IPEKA International Transitions from Content to Concept-Based Inquiry

How do we address the rapid rate of change of knowledge in today’s internet age, and ensure students are engaged in deeper learning in their classes?  These are questions that IPEKA school leaders tried to answer on 27 January 2023, in the Concept-based Inquiry workshop and roundtable discussions held at the IPEKA Headquarters.

Concept based Inquiry is an upcoming teaching approach growing in popularity especially in IB schools around the world.  The IPEKA International Curriculum department began to explore this challenging approach early in August 2022 by attending a 2-day online workshop with participants all over the world.  Afterwhich, the team underwent extensive and intensive discussions about CBI while our Curriculum Implementation Section Head underwent a CBI teacher certification program.

During this phase of research, the team attempted to design a CBI unit and apply this in Grade 4 Science at the IICS.  This produced promising results and saw increased engagement and forward thinking among the students.  Some of the students even surprised us with ideas that were way beyond their grade level.

At the Headquarters, the training and curriculum team were busy planning for possible short term to long term implications of implementation, including getting into the intricacies of the program.  Other members of the Directorate even participated in unit applications so that the team understood more and more of the approach.

At the start of this year, CBI was formally introduced to the newly inducted IPEKA CPI teachers through an 8-day training series provided by our hardworking curriculum team, wherein they were able to start creating unit plans covering subjects they are going to teach.  Accompanied by their Principal, the CPI team took on the challenge and found the experience as one that they can bring to the classroom to inspire students and create an environment of deeper learning.

Finally, on the 27th of January 2023, school leaders from IPEKA IICS, BSD, Palembang 2, and the newly installed CPI gathered in groups discussing various aspects of CBI.  Leaders went through a unit simulation, organised their own concepts, and generated their own generalisations.  Discussions regarding implementation took place which answered some of the burning questions of the day.  Ultimately, the leaders brought back ideas and resources that would aid them in the running of a CBI approach at each of their own schools.

Here are a few testimonies from our Principals:

“I tried the CBI approach yesterday in G8 using a 4-corner-debate in the engaging phase. It was fun and students enjoyed the discovery type of learning. It made me understand why (the) preparation is very important.. guiding questions and all.”

“Left encouraged and energized…I’m happy to be a part of this. …(To)... the working-team ~ big shoutout and thank you’s’.”

This initiative would have not at all been possible without the support of the IPEKA management, the curriculum and training team, and the various members of the International Directorate.  The collaboration between all persons involved was above and beyond and we perceive that this is the start of better teaching and learning at our locations.

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