When I was talking to my students last week about their work in IB Theatre one thing became apparent: They were not really aware when they were putting theory into practice. They knew they were learning things and that were were always doing things in class that were connected with TIM, TIW or TIP, but I realised that they were unclear about when they were ‘applying research’.

We then talked about all areas of the course in preparation for their TPPP and I asked them to identify in all their areas of TIM (for example: making a mask; performing a Greek monologue; designing a set for ‘Come and Go’ etc) some theory they had applied. To go deeper we then talked about how they had acquired this knowledge, and quickly they started to get the idea of a variety of sources. They realised they had gleaned information from a DVD we had watched, some they had read, some they had found out from blocking notes, others had been researched by other students and shared with them.

Moving onto to TIP and TIW we talked again about applied theory for everything on our list. In the end did they not only have an idea what ‘Applied Research’ (Marking band D for the TPPP) meant and looked like in practice, but they also had a good idea what a range of sources meant, and what a reliable source was.

This was a simple exercise, but a crucial one to advance student understanding of Criterion D (Applied Research) for the TPPP and Criterion D (Critique of Sources) for the RI.