The year 2019 ushered into our school community several changes and luckily for us, we at MIS see changes as opportunities to learn, to grow, to innovate, to show agility and to empower ourselves with knowledge and skills that we didn’t have yesterday. Embracing one such opportunity, P3, stepped into the academic year with not one but two transdisciplinary Units. While ‘Who we are’ inquired into the values that shape our lives, the yearlong Unit ‘How we organize ourselves’ is geared towards creating systems and structures that are needed to build an effective learning community within the class.
This beautiful “Trans-Unit” overlap led to the formation of our second edition of class Essential Agreements wherein learners identified the values that they wished to nurture within their class and worked collaboratively to craft corresponding statements of agreement for each one of them.
Now that we had a class mission (displayed on our walls as our Essential Agreements), our school mission (proudly worn all our uniforms) and the IB mission (found in every PYP classroom as attributes of the Learner Profile), we wondered how, if at all, the three of them might be connected. What followed was an investigation which involved deep reflection, critical analysis, debate and an exchange of diverse perspectives; an experiment of sorts to test the collective strength and tenacity of the philosophies that determine the ethos of our school.
Preparing for this mammoth expedition, groups of students discussed and listed the various ways in which the school lived up to its mission to ‘Promote Learning’, ‘Encourage Responsibility’, and ‘Celebrate Diversity’. The children then analyzed how components of the three missions were connected to each other and in doing so they imbibed some invaluable skills. Our researchers read and interpreted ideas, our communicators discovered new words and what they meant in different contexts, our thinkers analyzed and synthesized information, our managers devised colour-coded systems to organize their thinking and our collaborators argued, reasoned and defended their choices while also acknowledging others’ perspectives and developing strategies to get along with each other.
Our analysts were thorough in their job and soon began to realize just how interwoven the three missions really are. As the engagement came to an end and harmony and order were momentarily restored, the children of P3 unanimously concluded that all components were interconnected, and that every mission was in sync with the others.
We would like to believe that this little activity has sowed tiny seeds of appreciation in the young minds and we hope that they, in the not-so-distant future, shall begin to recognize and cherish the true worth and value of their well-aligned, purposeful education at Mahindra International School.
Here, we proudly present a few of our students’ reflections:
Norah: “The skills I used for this task were analyzing skills because I tried to connect P3 class values to MISP essential agreement to promote learning, celebrate diversity & encourage responsibility from our logo. I was a risk-taker and I tried to understand the meaning of the new words.”
Simon: “The skills I used for this task were: Analyzing Skills and Thinking Skills and Teamwork Skills. Evidence #1: I used Analyzing Skills and Thinking Skills because we were thinking and looking for the words in the sentences to make it easier and to connect it to P3 values, IB Mission and MISP Mission. Evidence #2: I used Teamwork Skills because we were working in a group and doing it as a team and to do our best on it and to finish it faster. “
Rhea: “The skills I used was analyzing because we had to make a connection to all of the IB values and see how they were related. I also used teamwork because we all came up with different connections with the different values and we told each other ideas. I was a thinker because I thought about different ideas and I also had to think about what connections were there.”
Ajay: “We were writing what we understood about the school’s values promote learning, celebrate diversity and encourage responsibility. We thought of stuff we did in school and connected it to the LP to come up with what we know about the school’s values. I was a thinker because I thought of many ideas of my understanding of the school’s values.
We were analyzing, cutting, communicating and pasting to share and connect ideas. We were analyzing data from our class, our school and the IB. We were cutting and pasting our ideas and connections on the paper. We were connecting the IB’s values, our school’s values and our class values and we found a lot of similarities. I was communicator and used teamwork because I was sharing ideas and worked with my group to make as many connections as possible. We were thinkers because we came up with a system to help us connect ideas fast and efficient.”
Anaya: “I was a principled person because I let everyone get a chance to do everything! I really enjoyed this activity!”
~ Team P3