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What makes a dynamic workshop experience?

Sol Perez pictureBy Sol Perez

Sol gives some insight into the IB workshop experience.

Face-to-face workshops are a great opportunity, not only for teachers new to the IB, but also for more experienced teachers as they are able to share what they have learned and discover tips and secrets to help their students ace their exams. Sol Perez.

What do you expect from the people who attend your workshop?

I expect people to bring their good sense of humour, open-mindedness, teaching experiences and flexibility! Though I prepare an agenda for the workshop, I will make modifications to meet the needs of the majority, depending on the pace we take. I would expect participants to be honest about how they are coping with the material and if we should move at a slower or greater pace.

What is the most interesting thing/remark you have witnessed in a workshop?

I would say it is when teachers  arrive thinking “this IB thing is too much work” and they suddenly realize that they are already doing so many things that make us “IB” without realizing it! They end up leaving the workshop satisfied and confident that they can take up the “IB challenge”.

How do you prepare for this history workshop?

Getting information from participants helps me tailor the workshop to their needs.

A great deal of the preparation time goes into thinking about different activities to do in the workshop as the days can be long and intense, especially after lunch time. I like to have dynamic workshops where people interact and learn from each other’s experiences.

What are the ingredients that make for a successful for workshop?

Positivity, inquiry, good spirits and the desire to learn something new.

How do differences in backgrounds influence the workshop process?

The biggest challenge is, usually, to overlap the prescribed material from the DP with national requirements. I usually ask them to read the guide before the workshop and then have in mind some possibilities for overlap so we can share experiences.

This turns out to be a truly enriching experience. Another positive aspect is that when teachers come in contact with so many different “ways of doing” the whole group benefits incredibly. In any case, irrespective of background, the opportunity to come face-to-face with people from several different backgrounds is priceless.

Sol Perez is a professional development (PD) facilitator for DP history and also teaches DP history and Spanish B at Sandefjord Videregående Skole school in Sandefjord, Norway.

Find a PD history workshop that suits you. If you are at an IB World School, go to the programme resource centre to access the latest materials for the new DP history course.

Watch out for the upcoming changes to the DP history course

From September 2015, DP history teachers will have more choice in the topics their learners cover – teachers will need to choose the topics their learners will study from the following framework:

One prescribed subject. There is a choice of five prescribed subjects – these include areas like: global war, conflict and intervention. This is examined in Paper 1, Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL).

Two world history topics. There is a choice of twelve world history topics, including causes and effects of conflicts and the cold war. These are examined in Paper 2 (SL and HL).

One regional option. HL students have a choice of four regional options including history of the Americas and history of Europe. This is examined in Paper 3 (HL).