The Power of ‘All’

Rich and relevant curricular programs such as the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme aim to develop “inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”(What is an IB education, IBO, 2019).

To achieve these aims, a focus on attitudes, values and even specific content to develop intercultural understanding and respect is needed. Included in ‘creating a better and more peaceful world’ requires that learning about environmental education and equity, for example, be woven into existing content in our programs. This is certainly possible, but, to do so efficiently and effectively, requires time that teachers may not have. To complicate matters further, there isn’t yet complete agreement in the educational community about how to refer to some of these new areas of important learning that we’re trying to incorporate.

Is it Global Mindedness or Global Citizenship?
Is it Environmental Education or Education for Sustainable Development?
Is it DEIJ or I-DEA?

We know what we value, and we have a vision of the many attributes we want to foster in our students, but manageable clarity for schools and teachers can be difficult to achieve. 

One approach is to ensure the set of 21st Century skills that forms an essential part of our programs is all-encompassing. Even the addition of one small word can make an impactful difference. We can add, wherever possible, the word ‘all’ to our expected competencies, for example. 

Notice the transformation in this example:

Help others to succeed’ becomes→ ‘Help all others to succeed’

I can imagine a powerful conversation with students as we work together to discuss the important differences between the two.

Further examples include:

‘Listen actively and respectfully to others’ ideas’ becomes → ‘Listen actively and respectfully to all others’ ideas’

‘Be respectful to others’ becomes → ‘Be respectful to all others’

Core & More Education offers a set of integrated competences, explicitly including the attitudes, values and aims of Education for Sustainable Development, I-DEA, Global Citizenship and, for those using the IB, Learner Profile attributes. Starting a plan for learning from this important top layer ensures for our students the comprehensive program for which we aim.

Click here to access a free sample.

Further Reading

For more ideas on improving intercultural relationships and equity in your classroom, see resources from the National (US) Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), including a framework for the practice of anti-bias education with children.


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