Chesterton Tribune



CHS International Baccalaureate students make presentation at statewide conference

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Five members of the Chesterton High School International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB) woke three hours early for school Tuesday, Nov. 14, in order to attend the annual Hoosier IB conference at Shortridge HS in Indianapolis. Over 500 students attended from IB schools and Diploma Programs across the state.

Students attended presentations about the importance of enthusiasm in their classwork, crafting their service projects, and specialized recruiting pitches for IB students from IU’s School of Global and International Studies, Tulsa University, and Minerva University, of San Francisco.

CHS students went a step further and presented their own breakout session, “How IB affects your mindset.” Seniors Katelyn Balakir, Evan Little, Kaylinn Woolever, Logan Summers, and Alexis Hoover volunteered to share their experiences as members of the IB Program; a decision that was supported by their course work in Creativity, Action, Service (CAS).

During the CAS course, students craft and execute a service project of their choosing; while completing group work and service hours either by helping worthy causes or trying something new. The presentation borrowed heavily from another portion of ‘the core’ of the IB program Ð Theory of Knowledge (TOK). In the TOK course student’s examine their individual ‘lens’ that affects how they view and process information. Instead of giving students information for memorization, this course seeks to help students understand what knowledge is, how it’s accumulated, disseminated, and processed by individuals of different status, experience, culture, and creed.

Katelyn Balakir began by examining the idea of a fixed vs. growth mindset, saying the IB program has shifted her belief ‘that rather than being born with a capability for education, she has control over how much her educational ability can grow over time.’ She utilized educational studies to show that when a student is introduced to new information they may comprehend one hundred percent of the material, but just 19 hours later retention of that knowledge was found to only be 67 percent. Balakir shared a technique of reintroduction within the first 48 hours, then within a week, and then once a month until mastery.

Evan Little taught the attendees that a key to unlocking academic potential is understanding the inter-connectivity between studies; explaining that too many students take classes in isolation. ‘Making connections between history, literature, and science are key methods to reinforce our understanding and ultimately produce knowledge’ Little said.

Kaylinn Woolever followed with a message about being willing to come out of your individual comfort zone. As she progressed through the IB program, she was introduced to new ideas and experiences, eventually studying abroad in Germany with Chesterton’s GAP program. Being able to see the sights that she was studying, while immersed in the language, created another way of connecting different ideas. An open mind made it possible to accept lessons to delve deeper into new concepts.

Logan Summers focused on the idea that each students’ approach to new material is different. He looked at how his two years in the IB program have shown that he picks areas of knowledge to pursue based upon his personal lens. According to his studies, ‘once a student knows why they believe something, it becomes much easier to decide that they want to learn.’

Alexis Hoover concluded the presentation by addressing individual questions from conference members.

The IB program is a two-year program at CHS, beginning during a student’s junior year. Instead of choosing individual courses, student course work regularly intersects between classes and the skills and knowledge of one class become transferable to others. The program began in 2008 and continues as a college-prep learning community within CHS. The IB diploma is a specialized globally recognized diploma that students can earn in addition to a traditional core 40 or honor's diploma.


Posted 11/21/2017




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