Coronavirus and Us

The questions in the image are certainly difficult and probing, perhaps you think these are only answerable by experts, but they are precisely the questions our middle school students have been working on during this epidemic. In the past days, some of our students have gotten together into groups to think further about these topics, what is the relationship between this epidemic, themselves, others, and the world?

As an integrated learning project of the IB MYP, discussions on the theme of ‘Coronavirus and Us’ have been organised around three sub-themes, based on the BWYA Schoolwide Learner Outcomes (SLOs), the IB learner profile, and the MYP global contexts. Students in Grades 6 to 10 then chose one of these sub-themes as a basis for their research and

This is all a part of the concept-driven holistic learning advocated by the MYP. To help students see learning as a part of their life, helping them to question, brainstorm, collaborate, discuss, research and work together with others to find creative and well-informed answers to the problems of life.

“To begin with, I was scared and worried about the new virus, but since the outbreak, I’ve seen more of the selflessness and care people can have for each other. Doctors and nurses working sacrificially, netizens all lending their support, and the many medical and financial donations being made. In the face of danger, nobody gave ground, rather everyone worked together, doing whatever they can.” This is taken from Grade 10 Kelly Li, Selena Liu, and Cecilia Chen’s thinking, relating to the SLOs of ‘Caring’, as well as ‘Fairness’, and ‘Adaptability’.

Two groups of sixth graders who have just started their journey through the MYP were using these topics to guide their discussions. After discussing each of the 10 IB learner profiles items, one group’s conclusion was, “In the future, we can link all of these learning objectives to our daily lives, to improve our living, and giving worth to every moment.” The other group also studied historical epidemics such as SARS, the Black Death in Europe, the Spanish flu, and compared these with the present coronavirus epidemic as they investigated the control and prevention of diseases.

Commenting on their work, MYP Coordinator Ms. Jane Xia shared, “The first group of sixth-graders really showed their sunny self-confidence and positive thinking, attitudes we are working hard to cultivate! Other groups displayed great independent research skills and teamworking abilities, something we try to focus on in these inter-disciplinary modules. I am fully confident that as they progress through the middle school, and into further education, these are attitudes and skills that will serve them throughout their studies.”

It is of course only the tip of their learning-iceberg, but if you would like to learn more about the students’ recent workings, please click here.

We firmly believe that when learning and real life come together, this is when truly great things happen. As the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes said, “Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” We hope that learnings such as these will become that fulcrum, for every young scholar to move their world. May they always have the hunger and desire to explore the world around them, as they grow up into lifelong learners.