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And the results are in!

…Well, they were in a month ago. As teachers, more than anything we are most interested in the grade boundaries for each paper. For two years we were flying blind, trying to guide our students to passing, or in some instance, the elusive 7. And now that information is freely available, and from this point […] Find out more

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‘Talk nerdy to me’: Delivering a winning IOP

The challenge of standing before your classmates and not just getting, but holding their attention,  is not a small one; in fact, that part of your audience is even more of a challenge than–yes–the attention of your teacher.  It’s true that she or he is going to write down three marks, that this is your […] Find out more

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Practical applications: Vectors

Are vectors just a mathematical idea, or are they of any practical use? Every time you fly anywhere, it’s because of vectors that you end up in the right place! Here’s why. What is a vector? A vector represents any quantity that has both magnitude and direction. So, vectors can be used to represent displacement […] Find out more

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How Does Facebook Make Its Money?

Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, with 1.94 billion monthly active users as of the first quarter of 2017. And the best part of it is that this way of keeping in touch with friends and families comes for free for the users. But then how does Facebook make its money? […] Find out more

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100 EXHIBITION HOURS (the conundrum of time and quality)

Lawrence is one of my visual arts students. He has repeatedly asked how much time each he should devote to each of the course components. (Hi Lawrence, I know you read my blog!) Of course, the course is taught holistically and there is no ‘hours per component’ recommendation in the visual arts guide. Visual Arts […] Find out more

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Limiting reagents

Limiting reagents is a concept that is easy to understand in one context… but tricky to understand in another. Before I expand on this statement, what do I mean by limiting reagents? Well, unless you have some super precise mass balances, when carrying out a chemical reaction you will always add too many atoms / […] Find out more

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Theatre for change – ‘Disorder contained’

Many of you will know about Brecht and Boal, and will probably have come across some other theorists or theatre companies that create theatre designed to make a specific impact, and hopefully bring about some change in ways of thinking, behaviour or spur people on to take action to bring about some sort of change […] Find out more

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The contiguous worlds of Philosophy and Science

In an article published on June 1 2017 in the ‘Times Literary Supplement’, David Papineau addresses the question: ‘Is philosophy simply harder than science?’ Described as ‘the route to truth’, philosophy is described not only as the handmaiden of science but as its original foundation since all scientific theories originate from some form of philosophical […] Find out more

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Integrating CAS and History

In IBDP there has been an emphasis in recent years in integrating the core (EE, TOK and CAS) with the course content in the different subjects. In history, it has been nearly effortless to integrate EE and TOK. The skills in the History IA layer nicely with the Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge and […] Find out more

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‘War and Peace’: why not?

If you may have found that summer and all its anticipated pleasures are sometimes not quite meeting your expectations, why not do something daring?  People, not just your peers, but just about everyone who reads at all, probably looks at a novel of the length of Tolstoi’s War and Peace as a challenge they just might […] Find out more

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Video Resources – Are we defined by the objects we create?

Simply some great video resources linked below that can be used to inspire students and teachers either by viewing clips in the classroom, or alternatively doing as flipped classroom tasks and questions outside of the classroom : – A great video looking at why designers are so inspired to create and innovative with new products […] Find out more

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The new EE – How are you getting on?

The new extended essay (EE) guide has been out for a while now – how are you doing with it? Has it changed much in the way you set up and run your EE programme? From the chemistry side of things, I hope you have not seen many (if any changes). Students still need to […] Find out more

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A change is as good as a rest

One of the things that really irritates the students in my school is when the teachers keep going on about the fact that there is no such thing as ‘free time’, there is only ‘study time’. I think it seems like sometimes, the school just wants them to sleep or work … and nothing else. […] Find out more

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The espionage act of 1917 and opposition to the First World War in North America

On June 15, 1917 the US Congress passed the Espionage Act which, while modified over the years, has remained in tact as legislation for a century.  This Act addressed key concerns from that point in time: ‘interference’ in military recruitment interception of materials considered seditious or treasonous by the US Postmaster prohibited the transference of […] Find out more

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Transforming the meaning of evidence and truth

This morning I read a post at Engadget titled Researchers make a surprisingly smooth artificial video of Obama “Their program grafts audio-synced mouths onto existing videos.” The post describes the process used by the University of Washington researchers: “The researchers used 14 hours of Obama’s weekly address videos to train a neural network. Once trained, their system was then […] Find out more

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Philosophy in Western Movies

The summer break should be an opportunity to get away from academic books and maybe indulge in the discovery of inspiring novels. But what about films? Twentieth-century philosophers have, on the whole, neglected what the French call ‘le septième art’ as very few thinkers critically studied the moving image, with the exceptions of Gilles Deleuze […] Find out more

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The work never ends

Just as the IB exams finally end, the GCSE and A-Level ones begin. Now it is all finished, I have one week before the IB results come out – there seems to be no end to the workload for a teacher – it is a hell of a life and I would not change 1 […] Find out more

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Two stories of innovation – the Bread Clip and the Fidget Spinner

Often stories re innovation only focus on those that have succeeded and even if we have heard the Dyson story a thousand times I believe it is useful to flag with students some of the reasons that the lone innovator/inventor does not succeed. Often this is simply due to bad luck, lack of resources or […] Find out more

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Selectivity and Distillation: the Process Portfolio is NOT a Diary

Diaries. Journals. Sketchbooks. They serve a range of purposes; diaries document the momentous and the mundane, the day-to-day detritus, and the sporadic moments of joy and/or despair. Artists’ diaries can give a good insight into the creative processes. (See the illustrations included here.) Tate website “A diary is a record of events or experiences. From […] Find out more

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Revision Resources – Quizlet Yourself to a 7

Hi all, Summer has come and DP1 Design Technology students you may be in a situation where you end of year DT examinations did not go quite as well as expected. So what to do – noting that there is less than half a year of study left until those final exams and the first […] Find out more

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