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The Power of Conversations

13 June 2015

“It was great...” “The kids were fabulous” “No need for change” “It was almost perfect”
It is really interesting that we have been developed as educators. Evidence on our professional development is that we rarely hear these comments in our planning or reflection coordinating sessions. Development of learning has become a concern of every educator at our school community. As we plan, we always think how we can make it even better the next time. This is what we do with young learners, and we model as adult learners.
Our PYP Exhibition falls under the theme “Sharing the Planet”.
The main purpose behind the PYP Exhibition is to give the learners the chance to select a local issue with global significance, investigate into it, and try to take a meaningful action to solve it. Throughout the process, pedagogical leaders, teachers, parents, and mentors support learners without robbing them the opportunity to have ownership for their learning.
Every year, parents witness something different and more developed from the previous year PYP Exhibition. By “better”, we mean that learners are more empowered in terms of profile, skills, and attitudes to argue their issues and reflect their understanding.
Exhibition 2015 is better in terms of learners’ ability to argue. To develop this 21st century skill, we intended to engage the whole school and Makassed Association communities in sharing the findings and celebrating the actions students reached throughout the process.
Engaging students in a thoughtful conversation has started with the early stages and continued until the Sharing phase of learning. Everyone was encouraged to engage in many one-on-one conversations with students to ensure they have found something to explore that really matters to them, to get them to articulate their personal connections with their inquiries and to hear them explain why they care.
Such format of sharing findings was because we as a team agreed on the fact that the more they present for different audience, the better students become at articulating their learning, till the final exhibition where they will share their learning with their parents.
Learners find these conversations both challenging and rewarding.
Some students can readily identify what bothers them, what they care about and, with minimal probing, dig deeper and express their personal connections. Others take longer time to respond and reason their choice and actions. Some are interested in so many things; they find it hard to choose a focus. Therefore, the conversation was the window through which we learn more about the student as a learner. The various conversations held did not only allow the students to articulate their current understanding but also to unlearn and relearn.



Role Hallak
Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher