International Mindedness

In accordance with Aarhus International School and the IB's mission statements, an integral area of focus in our Primary Years Programme is the development of international mindedness. International mindedness is "a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility towards its members. It is an awareness of the interrelatedness of all nations and peoples, and is a recognition of the complexity of these" (IBO, 2018, "The Learning Community"). One of the unique features of our PYP is that students are encouraged to identify and celebrate diversity, and they are given ongoing opportunities to explore the world from a variety of viewpoints and lenses.

At AIS, our school community is comprised of a rich mix of cultures, languages, traditions and learners. Our students bring with them a wealth of experiences and knowledge, as they progress through their international journey. By learning how to interact with, accept, and understand others who are different from themselves, our students are building the foundation for a collaborative understanding that they can carry through their educational, and professional, careers. Equally important for our young learners, is their journey to understand themselves, their history and culture, their beliefs and traditions. As students are guided through a process to help them identify these things, they learn to understand themselves and their role in the world around them. The unique combination of developing in these two areas, allows our students the opportunity to understand and reflect upon international mindedness - what it means on an individual level, but also what it means to the school community as a whole.

At AIS, we use both the learner profile attributes and the approaches to learning (ATL) as a guide in this process, as these things provide the foundational skills and dispositions for the development of international-mindedness. Further, we support the definition of an internationally minded learner as a learning who:

  • is a competent communicator
  • is open-minded and knowledgeable
  • is a caring and principled thinker
  • uses his or her curiosity and research skills to inquire about the world
  • thinks and reflects critically about opportunities and challenges
  • takes action for positive changes (for example, to promote intercultural understanding, foster caring relationships, to care for self and others)
  • takes risks to further self-development and understanding of others
    (Boix Mansilla and Jackson 2011; Oxfam 2015; Singh and Qi 2013; UNESCO 2015).

(IBO, 2018, "The Learning Community")