How children in a PYP international school understand international-mindedness
Caroline Joslin-Callahan—Frankfurt International School (Germany)
This report shares the findings of a doctoral study (Joslin-Callahan, 2018) investigating how children in a Primary Years Programme (PYP) international school understand international-mindedness (IM), the goal of International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes. IM is defined through the IB learner profile, intercultural understanding, global engagement, and multilingualism, but its impact on children is unclear. The study employed a qualitative phenomenographic framework using focus group interviews and a thinking template to elicit children's views. Data analysis yielded four categories describing children’s understanding: IM as friendship, IM as adapting to the world, IM as an outcome of social interactions, and IM as a change in thinking about oneself and the world. Underpinning these categories are three themes of expanding awareness. These are 1) contexts for the development of IM, 2) attitudes, skills and knowledge children associate with IM, and 3) children’s thinking about themselves, others and their place in the world. Children become aware of IM as they reflect on their experiences. Their friendships, travel and relocation, and social interactions help children learn about the contexts, knowledge, attitudes, skills, and personal, social and global positioning that develop IM, resulting in an emerging sense of who they are vis-à-vis the world.