LEARNING IN AN INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
IB students at Hasseris Gymnasium & IB World School represent a unique diversity of nationalities, cultures and different traditions for learning and teaching. Some students have attended American or English schools abroad, following their parents to for instance Asia or the US. Others come from schools in Africa or the Middle East where the teaching language may have been English. Some have come to Denmark because their parents have found employment here, others have come as refugees, and others again have lived in Denmark their entire life attending the Danish Folkeskole, perhaps with a year abroad as an exchange student.
“The three years in IB provided me with great opportunities for developing friendships with people of different nationalities and cultures from all over the world. Travelling and working with international students and researchers is now a major part of my work, and I benefit greatly from my IB experiences.” (Maciej Plocharski – IB Hasseris Graduate 2007)
This diversity gives an invaluable open-mindedness in our students’ interaction with each other and is clearly one of the strengths of the IB student environment at this school. It is also an aspect which is to be considered carefully in the creation of a solid and constructive learning environment because students come with very different expectations to homework, written assignments, group work and communication with teachers.
“With my Danish-Palestinian background, I was attracted by the multi-cultural environment and international perspective IB provides” (Tamer El-Daya – IB Hasseris Graduate 2012)
LEARNING AS COOPERATION
Consequently, at Hasseris Gymnasium & IB World School we have initiated various activities focusing on approaches to teaching and learning. We consider learning a constantly developing process of active cooperation between teachers, students and fellow students. In this process we strive to create a meta-awareness in our students of their own study skills and their own learning processes, believing that students who develop this awareness learn better and function better inside and outside the class room than students who just study »blindfoldedly«. For us learning is a process involving everything that goes on within and around the learning environment.
Here are some examples of what we do to secure a constructive learning environment:
- Compulsory mentor talks in IB1 and IB2. Each student has a personal mentor teacher who follows the student through the IB system and twice a year meet with their mentee to discuss learning related issues such as exam preparation, the general learning environment in class, homework and the planning of written assignments.
- Study counselling classes throughout all three years where issues such as time management, group work, exam preparation and class room values are discussed.
- Obligatory Study Halls in Maths and the Sciences for all PreIB and IB students
- Extended library introduction, focusing on searching information and on plagiarism.
- Extracurricular talent classes in science and the humanities for the very gifted students.
CLASS ROOM TEACHING – AND ALL THAT IS BEYOND
As we believe that the creation of a fruitful learning environment takes more than just the daily class room teaching, our ambition is also to secure an active social environment around our students. Each month we have a lunch assembly for all IB students and teachers, and 4–5 times a year we arrange assembly lessons where topics not necessarily directly related to subjects taught in class are explored by lecturers from »the real world« outside school.
Likewise, we have various social gatherings strengthening the friendships among our students across year groups. Often these activities are planned by the students themselves as CAS projects or different IB student committees. Examples of these events are the annual ToK Day Challenge, The Math Challenge, our Christmas-Get-Together in which also IB alumni participate, and our End-of-Exam Celebrations in May for our graduates and their relatives. On top of this many of our IB students also participate actively in the social life of the Danish upper secondary school (STX) here at Hasseris Gymnasium & IB World School, benefiting from the opportunities offered by both school systems.