Head of School Blog

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Community Project: Challenging Students to Make a Difference

Jill Singleton | Volume: 7 Issue: 10 | March 7, 2018
Spirituality lies at the heart of the All Saints mission statement, which includes the development of “a sense of spirituality through social action and service.” Our philosophy statement mentions a number of related beliefs about what children need to develop fully into people who will make the world a better place. We believe:
  • Children need opportunities to grow intellectually, artistically, emotionally, physically and spiritually
  • Cooperation and teamwork are key elements for personal development
  • Children can make a difference by giving of themselves to others
  • Self-awareness is essential to understanding our connections to our neighbors and our world
  • Education should instill an appreciation of and responsibility for the earth and all living things
  • Children are best served when families and schools work in partnership with one another
Once we become an IB Middle Years Programme school, our Eighth Grade students will be required to complete a Community Project. This project provides a wonderful framework for students to explore and experience these important ideas.

On its website, the IB Organization (IBO) lists the following desired outcomes for the Community Project:

  • participate in a sustained, self-directed inquiry within a global context
  • generate creative new insights and develop deeper understandings through in-depth investigation
  • demonstrate the skills, attitudes and knowledge required to complete a project over an extended period of time
  • communicate effectively in a variety of situations
  • demonstrate responsible action through, or as a result of, learning
  • appreciate the process of learning and take pride in accomplishments.
Further, IBO states that the student-planned Community Project is designed to help students broaden their knowledge and extend their skills and attitudes about themselves as learners through the required activities, which include:

  • deciding what they want to learn about, identifying what they already know, and discovering what they will need to know to complete the project
  • creating proposals or criteria for their project, planning their time and materials, and recording developments of the project
  • making decisions, developing understandings and solving problems, communicating with their supervisor and others, and creating a product or developing an outcome evaluating the product/outcome and reflecting on their project and their learning.
My personal philosophy of education has always centered on the belief that the goal of education is personal and social transformation. As we are changed and transformed by what we have learned, we develop a passion for using our knowledge and gifts to bring about positive change around us; we are moved to make a difference in the lives of others. Contrary to  the notion that education prepares us for success in the world as it is now, I believe that education can and must engage our imagination about the world as it can, and should be –  a world in which there is enough for everyone, a world in which justice and peace are available to all, a world in which we commit to an appreciation for our shared resources and our common humanity, a world in which we care deeply about each other –  and also about the people who will come after us.

The IB Community Project is a powerful way for young people around the globe to begin developing the skills and understanding needed to fulfill the true purpose of education – to use all that we have and all that we can be to make the world a better place.

You can learn more about the IB Community Project here.

Please review this currently list of Frequently Asked Questions about our school’s journey to become an IB Middle Years Programme School, and feel free to forward any additional questions you may have.

Questions? Comments? Ideas? I’d love to hear them! Email me: jsingleton@allsaintsdayschool.org
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