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Russell’s World of Universals

In chapter 9 of his ‘Problems of Philosophy’, Bertrand Russell tackles the nature of universals and their role in our acquisition of knowledge. He first observes that contrary to proper names, like John or London, they are represented in substantives or nouns, adjectives, prepositions and verbs. No sentence can be construed without the necessary presence […] Find out more

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The Rationale (talking the talk vs walking the walk)

There is a DP Visual Arts Curriculum Review in progress at the moment, with a lot of art teachers voicing a lot of art teaching and art education concerns. Their voices are expressed through a lively and fascinating forum, with a lot of thoughts and opinions about art, art teaching, art issues, etc. A couple […] Find out more

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Exemplar Projects Published Reminder on the OCC

I am sure you have all used the IB’s new exemplar projects for Design Technology by now – but if not this is simply a reminder that they now have 4 Standard Level projects and 6 Higher Level projects to review, download in PDF etc. These are pretty useful, for looking at assessment and as […] Find out more

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Are you new to DP History?

For those of you who are entering DP Year I there may be a degree of trepidation about what is to come.  There are plenty of websites and blogs out there that are dedicated to ‘telling you like it is’, which usually comes in the form of fear-mongering with a healthy dose of sarcasm.  There […] Find out more

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Summer Investigations(3) Works on the PLT: Cheese

For the last of these recommendations, a work composed in Dutch by a Flemish author, A.J de Ridder, writing under the pseudonym, Willem Elsschot.  To my knowledge, Cheese, has not appeared on any IB Language A: Literature syllabus, and I’d like to make the case that it might be very apt, particularly when people are […] Find out more

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Gas Volumes

I have written this blog post with all you new first year IB students in mind. If you have started the course recently (or about to start the course very soon) it is likely that the first or second topic that you study will be ‘Stoichiometric relationships’, which is just a posh way of saying […] Find out more

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In praise of ‘necessary and wonderful science’

For the past forty years, Richard Dawkins has proved a formidable controversialist and his latest collection of essays, lectures and articles, published under the title ‘Science in the Soul’, confirms his central place and influence in the ongoing debate between religion and science, or shall we say, between emotions and reason. Dawkins always had many […] Find out more

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3 Magical Designs – that demonstrate WHY you want to be a designer after the IB DP!

Hi all, Sometimes as students it is easy to get wrapped up in the mundanity of completing the IB Diploma, and attempting to gain the highest score possible in your Design Technology course. I have to get a 7, I must get a 7 and so on… However of all courses that you have chosen […] Find out more

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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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