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Best of the Week 2022-2023: Excellence in College Prep

IB STUDENTS CREATE "MIND MAPS," BLUEPRINTS FOR STUDENTS TO EXPRESS HOW THEIR BRAINS WORK



As part of this year's introductory Theology unit, Theology Department Chair Chris Merriman has been working with our IB Theory of Knowledge (TOK) students, reflecting on the core themes of "knowledge" and "the knower." The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme describes these themes as those that "encourage students to reflect on themselves as knowers and thinkers, and to consider the different communities to which we belong." With the notion that knowledge is like a map, IB students were given the task to create their own "mind maps" as visual displays expressing how their minds work. "This is a really powerful way for our students to understand their peers in a new way, while also really anchoring these first weeks of school in the 'Knower' IB TOK unit," says Dean of Academics and IB Coordinator Nick Kuhar.


Like the example above, students reflected on their own perspectives and experiences to create their mind maps, showcasing the positive and negative thoughts that flow through a teenager's brain. Through honest reflection, students shared their perspective from their sense of community and how they feel they belong to their struggles with stress, mental health, and maturing as young adults. "With this assignment, we broke down TOK concepts and explored how scope, perspectives, and ethics play a part in someone's knowing and understanding of their own mind," says Mr. Merriman. "We asked for consent from each participant if they felt comfortable sharing their creations with the class and students were respectful of each other and shared how much they appreciated getting the chance to see inside their classmates' minds."

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