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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
concluded the presentation by addressing individual questions from
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.