We Strive to be Knowledgeable

Dec 14th, 2016

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Learner Profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success.  The Profile implies a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them.  The Profile consists of 10 attributes.  This week we focused on the attribute, Knowledgeable.

Thank you to Ms. Urick's 3rd-grade class for sharing, (during our all-school assembly), what they think it means to be knowledgeable.

At Annuciation, we strive to be knowledgeable. 

People who are knowledgeable develop and use conceptual understanding.  They explore topics across a range of disciplines and they can draw on their knowledge and apply it in new situations. They engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. 

How can parents help to develop children who are Knowledgeable?

  • Encourage your child to read books at home that correspond with the topics being covered in school. 
  • Ask your child about what they are learning in school and engage them in conversations about it - 
    • “Why do you think that is an important thing to know about?”
    • “Can you think of anything happening in the world today that might be similar to that concept/idea/event?”
  • Encourage your child to become familiar with current events and to read the newspaper and listen to the news when appropriate.
  • Explore a topic and learn something new together.
  • Take your child on field trips that promote inquiry and discovery such as museums, nature centers, etc.
  • Provide positive feedback when your child is trying to learn something new.
  • Play age-appropriate trivia games together.

Using the suggestions below, help your child develop his/her research skills by learning how to spot 'fake news' or uncredible sources of information.

Here are a few basic questions to consider whenever you and your kids encounter a piece of media:

  • Who made this?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • Who paid for this? Or, who gets paid if you click on this?
  • Who might benefit or be harmed by this message?
  • What is left out of this message that might be important?
  • Is this credible (and what makes you think that)?

(Thanks to Project Look Sharp for these questions.)

Older kids especially might enjoy learning tricks to spot fake news. Here are a few things to watch for:

  • Look for unusual URLs, including those that end with "lo" or ".com.co" -- these are often trying to appear like legitimate news sites, but they aren't.
  • Look for signs of low quality, such as words in all caps, headlines with glaring grammatical errors, bold claims with no sources, and sensationalist images (women in bikinis are popular clickbait on fake news sites). These are clues that you should be skeptical of the source.
  • Check a site's "About Us" section. Find out who supports the site or who is associated with it. If this information doesn't exist -- and if the site requires that you register before you can learn anything about its backers -- you have to wonder why they aren't being transparent.
  • Check Snopes, Wikipedia, and Google before trusting or sharing news that seems too good (or bad) to be true.
  • Consider whether other credible, mainstream news outlets are reporting the same news. If they're not, it doesn't mean it's not true, but it does mean you should dig deeper.
  • Check your emotions. Clickbait and fake news strive for extreme reactions. If the news you're reading makes you really angry or super smug, it could be a sign that you're being played. Check multiple sources before trusting.

(Thanks to Professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College and Common Sense Media for these tips.)

Anne LaLonde Laux
International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator
Enrichment Teacher & Coordinator