increasingly allows student voice to guide much of the classroom learning. This definitely has had its challenges, however, the positive outcomes of this goal was worth the challenges.

Our Year 8 team have just wrapped up our last MYP inquiry unit of the year – a genre study with a focus on the horror genre. We have walked alongside our students through an inquiry into how creators of the horror genre employ specific features in order to cause their audience to experience fear. Our statement of inquiry has been: Writers of the horror genre position their audience to respond in a particular way, they basically just want to freak us out.

The MYP objective we were focusing on was Objective C: Text Production. We inquired into how authors and filmmakers produced text with purpose and in turn the students task was to produce a text. Traditionally I would allocate the type of text production that I want my students to produce, however, I decided to let my class create their own assessment task and produce a horror genre text of their choice that is in direct relationship with our statement of inquiry. This took a couple of lessons for students to unpack the criteria, write their own task sheet and then create their own task specific clarifications. The learning here was valuable. Students had to grapple with criteria for success, expand their ideas, negotiate timelines and make adjustments to increase the rigour of their task. They were challenged and enlarged as learners.

I learned a few very valuable lessons from watching my students complete their independently created text productions. These are just a few of my reflections on the process:

  • Students engagement with the process of assessment was greatly enhanced. Students were engaged, not only in the classroom, but also at home. As their sense of autonomy as a creator of the horror genre increased, their ability to problem solve and creatively negotiate the challenges of producing a text were increased. When they presented me with issues they were facing as they progressed students were highly motivated to ensure these issues were effectively solved. A definite win for a Year 8 class at that point in their middle schooling where apathy tends to set in as their bodies go through those often tumultuous hormonal changes.
  • Students increasingly learnt the value of humble collaboration. I watched as three separate groups of horror film makers had falling outs over their ideas and plans for their film. However, because they had a sense of ownership over the direction of the task, they were able to resolve these issues and come to points of compromise and new ideas in order to move forward. I had the task of mediating two of these groups and discussing their issues ensuring they removed the words ‘I’ and ‘my’. It was truly a privilege to listen to students come around to each others ideas to realise that others ideas and ways of thinking were just as beneficial as their own, if not more so. Through this they learnt to look beyond themselves and take others ideas on board in a humble and collaborative manner.
  • Students language development was enhanced. As IB teachers we are committed to enhancing students language learning and understand that no matter what subject we teach within, we are responsible for language learning and supporting students mother tongue(s) and cultural backgrounds. One of my students is from Vietnam and was so appreciative when I suggested that she can write her short story in Vietnamese and then simply translate this for me once she is finished. This student is always so studious and dedicated in her learning, but I had not seen an excitement in her learning yet. Having the opportunity to write in her own language and express herself in Vietnamese, she became excited about her assessment task and gained a sense of pride in her cultural heritage as her classmates were awestruck at her ability to communicate in a different language and a character language as well.
  • Student-led learning doesn’t stop in the classroom, it provides a platform for future inquiry and learning. One of my students chose to write a novel for her task, however, due to time restraints she was aware she would only be able to begin her novel. I had the pleasure of watching her independently work on her novel, as a developing inquiry-based teacher this was really a treat. Using WattPad she simply started writing, then when she had to make connections she would open her Language and literature exercise book and mind map her ideas and then add this to her novel road map. She would draft syntax and paragraphs, and when stuck for inspiration she would begin to draw the settings in her exercise book as well. Although she was working independently I watched as she would regularly ask her classmates for feedback and ideas. The feedback she would then note down and look for ways to integrate this in her novel. In the morning she would inform me of how outside of school hours over Facebook she and her peers were discussing her novel via Messenger. The fluid nature of her learning and engagement in an assessment task reminded me of just how important student voice and choice is in their learning journey. When students are actively engaged and find their learning relevant and meaningful, learning goes beyond the classroom walls and the College grounds – it permeates their lives.

When students have a sense of autonomy and their voice is heard and catered for within the classroom, wonderful learning experiences can occur. These experiences can inspire our students to produce excellent work and engage in their learning outside of the classroom. I can’t help but think just how many more inventors, designers, authors, filmmakers, artists, developers, problem solvers, etc., the world would now possess if our education systems were set up to teach students, not curriculum. Would we have progressed further as a more understanding and accepting society? Would we have greater advancements in medicine and healthcare? Could our global issues be closer to solving if we saw education as student-centred not just objective-driven? What ideas for change and growth would come from our schools if the voices of our students were listened to?

From this learning experience with my Year 8 class, who I will dearly miss as they progress into Year 9, I am even more convinced of my role as not just a teacher of Language and literature, but a facilitator who has the responsibility to provide a platform for student learning beyond the classroom. My job is not to cram concepts, content and skills into the minds of my students, but rather create relevant and engaging learning experiences that serve as a stepping stone for students independent inquiry and learning. After all, isn’t that what we as teachers really are? Stepping stones who help our students find their voice and wings so they can make our world a better and more peaceful place.

Seeing learning from a students perspective

Over the past few weeks our Year 8 cohort have engaged in a genre study inquiry focusing on the horror genre. I decided to try a different approach with my class. Like most middle school learners they are a very energetic and chatty bunch of learners who like to be actively involved in their learning, not just receivers of knowledge. So I collated the significant content that they need to learn and the skills they need to develop in order to produce a horror text of their choice.

Students then arranged themselves into groups and they were given the task of creating a 30-45 minute inquiry lesson for their peers that enabled them to understand and apply the significant content and skill I had collated and prepared for them. The content and skills were minimal, as I wanted the students to collaboratively inquire and develop their own, collective understandings. Although slightly chaotic at first (my apologies to the two relief teachers who had to cover two of my lessons), the end result was really engaging lessons where students were able to learn the significant content and skills required from their peers.

Students help their peers understand the role of gothic horror by conducting an introductory prior-knowledge brainstorm.
Students help their peers understand the role of gothic horror by conducting an introductory prior-knowledge brainstorm.

This ‘students as teachers’ activity allowed me to become a student for a couple of weeks and spend time sitting with my students and simply observing how they both teach and learn. I was able to see learning through my student’s eyes and hear how they learn from listening to their conversations. There is much I will change to my own practice – but that’s a post for later.

Students engage their peers in a creative exercise by having them listen to a modern horror story, that includes the features of suspense and the unnatural, and draw the imagery that comes to their mind as they listen.
Students engage their peers in a creative exercise by having them listen to a modern horror story, that includes the features of suspense and the unnatural, and draw the imagery that comes to their mind as they listen.

This experience allowed students to bring their unique personalities to the classroom and express this in their learning. I began to realize just how simple, and yet rigorous, student-centered and student-led learning is. When we place the learner at the center of all planning, teaching and assessing our own task as teachers is both simplified and enhanced. We think of the learner, not just the content we need to cover.

This led me to think about how I can see the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme through the eyes of a student.

As teachers and coordinators we spend hours pouring through a plethora of documents to try and make all the Middle Years Programme offers achievable for the context in which we work. There’s the constant struggle of moving forward, without leaving teachers behind and reaching each learning area where they are at, as well as drawing all forward with a common purpose.

A very simple way for us to understand the learning areas within the Middle Years Programme could be to see the objectives of each learning area from the eyes of a student.

Seeing learning within the Middle Years Programme through the eyes of a student could be articulated like this:

“We understand that through our learning we do not just seek knowledge, but we seek to develop as compassionate global citizens who strive to become the characteristics of the learner profile – inquirer, knowledgeable, communicator, open-minded, balanced, reflective, thinker, caring, risk-taker and principled.

In our Arts learning we gain knowledge and understanding of artistic movements and representations. We learn a variety of performing and visual arts skills that enable us to develop as artists. These skills along with our developing knowledge and understanding give us opportunity to think creatively and express ourselves.

Through our Design learning we learn to think like designers and solve problems. Through the Design Cycle we learn to inquire and analyse, and using the data from our inquiry and analysis, to develop ideas that solve a problem. In our Design learning we are given opportunities to create solutions and then reflect on the impact of our design through evaluation. Through our Design learning we begin to understand different ways of seeing and thinking.

As we engage in our Individuals and societies lessons, through our developing investigation skills we gain knowledge and understanding of famous and influential people who have instigated change and how societies are formed, developed and interact. We then communicate our knowledge and original ideas through our developing critical thinking skills. Through Individuals and societies we gain a deep appreciation of our history and the world in which we live.

Language acquisition allows us to begin to comprehend spoken, written and visual text in a language other than our own. Using our new language knowledge and skills we then learn how to effectively communicate in this new language. Language acquisition provides us with an opportunity to communicate beyond our own borders and culture. This learning area helps us develop as global citizens who gain a deeper and broader understanding of our place in the world.

In Language and literature we analyse a variety of texts – written, oral and visual. We learn how to effectively organize our ideas in order to produce our own unique text. We learn to use language effectively in order to develop as the best communicator we can possibly be. Language and literature gives us opportunity to gain an appreciation for the power and beauty of language and literature.

Through our learning in Mathematics we gain knowledge and understanding of the wonder of mathematics. We learn to investigate patterns and communicate our knowledge of just how we analyse and solve problems. We learn the universal language of mathematics and how to apply our mathematical learning in real-world contexts. Through our mathematics learning we learn how to critically and logically think – a valuable skill we need as individuals committed to a lifetime of learning.

Our physical and health education learning area gives us opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the problems and issues related to physical and health education. We learn how to plan for performance in a variety of contexts and then apply this plan to our performance. We learn to be reflective learners who understand that there is always room for improvement as we reflect on our performance and think of the ways in which we can improve.

In our Science subjects we gain a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the tiniest atoms through to the magnificent scope of our universe. We ask questions and by designing our own experiments we learn to process and evaluate data. We develop as reflective learners through reflection on the impacts of science. Through our learning in science we are given opportunity to explore and be excited about the endless possibilities our world offers us.

Our ATL skills are the skills we use to engage in the learning of our subject areas and as we do, we develop each characteristic of the learner profile. We learn to continuously reflect and self-assess and observe how we develop from a novice in a particular skill area through to an expert who can teach this skill to others.

Because we learn through a conceptual lens our learning dives deep beneath the facts and content so we can search for the deeper meanings represented in all that we learn. Through our conceptual learning we also learn how all knowledge is transferrable and what we learn in one learning-area can also be applied to multiple other learning areas.

Our learning is set within global contexts so that we can make connections with what we are learning to the world in which we live and we begin to understand how all learning helps us become compassionate global citizens who can serve others through our learning. “

Although this is a very brief look at the objectives of each subject group within the Middle Years Programme, seeing these objectives through the eyes of our students can help us realign the purpose of teaching and learning – back to the students. The anomaly of teaching is that in the busyness of planning, marking, giving feedback, communicating with parents and carers, etc., we can loose sight of our purpose and simply begin to tick boxes and aim to just get through the content before the next task, rather than focusing on the students themselves – our reason for teaching in the first place.

My students taught me to see learning through their eyes. Not only were each of my students actively engaged, they were able to take ownership of not just what they were peer-teaching, but also of all they learnt, as it was coming from a peer. I have once again been reminded, that we teach children, not just curriculum. Classroom learning should actively seek to listen to student voice and allow for each students unique expression in each lesson.