Originally from the UK, Jasween joined OWIS when the school had only 120 students. What drove Jasween to OWIS was seeing the school place children first, championing open communication and having such strong core values – all of which remain true to this day.
International Baccalaureate programmes teach and promote a variety of characteristics in students to help them become well-rounded, caring individuals. One of these characteristics, open-mindedness, helps students understand and appreciate students from other cultures and parts of the world.
Open-mindedness is a part of the IB Learner Profile. It is important in a community like the one we have at One World International School in Singapore, which brings together students from all parts of the globe. Diversity is woven into the fabric of our school community. Every day, our students are exposed to new ideas and new cultures. To be good citizens of the school and the community at large, students at OWIS remain open to new perspectives, values and traditions.
How Can This Trait be Developed?
Open-minded students are willing to listen to the viewpoints of others — even when they come from different backgrounds and cultures. In fact, open-minded students naturally celebrate differences and enjoy learning about the many characteristics that make us unique.
There are many techniques through which students develop open-minded traits:
Cultural celebrations - Cultural celebrations are enjoyable for students and help them learn about cultures from around the world.
Encourage students to try new things - Students learn to be open-minded if they're encouraged to try new things, including new activities, games and foods.
Discuss world events - Discussions about world events help students learn about the issues that other people face in other parts of the world.
Show students active listening. When teachers model active listening, this encourages students to become good listeners themselves.
Strong geography curriculum - Teaching students about other parts of the world opens their eyes to places they might otherwise never see or know about.
Teach students literature and arts of different countries - Every country produces its own literature and visual arts. Exposing students to these concepts can help them understand different perspectives.
How We Build This Attribute in Students at OWIS
At OWIS, we're a multicultural school that thrives on diversity. Each student at OWIS is encouraged to respect other students and appreciate their perspectives. This is taught in all classrooms, and all teachers at OWIS are given special training to help students appreciate differences.
International Day - International day at OWIS is a day when students are encouraged to celebrate where they are from.
Core values - The core value at OWIS can best be described as "kindness". This value is taught to everyone at OWIS, and we even have a Kindness Council to teach this value to all students. Teachers model kindness to students by treating them with kindness, and students record acts of kindness in Kindness Challenges.
Inquiry-based learning - Students learn to be open-minded through the inquiry-based learning methods taught at OWIS. Inquiry-based learning allows students to pursue answers to questions that develop during classroom time, even if those questions are not on topic. This encourages students to stay engaged and explore ideas they might otherwise not have had or acted upon. In a diverse classroom, inquiry-based learning goes even farther because students build on the ideas they are exposed to through other students.
Assemblies and classroom work - During assemblies and classroom work, students are encouraged to pursue the following lines of thinking: How were you open-minded this week? What is something you learned this week that you didn't know before? What was something new you did this week that you didn’t do before?
The Benefits of Open-Mindedness are Clear
Students who are taught open-mindedness are more apt to listen to and consider the perspectives of others. They're more likely to embrace different points of view and to admit that they may not have all the answers.
Open-minded students are natural team players and more effective collaborators. They find it easier to build trust when interacting with others and are more open to constructive feedback.
At OWIS Nanyang and OWIS Suntec, we stand by our commitment to helping students develop into open-minded individuals. Want to learn more about how your child can benefit from an OWIS education? Contact us to take a school tour or learn more about our admissions process.
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