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February 2018

Open-Minded

For the month of February, we are focusing​ on the trait open-minded.  As open-minded learners, we “critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others.  We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.” (IBO.org, 2013)  In more kid friendly language: open-minded learners know that their ideas and ways are not the only ones, and recognize that this is okay.  Open-minded learners listen to others’ ideas and perspectives and think critically about them.  As well, open-minded learners are willing to change and adapt.


Students at Southlands are encouraged to be open-minded in many different ways.  Whether it’s trying a new food as part of the School Fruit and Vegetable Nutritional Program, working with a classmate they haven’t worked with before, presenting their learning in a new way, or considering a different viewpoint during a discussion or a debate, the opportunities are endless!  Open-mindedness is certainly an important aspect of learning and one of the eight key concepts we focus on during our units of inquiry which is strongly connected to open-mindedness is perspective.

There are many things you can do to encourage open-mindedness in your child

  • Catch your child being open minded and make sure your child knows he/she has done something good. Expressing your approval is a powerful way to reinforce the learner traits.

  • Encourage your child to try new things (e.g. new foods, games, activities).

  • Encourage your children to play with children from other families, ethnicities, and cultures.

  • Allow your child to take part in as many family decisions as appropriate. These can range from making food choices to helping plan a family vacation. Allow your child to express his/her opinions and ideas in respectful ways, encourage him/her to talk about advantages and disadvantages, and allow him/her to offer alternatives. Encourage your child to really listen to differing views and opinions.

  • Before we can expect students to respect the values and traditions of other people and cultures, we have to expose them to those values, people, and cultures. This can be done through music, books, films, the internet, and trips. Introduce literature about different cultures into your home library. (Be sure that it reflects the culture in an appropriate way.) Provide your child with books, DVDs, and songs that are in different languages or that speak about different people and cultures of the world. As well, expose your child to different festivals, celebrations and traditions and be sure to present them in a non-judgmental way.