LCS Connects! 2018 IB Global Conference in Vienna, Austria

Lincoln Community School is a connected school: "Lincoln's mission is enhanced through substantive, sustained collaborations, both locally and globally."

One of our school's sustained collaborations is with the International Baccalaureate (IB) and IB schools all over the world. Through our collaboration with the IB, LCS teachers participate in online professional development courses, contribute to online learning communities, attend workshops and conferences, and even moderate student work from other schools. Lincoln Community School is proud to be an IB World School.

Therefore, we were thrilled when proposals from two teams of LCS presenters were selected to be developed into presentations for the 2018 IB Global Conference in Vienna, Austria last month.

Head of School Sheena Nabholz, Director of Educational Programs Greta Keltz, and Humanities Teacher Troy Duffield presented "Building on Strengths: Developing a Culture of Continuous Improvement through Appreciative Inquiry." Appreciative Inquiry is a model which flips traditional problem-solving on its head. It enables one to focus on an organization's strengths and successes as well as investigate into the factors that made those successes possible.

"Building Bridges Across Programmes: Reflections from an IB Continuum World School" was the title of the presentation by PYP Coordinator Kay Strenio-Anagnost, DP Coordinator Luke MacBride, and MYP Coordinator Lisa Maren Thompson. During this session, LCS' three IB Coordinators described school-wide initiatives at LCS that celebrate diversity (Mother Tongue Week), encourage perspective-taking (Learning Walks), and allow our LCS community to build shared constructs (International Mindedness Film Project).

In addition to preparing and delivering two well-attended presentations at the conference, our six LCS delegates actively engaged in the three day conference in order to bring back up-to-date information, resources, and inspiration to LCS faculty. For example, Mrs. Nabholz led a discussion around an article from keynote speaker Will Richardson at her Educational Leadership meeting, Ms. Thompson shared her conference learning with the MYP & DP Heads of Departments with a slideshow about the sessions she attended, and because of connections made at the conference by the group, one of the keynote speakers will be visiting our campus this week back here in Accra!

Keynote speakers at the 2018 IB Global Conference included: Ama van Dantzig (IB alumnus, Dr. Monk), Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacobs (Curriculum Designers Group), Lord David Puttnam (Atticus Education), Shai Reshef (University of the People), and Will Richardson (Modern Learners.) Students from IB schools in Vienna shared musical and dance performances and speeches before every keynote speaker. Also presenting were IB leadership team members, including IB Director General Dr. Siva Kumari, and the leaders of each of our LCS programs: the Primary Years Program (PYP), the Middle Years Program (MYP), and the Diploma Program (DP).

The IB leadership team grounded their talks in the IB mission and its fifty-year history.

The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

Did you know? Participation as presenters at the IB Global Conference is just one of the many ways LCS connects with professional learning communities outside of our school walls for the benefit of our preschool - grade 12 Lincoln Learners. A local conference called TEN (The Educators' Network) will take place on the LCS campus this November, in fact. Feel free to ask any staff member about how they are "connected" to other leading educators, both locally and globally, and how this affects their work with Lincoln Learners.

Learn - Lead - Connect

Story by Lisa Thompson - MYP Coordinator