Visual arts task deepens curiosity and encourages students to reflect on how the attributes influence their lives
When IB Diploma Programme (DP) visual arts teacher Tamara Doleman asked her students at Ashbury College in Ottawa, Canada, to identify the IB learner profile attributes that most exemplified their personalities and create a piece of art, she was most impressed by how they took the challenge to a whole new level.
Students ventured out of their classrooms to take pictures that represented the attributes and then shared them with the class. “The exercise served to explore the vocabulary and investigate how characteristics can be represented with pictures,” says Doleman.
“We thought about how we saw the attributes in our own lives and identified two or three that were most valuable to us. Then the artwork activity began.
“Working to visualize these characteristics in ourselves allowed the students to own these characteristics and heighten their curiosity in themselves, in me and in each other, as well as celebrate the differences and identify how these traits can vary in how they are expressed. We also had a chance to explore which attributes we are lacking in ourselves, and how particular characteristics are useful in certain environments, courses and professions.”
The artwork is currently displayed in DP Coordinator Shannon Howlett’s office and will be showcased at an upcoming art evening via video. Howlett says: “It was the end product, as well as the thoughtful and intellectually poignant rationales given by the students, that I felt really set this apart from what I have seen previously when exploring the IB learner profile attributes.”
The activity has positively influenced the school community, says Doleman. “We got to know each other better through the sharing and discussion of the work and also talked about how the DP aims to develop us all. It was wonderful to start with the big picture and to make it relevant and personally meaningful.”