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IBAP (International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific)

Teachers' Convention held in Singapore, March 31 to April 2, 2007


Information Literacy Across the IB Programmes


Official website of the convention -- most presenters' handouts can be downloaded from there

Karen Bonanno: Advocacy, Reason, responsibility and rhetoric


Advocacy as deliberate, planned, and sustained.


Moving people from:

  • Unconscious Incompetent to
  • Conscious Incompetent to
  • Conscious Competent to
  • Unconscious Competent


Peter Woodhead from the ESF schools in Hong Kong: "On-line Learning Communities"


21 educational hubs, 16 of which are in the interconnected CLC (Connected Learning Community), allowing students to upload, create web pages, participate in forums, create links, create surveys, and manage tasks.


The CLC as a buffer zone between the physical learning environment and the virtual world of the internet.  


Radm Lui Tuck Yew, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Singapore


I found his speech on the internet, though it doesn't appear to be available from the IBAP website yet.


350 schools in Singapore, 500,000 students from ages 7 to 18


Just cut the curriculum by 30% in order to create more "white space" for teachers (an example of top-down support for bottom-up innovation)


Manga Alive!, where students create manage characters


Computer-student ratio is not 1:1, but 1:2


Read his speech for more info...


Ingrid Skirrow/Yvonne Barrett: What IS the role of the library in PYP?


See their handouts...


The two of them did a fine job of teasing out all the references to the role of the library in the official IBO documents, as well as trying to map the PYP transdisciplinary skills onto some of the most popular inquiry/research models.


Yvonne Hammer/Cathy Hill: The intersection of Information Seeking Models in the Research Process


See their handouts...


What I loved about their presentation is that they're the first ones I've heard to stress how Kuhlthau's information search process with its emotions can be linked to the PYP profile and attitudes -- which is something I've been thinking about. The importance of getting kids to understand that we all have ups and downs in the inquiry cycle.


They took the list of 10 PYP profile attributes and grouped them this way:


The learner is using information.

  • knowledgeable
  • inquirer
  • thinker
  • communicator

The learner is developing values in using information.

  • principled
  • caring
  • open-minded

The learner develops critical evaluation skills.

  • risk-takers
  • balanced
  • reflective


I also appreciated their comparison of different inquiry models -- and the introduction of one new to me: Parnes' Creative Problem Solving model (which they say is frequently used with gifted and talented students, based on the belief that creativity is a set of behaviors that can be learned).



1. Mess Finding (e.g., brainstorming)

2. Data Finding (collecting the facts, acting as a camera while looking at the "mess" -- a major evaluative tool)

3. Problem Finding (prioritizing options, speculating, focusing, and finally forming a statement or question)


4. Idea Finding (generating ideas and feeling responses, elaborating, more brainstorming)


5. Solution Finding (evaluating, re-examining the focus, identifying leads, and analysing views of the problem)

6. Acceptance Finding (considering the audience, target the priorities, developing a plan of action, editing, presenting work)


Finding focus (step 3.) is the hardest, they said.  They find that Parnes and Kuhlthau help students DEFINE their task better.

As they pointed out, so much happens before the "define" stage of the standard NSW model, e.g., the Initiation, Selection, and Exploration (in Kuhlthau), and Mess Finding and Data Finding in Parnes.  The PYP follows Bloom's taxonomy, so the defining stage isn't well developed.


They said Parnes is what the Future problem solving program is based upon.


Surprisingly, they hadn't heard of Kath Murdoch's model -- where "Tuning In" is nicely in line with "Mess Finding".  I must admit I almost like the phrase "Messy Finding" instead.


In the PYP "model" (of transdisciplinary skills), there is no evaluation step and no interconnectivity -- it's a set of skills, not a process.  Is it because self-evaluation is assumed to be occuring all the time?


The balance between skills and challenges -- that students should be given the chance to overcome a challenge that is just about manageable -- which is where appropriate scaffolding comes in.  They include Kuhlthau's Feelings (affective), Thoughts (cognitive), and Actions (physical) in all their presentations.  Kuhlthau's intervention/mentoring helps validate students' situations -- and gives them suggested strategies.


* Intervention Zone 1: self-diagnosis and self-direction

* Intervention Zone 2: provision of right resource (by mediator)

* Intervention Zone 3: provision of relevant resources (by mediator)

* Intervention Zone 4: provision of a sequence of resources (by mediator)

* Intervention Zone 5: assistance and guidance through the whole process


This goes on all the time, but it's important that students know they can seek assistance (how to ask for help and when to ask for help).


Their whole focus is on questioning and their goal is to have the kids experience flow (a la Csikszentmihaly), so that it becomes a learning experience they want to repeat.  They definitely talk about feelings with the kids.  Students frequently are intent on closure when they come in -- which leads to skipping the 1st three stages of Kuhlthau -- which, in turn, leads to disaster (plagiarism).  What they need is to return to the Mess stage or to Kuhlthau's Exploration stage.


Gary Green: Re-Inventing the role of the Teacher Librarian


See his handouts...


TTB: Tiny Transfer Booklet  (though I later told him he should call it a Tiny Transformation Booklet -- as we should be about transforming information rather than just transfering it -- and he liked the suggestion).


The TTB was a little almost origami exercise that folded a colored piece of paper into a booklet which he said he used to get kids to put down just 12 key words or concepts during the course of a lesson.


Whole focus on learners learning -- and doing what the teachers can't do.  We as T/Ls need to position ourselves better.

* are we slow to embrace change?

* how credible are we seen as advocates for change?

* are 'functions' in the library more important than learning?


Insisted that we need to be able to answer the question, "What's your pedagogy?" in 25 words or less.  We need to stand for something.


The big questions are:

* what's the thinking in this? -- this is the critical part, it's the incoming, it's the question, "What am I doing with the data?"

* what do you actually want the kids to do? -- this is the creative, the outgoing bit -- need to put kids in the situation where they come up with something new or original out of the facts

* metacognitive -- also the outgoing, use Habits of Mind


Information literacy -- is it enough??  Need to keep Bloom in mind.

It's about THINKING -- Critical thinking (e.g., IL), Creative thinking (e.g., constructing meaning), and Metacognitive thinking.

He hates the NSW model -- it's too linear, too left-brain.


Create and Evaluate are the most important steps.


We have 3 roles:

* Generalists

* Gypsies -- borderless learning, e.g., teaching in the classrooms

* Gamblers -- flexible, innovative, credible, create opportunities;  offer teachers something they can't already do, but need to know (he always sends teachers an e-mail telling them what he's going to do before he gets there to do it)


Approach what we do from a "thinking" construct, rather than a process-drive one.


You -- as the T/L -- have to represent thinking.


TL Toolkit:

1.  look at the school's needs and gaps

2.  flexibility

3.  audit each student and teacher for their thinking styles, learning styles, and multiple intelligences (asking, If given the choice, how do I prefer to show what I know or have learned?)

4.  questioning (the 3 what's)

* WHAT does it mean? (remembering and understanding)

* so WHAT could or would it mean? (reasoned speculation, i.e., apply and analyze)

* now WHAT? (evaluate and create)


Questions like "what do you think?" and "what do you feel?" are too low-grade -- makes the girls ask harder ones -- because you need to know where your opinion comes from.  Can't do statements "I think..." or "I feel..." because that's unaudited stream of consciousness where thinking isn't verified.


Critical thinking must be constructed around the following:

* plan (strategy)

* forecast (predict)

* communicate (own and others' views)

* decision-making (process)

* evaluation (on-going)


Want a generic problem-solving model, like EFQ Check!

* E = EXPLORE (exploring boundaries, background and connections of a 'topic')

* F = FOCUS (determing what I require or am interested in)

* Q = QUESTION (unpacking the given question or making my own)

* CHECK! = check time, audience, purpose, and task


Creativity =

* Fluency (big ideas)

* Flexibility (alternatives, considering both POV (personal) and perspective (global))

* Originality (new or unusual)

* Elaboration (expand on an idea)



.... Intro....

.........Intellectual Honesty......


.....................You <--> Task.........................

...............................Task Frames (choose one) ................................


where Task Frames have these basic types:

..... Clusters and orders

..........Sequences (which are special orders)


....................Zooms (POV + perspective) (e.g., a Zoom might be a quadrant divided into social, cultural, political, environmental)



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