Jeff Thompson Research Award winners' studies
Scroll down to see abstracts and executive summaries of completed studies.
Brendan Kean, Canadian International School of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
- Investigating the Development and Implementation of Effective Formative Assessment Strategies for Students in the Primary Years Programme
Julie Wilson, Salisbury High School (Australia)
- Evaluation of Attributes and competencies in South Australian International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Students
Tom Brodie, Skagerak International School (Norway)
- The perception and practice of Creativity, Action and Service in the IB DP for students, teachers and schools
Ellen Manson, Renaissance College Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
- Writing to enhance learning and infomr teaching in mathematics
Jayson Williams, International School of the Gothenburg Region (Sweden)
- Free School laws in Sweden and the impact they have on the implementation of the IB program
Johnnie Wilson, Munich International School (Germany)
- Teaching every student mathematics: The roles of language and culture in the mathematics education of students at an international school
Dona Pursall, United World College Red Cross Nordic (Norway)
- To explore ways in which three Learner Profile attributes (principled, caring, open-minded) are conceptualized by students in the context of a residential IB-UWC programme
Daniel Keller, Bilkent Laboratory & International School (Turkey)
- International Education: Stakeholder Perceptions and Values
Heather Mills, Elizabeth Hudson K-8th School (USA)
- The Impact of US Educational Policy on the Implementation of the PYP: A Case Study of an Urban, Low-income Public School
Sean Gibb, The British International School of Stavanger, Norway
- The coordination of the Middle Years Programme in smaller international schools
Distributed Leadership and Social Networks in the School-Based Development of the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme in a Venezuelan K-12
Jose Bolivar, Instituto Educacional Juan XXIII (Valencia, Venezuela)
Deep analysis of the collective work of teachers and school administrators as they develop innovative programs, such as the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme (MYP), is essential to build models for 21st century education. Two theoretical frameworks, distributed leadership and social networks, have emerged in the educational research literature that present school leadership for change and innovation in terms of actions and emphasize the importance of social interactions for their enactment. This study draws upon these theories to describe and understand leadership in action during the school-based design and implementation of the MYP as well as the social networks underlying their enactment. In terms of practice, the study highlights several findings key to the successful development of the MYP: (1) the importance of coherence-building, collaborative design tasks for a systemic instructional vision, (2) the critical role of teacher support tasks in providing key resources for the successful enactment of design tasks, (3) the promotion of certain school-level and team-level conditions that support collaborative processes, and (4) the existence of certain school-level and team-level conditions that constrain teacher collaboration. The study shows that when schools undertake major changes special attention needs to be given to the multiple tasks that will need to be accomplished to achieve these initiatives. Findings indicate that these tasks require unique, varied, and fluid social network configurations that channel collaborative processes and that they are shaped by contextual factors that impact collaboration and communication flow.
The Impact on Students of Programs Such as the PYP Indigenous Bunuba/Walmajarri Unit of Inquiry Within the Transdisciplinary Theme ‘How Do We Express Ourselves’ and With the Central Idea of ‘We Discover More When We Reflect Upon Other Ways of Knowing’
Annette Rome & Kim Anderson, Wesley College Institute for Innovation in Education (Melbourne, Australia)
This project investigated the impact on students of programs such as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Indigenous Bunuba/Walmajarri Unit of Inquiry within the trans-disciplinary theme ‘How we express ourselves’ and with the central idea of ‘we discover more when we reflect upon other ways of knowing’ through the Research Question: How effective are programs such as the Wesley College Year 4 PYP Bunuba/Walmajarri unit in terms of changing understandings of Indigenous ways of knowing by non-Indigenous students? The methodology included a survey administered to the students as part of regular feedback gleaned on the unit, along with analyses of reflective 2007- 2010 reports. The findings indicated that as a result of this unit students: know there is a difference between non-Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous knowledge; really enjoyed getting to know (Indigenous Leader) Annette Kogolo; think their understanding of Indigenous people has improved after doing this unit of inquiry; felt their learning about indigenous ways was better because of Annette Kogolo; understand more about Indigenous ways of knowing; felt having a Bunuba/Walmajarri Leader made their learning about Indigenous people more real; know where to find information about indigenous ways of knowing that they did not know before; and think that they now know more about their own culture by learning about Indigenous culture. The research uncovered that there are two important aspects to this unit: the power of the story teller as well as the story itself. The stories are considered a valid form of accessing significant, if specialised, knowledge. The research also indicated that students developed in relation to the IB PYP Student Learner Profile, especially regarding the open-minded and caring attributes. The metric used to determine responses was considered an effective one in terms of assessing impact of unit in relation to developing cross cultural awareness.
A Tale of Two Cities: Chinese teachers vs. Western Teachers on Pedagogic Behaviours in an IB World School in China
Yue Zhang, Guangdong Country Garden School (China)
The purpose of this study is to investigate any differences existing in pedagogic behaviours between Chinese teachers (CTs) and non-Chinese teachers (NCTs) in and outside the English and Science (English-medium) classrooms in an International Baccalaureate (IB) context in mainland China. It also explored potential cultural influences, students’ perspectives and issues arising from any differences in pedagogic behaviours. It provided an in-depth and systematic interpretation of the reasons that cause the differences with the aim of contribution to an amelioration of the co-constructed pedagogy. The study adopted a comparative approach and employed qualitative methods of observation, teacher-researcher diary, individual interviews, focus group, narrative inquiry and document review to obtain data from a case study school in China. The findings indicate that firstly there were differences in pedagogic behaviours according to the key factors of: lesson timing, lesson structure, activities, students’ participation, management, differentiation, assessment, language, materials and information and communication technology. Differences also existed in communication and teacher-student-relationships outside of the classrooms. Secondly, the pedagogic behaviours were influenced by culture. Thirdly all differences were partly attributable to cultural influences. Fourthly, certain issues arose from the differences, such as misunderstandings and mistrust between NCTs and CTs and students. Finally, students on one hand welcomed the differences for they were inspired by the differences which they also considered as a good preparation for their further study overseas; on the other hand, they believed that there should be an international standard of IB approach.
Perspectives of Criteria Based Assessment in the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme
Chad Carlson, Colegio Internacional de Educación Integral (Colombia)
This study examined how the implementation of IB’s Middle Years Programme criteria referenced assessment model has affected the overall understanding, articulation and achievement of program learning objectives in two MYP schools. The goal was to explore perspectives in the implementation of the MYP’s assessment model in order to better understand the challenges, difficulties and successes that educators face in its implementation. Research surveys and interviews were designed to explore the dynamics of the MYP’s criteria-related assessment model and to learn if students were more actively engaged in the assessment process when criteria based assessment was effectively articulated. The research for this study was conducted with a wide-range of students and teachers from the two schools, involving participants in each year of the programme. Overall the research found that the implementation of the MYP’s criteria-referenced grading system remains to be highly subjective and that many students lack authentic understanding of program learning objectives and the value of this information. However the research showed a positive relationship between the effective articulation and understanding of learning objectives and the development of metacognitive processes and skills in reflection, leading the researcher to conclude that in order to effectively articulate learning objectives and develop student skills and processes in metacognition and reflection, student engagement in the assessment process must be seen as part of the taught curriculum.
Language Teaching Strategies and Techniques Used to Support Students Learning in a Language other than Their Mother Tounge
Natascha Thomson, Kongsberg International School (Norway)
Many learners are facing the challenge of accessing an IB programme in a language other than their mother tongue. To enable learners to fully participate in both the academic and social aspects of school life, educators need to recognise how this phenomenon impacts on teaching and learning and identify ways to support language development. This executive summary aims to raise awareness of this issue and describes and presents the findings of an investigation into the Language Teaching Strategies and Techniques used by Primary Year Practitioners (PYP) when implementing the Programme of Inquiry conducted in 2010.
Is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Effective at Delivering the International Baccalaureate Mission Statement?
Richard Lineham, St. George's School in Switzerland (Switzerland)
The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develop students who contribute to a more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. The aim of this study is to examine if the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is effective at delivering the IB mission statement? Literature is reviewed to explore the aims of international education and how curricula and school systems can influence the development of values within students. Within the review concepts are explored and compared to the IBDP. The literature review concludes with a model reflecting the influences on the promotion of international education within a school. A case study is carried out in an international school that delivers the IBDP. A mixed methods study with an exploratory sequential design approach is used. A small number of IBDP students are interviewed, and the findings of these interviews are triangulated using a questionnaire completed by most diploma programme students, in the case study school. The results of the student interviews and questionnaires are used to ascertain how the IBDP has influenced student attitudes. The study concludes that the values of the students are moving towards those expressed in the International Baccalaureate mission statement. The significance of different elements of the school curriculum and the school environment on the development of values within the student population is highlighted as an area of further research.
The perceptions of the use of inquiry based methods in the Chinese language classroom in IBO Primary Years Programme schools in the Asia Pacific region
Mary van der Heijden, United World College (Singapore)
This research project investigated how the pedagogical approach of inquiry was transferred into Chinese as an additional language classrooms in Primary Years Programme schools in the Asia Pacific region. The goal was to explore perceptions and practices of Chinese language teachers to better understand the successes and challenges of using inquiry based approaches. Data was collected using mixed methods; including a survey to ninety-eight schools, individual semi-structured interviews with six teachers and classroom observations for four of those teachers. There was evidence from the findings that teachers demonstrated a positive attitude towards the inquiry approach, but the understanding of how this could be transferred into the Chinese classroom was not consistent. The need to train the Chinese language teachers and to develop an opportunity to learn, both with and from other teachers in the school, was also identified. Attempts were made towards the creation of authentic situations where language could be developed and opportunities for more exploration and experimentation rather than relying on accuracy with vocabulary and grammatical structures, but this was not consistently underpinning the pedagogy.
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