Nido IB Economics Students Collaborate with the Graded School from Brazil During Distance Learning
By HS Teacher Mr. Cartwright
During April and May of this semester IB Economics students participated in an collaborative project with IB Economics students at The Graded School in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Internal Assessment in IB Economics is a technical writing piece required by all IB students around the world. In early April, Graded IB Economics teachers, Adam Pierce and Phil Altman, reached out to me [Nido HS Economics Teacher Mr. Cartwright] to see if I was interested in a peer editing collaboration with their students. The result was a month-long direct exchange of work between Nido and Graded students. Philip Altman, Head of Social Studies Department at Graded said, "It was a powerful experience for our students to have an authentic audience for their work – to feel like they had a teammate at Nido who was working to make their work better. It reframed the assessment into a culmination of the unit instead of just one more paper." Adam Pierce, an IB Economics Teacher at Graded added that "this was a remarkable opportunity for our students to put into practice one of the key pillars of the IB -- international-mindedness. By being open to the ideas and feedback from students at another school, both Graded and Nido students were able to see and experience the benefits of living in an interconnected world."
The project is best captured by Nido 11th grade student Nicolas. Here is his perspective:
When thinking of a traditional classroom, most envision a teacher working alone with a group of students. That, of course, is in a traditional school; Nido isn't. Throughout this pandemic, my school has done a terrific job of making online learning a positive experience. Either being through synchronous or asynchronous lessons, teachers have motivated students to work hard and enjoy the process of learning, which is why what Mr. Cartwright did was brilliant. I'm a firm believer that learning and working with others makes us, as humans, dig deeper into ourselves and explore who we are as learners and as educators. And, when Mr. Cartwright told us that we were going to exchange our Macroeconomic Internal Assessments with students from Graded, I was extremely excited. Why? Because I've always wanted to understand how other international students think and work. It has always intrigued me to see what type of things they are learning, the techniques/methods teachers teach them, and how the impact of different cultures is reflected in their work. So, without any hesitation, we all sent our IA's via email to randomly assigned kids at Graded and waited for their feedback, and vice versa.
When our assessments were evaluated, and we received comments/suggestions, it was fascinating to see their train of thought and how the writing styles drastically differed from ours. In a sense, it was refreshing to see things done so differently. Usually, as humans, we tend to seek comfort in things that are common to us, so this was entirely out of our comfort zone. We were being assessed by kids whom we've never met that do things in an unalike manner. Nevertheless, at the same time, it was something different, abstract, and fun. Economics is controversial: diagrams speak for themselves, but the analysis and evaluation are up to personal interpretation. Hence, it was an eye-opening experience to see the perspective and judgments that each kid from Graded had. While my approach to economics is more logical and mathematical, my peers at Graded provided me with feedback from a different, more liberal point of view, arguing for things that I would've never imagined. At least in my case, it helped me have a universal/more open perspective about economics, delve into new territories, and opened my mind to different options when analyzing economics. Through this international school collaboration, Mr. Cartwright made it possible for us to understand that when we work together, we create a better learning experience. I truly enjoyed the process and would do this again at any time.