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Equilibria part 2

Last month I ran over the basics of equilibria. The rationale for this was that I felt that it was a part of the course that had been poorly answered in the recent IB May examinations. I do need to stress that this is my own personal opinion and not that of the IB. This month I will run over the more difficult concepts associated with equilibrium, Le Chatelier’s principle. Find out more

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Forwards, backwards, left or right? – Equilibria Part 1

There were a few questions on equilibria in this year’s May exams. As a teacher I felt that students didn’t perform very well on these questions so thought that this month may be an opportunity to help reinforce and summarise some of the concepts covered. Find out more

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Why so generous? – IA predictions

One IB assessments moderator posed the question: why are some teachers so generous with their marks for IB Visual Arts internal assessments? Here are some of the ideas that surfaced relating to the different issues involved. Find out more

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I’m half way through watching the new HBO / Sky miniseries Chernobyl. Have you seen it? Here in the UK it has received some great reviews with some critics claiming it is the best TV series ever produced. Find out more

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Using Catalysts in Lab Work – a Slightly Different Approach

I imagine that, as teachers, we all carry out a hydrogen peroxide decomposition using manganese dioxide. We may also demo cracking where we use aluminium oxide or silicon oxide as a catalyst. This aside, do we really make much use of catalysts in our lab work? Find out more

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Get it right – Electrochemical Cells

When faced with an electrochemical cell that contains unfamiliar regents, try to have in your mind a reference model. Something that works and something that you have confidently learnt. Once you have this fixed model in your mind, you will easily be able to apply it to unfamiliar reagents. Find out more

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Philosophers and the Project of Perpetual Peace (2)

Immanuel Kant’s conception of perpetual peace took into account the propositions already developed by l’Abbé de Saint-Pierre and Rousseau while exploring new routes leading to the end of all possible conflicts between so-called “civilised nations”. Find out more

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Is New Realism all that new?

Markus Gabriel is the new rising star of German Philosophy with the success of his book ‘Why the World does not Exist’, first published in 2013, a year after Maurizio Ferraris’s ‘Manifesto for a New Realism’. Find out more

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We all love our caffeine hit in the morning, but what is this magic ‘energy’ giving substance and is it actually good for us? Find out more

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Two issues with curatorial rationales

Here are some tips in relation to two types of rationales received with IA in the IB Visual Arts Exhibitions that you might want to pass on to your students when they go about writing their curatorial rationales. Find out more

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Philosophers and the Project of Perpetual Peace (1)

The idea of a project of perpetual peace between European nations was anticipated long before the six member states of the original Economic European Union signed the Treaty of Rome in March 1957. Find out more

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Surrealist theatre and design

If you are looking for work to play with Surrealist ideas, puppets and design then I suggest that you look at Jean Cocteau's 'The Eiffel Tower Wedding Party' and 'The Peach Child' by Anna Furse, which has lots of tips for actors about puppetry included after the play text. Find out more

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Michel Serres. Messenger of Knowledge

The world of philosophy has lost one of its most popular figures with the death of Michel Serres on June 1st. First attracted to a career in the French Navy, the young officer soon realised that philosophy was his true passion along with mathematics and the history of science. On the strength of his eclectic […] Find out more

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Hypothesis testing made easy

Carrying out a hypothesis test often causes confusion. Here’s how it works. Some hypothesis tests start with a known fact, such as “25% of patients treated for a particular disease will suffer side effects.” A drug company may then claim that “a new treatment reduces the number of patients suffering side effects.” The original figure, […] Find out more

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I love carrying out colorimetry, it is one of my favorite types of labs to carry out and I do believe that as teachers, it is a really underused type of lab and undervalued type of lab. I always teach the theory first, covering the ideas behind the Beer-Lambert Law and the way that a […] Find out more

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Photography (only?) in the Exhibition

Let’s be clear: unlike the Process Portfolio, there are no requirements that students explore a range of media/processes in the Exhibition. A successful exhibition could consist of, say, ten artworks that all explore the same technique, or ten artworks that explore ten different techniques/ processes, or anything in between. Its May so – as an […] Find out more

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Theatre and Mindfulness

This month in the UK there is a focus on wellbeing and mental health, which of course links to mindfulness, which is what many schools are embracing as part of their Advisory programmes. Soon I am going to be running a workshop in my local community on wellbeing and creativity, so I have been reading […] Find out more

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Paper Two: Students Teaching Students

How can teachers ensure that they offer revision activities that benefit a variety of skills and learning styles in their classroom? Here are some tried and tested activities that I like to use to prepare my mixed ability class for Paper Two. 1. Poster making Students create posters using drawings, quotes, summaries of themes, plot […] Find out more

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Soil Conservation

Soil conservation measures 95% of the world’s food is produced on soil One-third of the UK’s soils are degraded One million hectares (36% of arable land in the UK is at risk from erosion. According to the UK environment secretary, Michael Gove, in some parts of the country, the UK’s soils may only be able […] Find out more

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Should Language and Literature teachers give more privilege to the politicians?

Using election campaigns for studying the power of language  It’s 1960. Personal computers don’t exist. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, by Harper Lee wins the Pulitzer Prize for literature. Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts is about to become the youngest elected president in US history.’ – A self-guided tour for high school students (John F. […] Find out more

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