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Imagine teaching happiness?

IB World Magazine encouraged the IB community to think outside the box when it comes to engaging students in new subjects.

An IB education encourages inquiry, and helps children make sense of the world, all while empowering lifelong learning. Through class discussions, many (off curriculum) topics arise that students and teachers wish they could further explore.

Of course, time and capacity are a challenge, but we took to Twitter to ask the IB community to briefly reimagine their curriculums and asked, “What topics do you wish you could teach, and why?” Here are the responses:

Ekta Singh, Middle Years Programme (MYP) coordinator at DPS International in India (@ektadsingh).

“Basic life skills, which help us become self-regulated and lead to leadership in later life, such as managing our resources, such as clothes, books, devices, time, money, energy, emotion”.

Sana Noor, Primary ICT coordinator at Pathways School Noida in India (@sansanananana)

“Although happiness should ideally come naturally to humans, it has now become quite hard to attain. I think simple lessons on gratitude and how to stay happy with what you have is something which we must teach all kids of today’s materialistic world”.

Dr Gaurav Jaiswal, Diploma Programme (DP) teacher at DPS International in Gurgaon, India (@DrGaurav_J)

“Agriculture, which is a culture on which all cultures depend. This would allow students to be sensitive towards farmers and in a world where demand is high and supply is less, they should know the art of it and may implement it in their gardens”.

Schools can adapt and expand their curriculums to be more relevant; to embrace what is happening now and in the future; and to make them interesting to students too, as the IB explains below:

 For the Primary Years Programme (PYP)

For young learners, focus on what is relevant and engaging for them at this time, and support learning through the ongoing development of the approaches to learning (ATL) and international mindedness. What does it mean to be knowledgeable, open minded, balanced and caring through times of global challenge? Be driven by the learner rather than the curriculum”.

For the Middle Years Programme (MYP)

By moving beyond mandated factual knowledge to focusing on the development of conceptual understanding, schools can make learning more relevant to adolescents. The inquiry-driven nature of the MYP and its emphasis on skill development enables schools to increase motivation and engagement by harnessing the interests of individual students”.

For the Diploma Programme (DP)

“We are teaching during a significant and historic moment. Together with your students, it’s as important as ever to live the IB learner profile through shared empathy, honesty and caring.

“The DP approach is conceptual and driven by student ownership and self-direction. In this challenging time, new ways of teaching and learning invite innovation.  For instance, you might use your time with students to spark their curiosity, passion and interests by: exploring new insights linking your subject area to real-world issues and challenges;  experimenting with new approaches and platforms for sharing student ideas and discoveries; or highlighting powerful interdisciplinary connections so that students appreciate a fuller, richer understanding of their DP education.”

For the Career-Related Programme (CP)

CP learners are perfectly poised for a unique learning experience that embraces their interests and skills, through application in real world contexts. The programme is specifically designed to be agile, both during the learning and in its outcomes for learners. For schools, this means evolving areas of interest to students, like globally networking, netiquette or employability trends, which are already fully supported by the CP curriculum frameworks and teacher support material.”

“I would love to teach neurosciences. It’s a great topic to use both PYP and MYP key concepts. Neurosciences can also lead into approaches to learning skills (ATLs) too!”.

Ayeesha Francis, PYP educator at HKCA Po Leung Kuk School in Hong Kong (@AyeeshaShahani).

“I’d love to teach my PYP kids more about human psychology, the structure of the brain and how it works. To enhance metacognitive skills, people generally need a better understanding of how the human brain works, how emotions work on a physiological level”.

Dr Virginia D’Britto, DP coordinator at Choithram International in India.

“I would love to teach, and discover along with my students, the new dimensions of artificial intelligence (AI) and how it would impact the senses of humans or let’s say cyborgs. How design will become an integral part of not only the non-living world but also the living world, thinning the divide”.

Sabahat Khan Tatari, Senior Coordinator PYP, Head of MYP and DP at Angels International College in Pakistan (@sabahatktatari).

“Empathy for nature, as this leads to conservation of ecosystems and healthy living styles; essentials for today”.

Hani Alrefo, Head of Arabic department, MYP and DP teacher at ACS Doha International School in Qatar (@HaniAlrofou).

“Body language is a topic that students need for their learning and life. I hope the IB considers this topic and includes it in the IB courses such as drama, languages, art, creativity, activity, service (CAS), theory of knowledge (TOK), etc. This topic can enhance the students’ imagination”.

Haripriya Hariharan, business management teacher at HFS International School in Mumbai (@mumbailady)

“A course on planning skills―considering how important having a plan is for accomplishing goals. Self-management skills are the most important skills for life success”.

What subject would you love to teach? Let us know in the comments👇🏼

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World Magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn and email us for a chance to be featured!

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