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Ten perspectives on international-mindedness

How do students, teachers, and leaders in IB World School communities view the concept of international-mindedness? Ten IB community members share their perspective on the concept and why it is central to the IB educational philosophy.

 


circular-maskDr Saud Al Ammari, Legal Counsel and Member of the Board of Trustees, King Fahad Academy, London, England—”International-mindedness is the key to having a better understanding and appreciation of one another. In fact, in today’s troubled world, international-mindedness is perhaps the way for a brighter and more peaceful future. Our young men and women are the hope for a better world, and I am pleased to see the IB championing this trustworthy cause to enable them to achieve such a noble objective.”


KevinKevin Kahiro Maina, IB student, The Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi—“International-mindedness is best defined as a ‘frame of mind.’ Perhaps though, a ‘philosophy for living’ would be more appropriate for it enables and empowers individuals with the ability to perceive the world in a manner that disregards the ‘self’ and its prejudices while embracing a greater sense of the ‘other’.”


LiinaLiina Baardsen, IB Alumnus, Diploma Programme Curriculum Manager—“International-mindedness means the ability to see an opportunity in every encounter to both share life with a unique individual and a fellow human being. The greater our individual differences, the more difficult such encounters are likely to be. But they can also be some of the most rewarding experiences we have. When differences on an individual level seem big, our greatest aide is a search for what we share as human beings, which I believe is always more than what separates us.”


MikeMike Bostwick, Executive Director of Katoh Gakuen Bilingual School, Japan—“At the heart of international-mindedness is a frame of mind; a curiosity about the world, an openness towards things ‘other’, and a profound appreciation of the complexity of our world and our relationships to each other. You don’t have to be in an international context to develop this kind of mindset.”


KrisKris Kosaka, CAS Coordinator and teacher at Tamagawa Academy, Machida, Japan—”Students truly take ownership of a concept only by doing and experiencing it in practical terms. I believe international-mindedness is best taught by connecting with others around the globe or in the many different worlds to be found by stepping outside of accepted comfort zones in one’s back yard.”


StuartStuart Pollard, International Community School, London—“It is my belief that through engagement and action, linguistic competency and awareness, and an understanding of both national and international cultures, IB students are prepared to be successful global citizens of the future. International-mindedness is the foundation and the driver for this preparation.”


QhalisaQhalisa Khan, IB student, The Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi, Kenya—“International-mindedness is the ability to be receptive to a multitude of ideas and cognisant of various experiences worldwide. This includes being part of an international community which is both pluralistic and meritocratic. Multi-nationalism and respect for cultural diversity are also key components of global harmony. The development of human ingenuity to incorporate broader aspects of our global network is also an integral part of this.”


SimonSimon Walker, Head of Berlin British School, Germany— “International-mindedness is a way of thinking; perhaps even a philosophy that has the possibility of leading us to a deeper and broader understanding of our complex world and our role within it. It can and should be made visible through the questions students ask and actions associated with global citizenship.”


AnthonyAnthony Tilke, Librarian, United World College, Singapore—”International-mindedness is at the heart of an IB library. IB students, with their rich and diverse backgrounds and experiences, rightly make demands for multi-viewpoint and balanced resources to support inquiry, information, language and literacy needs.”


DaraDr. Darla Deardorff, Executive Director, AIEA, Duke University, USA—“Higher education institutions have increasingly found inter-cultural competence and international-mindedness to be core student outcomes of internationalization efforts. IB plays a key role in helping to prepare students not only for their future college careers in this regard but also for the diverse world in which they will live and work.”


International-mindedness is central to the IB mission and a foundational principle to its educational philosophy; it is at the heart of the continuum of international education.

An IB education creates learning communities in which students can increase their understanding of language and culture, developing as successful communicators with the skills needed for intercultural dialogue and global engagement.

Students, teachers, and leaders in the IB school communities have a range of perspectives, values, and traditions. The concept of international-mindedness builds on these diverse perspectives to generate a sense of common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

 

What does international-mindedness mean to you? Post a comment below.

 

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  • Adrian D’Ambra

    Knowing you are in and of the world; that your sense of place is fluid, flexible, expanding; that you are not just one thing and that other people are never just one thing.

  • Samah Al Safadi- SEN Consultan

    Exactly what Dr. Ammari added! ‘Troubled world’… Calling challenges by their names is the first solid step for successful cure. IB philosophy and open mindedness is no longer a ‘luxury’, it is a ‘must’ should we plan to have a peaceful world for our offspring!

  • Elizabeth Dillingham

    It is interesting that a common theme seems to be that international-mindedness deals with our frame of mind. This was mentioned several times by the article contributors. Our frame of mind as it pertains to the world and our “philosophy of living” is such an important aspect of being a part of a global society.

  • Pavitha Paul

    I agree to Adrian’s views. I also feel International Mindedness is nothing but opening out to others’ views and opinions with an open mind, accepting others as they are and trying to be a good communicator and be an inquirer too.

  • Sara Morris

    International-mindedness is an open, respectful attitude to others; whether that be the ideas they share, culture they come from, or their opinions. It is a crucial part to educating all students in today’s society. We are more connected than we ever have been before. This means that almost any future career will have our students in situations where they are working and interacting with others from various cultures and backgrounds. Teaching them to be open to what others have to say as well as respect their ideas is central to creating successful, future citizens of the world.

  • Girija Rao.A

    International mindedness is one great opportunity to learn. There is so much of scope for a wider horizon to understand how the basic learning happens.How the world is. On an international arena the countries participate with a purpose.This learning many a time evokes the humanness among the citizens of the world. The nations might have their very authentic monumental or rich history and heritage in many walks yet the international mindedness brings the boundaries together due to the human mind and helps in developing the fellow nations.

  • Girija Rao.A

    To put it very simply international mindedness is to use our intelligence in such way that would be useful globally, at any given time, generation after generation !

  • Lisa Karlin-Rigo
  • “International-mindedness is best defined as a ‘frame of mind.’ Perhaps though, a ‘philosophy for living’ would be more appropriate for it enables and empowers individuals with the ability to perceive the world in a manner that disregards the ‘self’ and its prejudices while embracing a greater sense of the ‘other’.”

  • ”Students truly take ownership of a concept only by doing and experiencing it in practical terms. I believe international-mindedness is best taught by connecting with others around the globe or in the many different worlds to be found by stepping outside of accepted comfort zones in one’s back yard.”

  • perhaps the way for a brighter and more peaceful future. Our young men and women are the hope for a better world, and I am pleased to see the IB championing this trustworthy cause to enable them to achieve such a noble objective.”

  • Cassie Brennan

    International Mindedness is having the ability to accept and respect the values, opinions and ways of life of other people and cultures. It encourages self reflection and minimises the feeling of discomfort towards another culture and looks for other perspectives.

  • Narelle West

    International mindedness is the ability to relate to and understand people from different cultures. It’s a celebration of diversity where people are respectful and display an open attitude towards individual differences. A place where people feel connected to the global community.

  • Jamee Jones

    International-mindedness is the ability to engage with, and understand, people of varying cultures, practices, perspectives and backgrounds. It supports the positive interaction and global success of people across cultures and countries. Internationally minded people recognise and respect the achievements, experiences, history, nuances and practices of people from a vast array of cultures and backgrounds.

  • Melissa Martin

    International mindedness is recognising the differences in cultures and backgrounds of others. It is being respectful to others regardless of your own beliefs. Being open minded is crucial to be international mindedness. it leads to action to make a difference in the world.

  • Melinda Harvey

    International mindedness starts with the ability to understand and consider someone else’s point of view or perspective, the want to inquire about the world, understanding and partaking in responsible dialogue and taking responsible action to understand.

  • Angela Stork

    International mindednes encompasess a deep authentic respect for the differences in cultural attitudes, traditions and beliefs, particularly when they differ from our own. It implies that we cannot judge simply because we don’t agree with or misunderstand other people’s ways of being. There is so much to be learnt from having an open heart and mind and even more critical to instill in our children acceptance and respect for all people.

  • M Cameron

    The ways we interact with the world wide community and understand that we all play a part in it and to gain an insight and understanding into the different ways people do things to take the best from everyone. The world is now so connected and you can no longer just think and work on a small local scale.

  • Caron Lane

    International Mindedness is so beautifully summed up in the IB Mission. It is a “heart” thing! Intercultural understanding and respect.

  • Alison Marshall

    International mindedness is being prepared for a world where we work with and relate to a wide range of people. We need to build strong character and attempt to understand other peoples perspectives, being principled and ethical in how we carry ourselves.

  • Claire Scott

    International mindedness means to me:
    Curiosity about the world
    Cultural understanding and empathy
    Appreciating different perspectives
    Communicating across differences
    Understanding and taking responsible action on global issues

  • Chenelle

    International-mindedness is the acceptance, respect and acknowledgement of diversity in culture, background, values and beliefs. It recognizes differences and celebrates diversity in all human beings and attempts to promote respect and understanding in all of these components. It does not to disregard individual culture and upbringing, however, it regards others as equally important. It is a foundation for bringing peace into the world and allows love and compassion to remain at the centre of everything we do and say.

  • Megan Rayment

    Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, is at the heart of international-mindedness. Knowing that in any culture there are things to be celebrated and ideas, concepts or practices to be challenged, enables us, and our students, to see the beauty and value in all people. The ability to see through another’s eyes allows us to understand on a deeper level and challenge our own pre-conceived ideas.

  • Kirstin

    Being internationally minded is not something you can teach in a lesson, it is an attitude, a way of thinking and being, of accepting other ways of thinking and doing are equally as valid as our own.

  • Wes

    To me, international-mindedness is understanding that what we experience as our way of life, is not necessarily what other people experience. It is looking beyond stereotypes, and understanding that while stereotypes may be true, they dont hold true for a whole population.

  • donna

    International-mindedness is an attitude, a way of thinking and being, appreciating cultural differences, and accepting other ways of thinking and doing are equally as valid as your own.

  • Angie

    International mindedness to me is being open and accepting to different perspectives. It’s about respecting and understanding one another, as well as understanding that we are all citizens of this world. As different as we all are, we share this commonality.

  • Joseph Lewczuk

    International-mindedness allows us to reflect on own culture, cultures of our community and those around the world. Being international-minded is also being aware of what makes us the all the same as well as what makes us different. We can look to the 10 IB Learner Profile attributes to provide us with guidance to what an international person should look like.

  • Rebecca Lodge

    Recognising that we ourselves have a culture is an integral part of being International-minded, not merely being aware of other cultures.
    It may seem obvious to some people what their culture is but being part of a family that has been in Australia for nine generations, I often responded to questions regarding my background/culture with, “Nah, I’m just Aussie”, ashamed that my family lacked originality. I viewed what my family did as just ‘normal’ and thought that culture was something that only people with differing customs to us had.
    To be tolerant of other people’s views and differing cultures, you must understand that you do what you do because of your culture, not just because you consider it to be normal.
    The fact is that everyone has a ‘normal’, but everyone’s ‘normal’ can look completely different. That’s what I love about cities like Melbourne, there’s so many different cultures and not just one ‘normal’.

  • Rebecca Lodge

    “Minimises the feeling of discomfort towards another culture”, love this!

  • Kate Taverner

    Wow, lots of comments on this post today. Thanks to everyone involved. It’s wonderful to read through all your own perspectives on international mindedness. Are you all taking part in a class activity on the theme?

  • Doris Carson

    International-mindedness is going outside your comfort zone to collaborate with students from different socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, and languages to experience learning opportunities within the classroom, community, and eventually in the world. Students get to experience relating to internal and external stakeholders and taking the lead in a service learning project that they feel passionate about. It will also be a rigorous and challenging time for them but with the help of the teacher and other resources, they will persevere.​

  • Toni Franchetto

    I am thinking about how to promote the idea of international mindedness into our youngest of thinkers in the early years PYP. I believe that by infusing these ideas into everyday learning in the classroom will begin the journey into becoming a compassionate, caring, life long learner, collaborator and taking on the perspective of a Global minded citizen.
    Looking at the world and how it compares and differs to ourselves
    Learning about our personal culture, family, city, country, world
    Thinking about our impact on the world, environment, climate, world culture
    Looking at how people relate to one another and treat each other from all points of view
    Looking at humanity, similarities and contrasts.
    Looking at how we are all humans, no matter where we are from, how we look, talk or play.
    Thinking about our home as the entire globe, or planet.
    Critically thinking about how to change these aspects of the world and how they impact the global citizen.
    Caring about humanity as a whole.
    Caring about the Planet we live on, the resources we share and the other species we share this plant with.