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Documenting temporary artworks

How do you show the IB examiners something that no longer exists (e.g. branches that were burned)? In this blog post we discuss the process of decomposition and destruction by fire, the way things change as they end their existence, the visual qualities and the nature of change. Find out more

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Trafficking in Britain

It is not known how many illegal migrants there are in Britain. Some estimates put them at around 650,000 +/- 200,000! What is clear, however is that people will take huge risks to enter the UK in search of work. What is also clear is that security has been tightened at the main ports and that smugglers have switched to other ports. Find out more

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Researching a world theatre tradition

This blog will look at all the different ways you can go about carrying out research into a tradition, and will provide Kathakali sources you may want to use yourself.  Find out more

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Arts assessment: Thoughts and Suggestions

Here are five issues that can play a role when assessing the work of students taking the IB Visual Arts examinations. Find out more

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Surveillance and Freedom

The control of society is as old as government itself, but modern technology combined with the power of predictive algorithms, has provided states, along with multinational corporations, with more and more invidious methods of citizens’ control. Find out more

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Glacial streams as a carbon sink

Scientists have only recently discovered that Arctic/glacial meltwater streams take in atmospheric carbon at a faster rate than tropical rainforests. Find out more

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Sensitive Issues in Art and the ‘spectrum of offence’

On one hand we want the students to be risk takers and to explore ideas, but on the other we need to guide them if their work is likely to become offensive. Find out more

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Ortega y Gasset’s Subjective Perspectivism

José Ortega y Gasset’s contribution to philosophy is manifold if one takes into account his wide-ranging essays on literary, cultural and sociological matters. Find out more

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Are you ready for the new “revised” Visual Arts course?

We are approaching the end of a long but interesting journey: the fourth ‘new course’ development meeting will occur next month (November 2019). Find out more

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Primo Levi

You may or may not heard of Primo Levi. I came across his name recently when carrying out some research into graphene. The name seemed unusual to me and I thought I would dig a little deeper and see what I could find out. Find out more

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On the Convergence of Two Creative Revolutions

The “Roaring Twenties” are generally associated with a period of unbridled excess after the traumatic experience of the First World War. While young Americans revelled to the syncopated rhythms of jazz music, two groups of European philosophers and artists were desperately searching for new meanings after the annihilation of all previous moral certainties.  Find out more

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The process of learning

Having studied Kathakali for over 10 years it was now time for me to perform in one of the most perfectly structured Kathakali plays ever written. I was going to be playing the role of Panchali in "Kalyanasaugandhikam" ("The Flower of Good Fortune"). Find out more

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A Story of Cheating

In a recent visual arts workshop, we had a lot of discussions about academic honesty and how to detect plagiarism, and one of the teachers described this encounter: One of his students returned to school after the summer break with an absolutely outstanding artwork – big, colourful, complex, clever and thought-provoking. Find out more

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Acid Base Theory

I’m just about to start teaching the acids and bases topic to my students. Acids and bases are interesting compounds because the terms ‘acid’ and ‘base’ are just labels we have given to explain different types of reactions. Find out more

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More flooding is inevitable, says IPCC

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) extreme events that used to have a return period of once every century could be happening on some coastlines every year by 2050. Find out more

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Silver chemistry

Silver offers some interesting opportunities to do something different with your teaching. You may teach about it / include it when you are looking at the halogens or when covering redox reactions. I hope this blog post gives you some ideas. Find out more

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High yielding seeds in East Africa

In eastern Uganda, population growth has forced farmers to farm smaller plots of land. Whereas in the past many farmers had access to manure from their animals, increasingly they are having to rely on chemical fertilisers. Find out more

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Urban farming

Urban farming (also known as vertical farming) is an intensive form of agriculture which produces high quality crops year round. Crops are grown in an artificial environment in which temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. Find out more

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Deforestation in Brazil

Brazil accounts for around 40% of the world’s rain forests and around 10-15% of the world’s biodiversity. Over the last fifty years, it has lost about 20% of the original 4 million km2 of rainforest due to farming, logging, dam construction, mining and other infrastructural developments. Find out more

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A cocktail party of literary theories

If you met Aristotle at a party he might inquire if you live the golden mean. This moralist theory is useful to consider characterisation, themes and reader response. Find out more

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