IB Learner Profile Series – What does it mean to be Open-Minded

International Baccalaureate programmes teach and promote a variety of characteristics in students to help them become well-rounded, caring individuals. One of these characteristics, open-mindedness, helps students understand and appreciate students from other cultures and parts of the world.

Open-mindedness is a part of the IB Learner Profile. It is important in a community like the one we have at One World International School in Singapore, which brings together students from all parts of the globe. Diversity is woven into the fabric of our school community. Every day, our students are exposed to new ideas and new cultures. To be good citizens of the school and the community at large, students at OWIS remain open to new perspectives, values and traditions.

How Can This Trait be Developed?

Open-minded students are willing to listen to the viewpoints of others — even when they come from different backgrounds and cultures. In fact, open-minded students naturally celebrate differences and enjoy learning about the many characteristics that make us unique.

There are many techniques through which students develop open-minded traits:

  • Cultural celebrations – Cultural celebrations are enjoyable for students and help them learn about cultures from around the world.

  • Encourage students to try new things – Students learn to be open-minded if they’re encouraged to try new things, including new activities, games and foods.

  • Discuss world events – Discussions about world events help students learn about the issues that other people face in other parts of the world.

  • Show students active listening. When teachers model active listening, this encourages students to become good listeners themselves.

  • Strong geography curriculum – Teaching students about other parts of the world opens their eyes to places they might otherwise never see or know about.

  • Teach students literature and arts of different countries – Every country produces its own literature and visual arts. Exposing students to these concepts can help them understand different perspectives.

How We Build This Attribute in Students at OWIS

At OWIS, we’re a multicultural school that thrives on diversity. Each student at OWIS is encouraged to respect other students and appreciate their perspectives. This is taught in all classrooms, and all teachers at OWIS are given special training to help students appreciate differences.

The Benefits of Open-Mindedness are Clear

Students who are taught open-mindedness are more apt to listen to and consider the perspectives of others. They’re more likely to embrace different points of view and to admit that they may not have all the answers.

Open-minded students are natural team players and more effective collaborators. They find it easier to build trust when interacting with others and are more open to constructive feedback.

At OWIS Nanyang and OWIS Suntec, we stand by our commitment to helping students develop into open-minded individuals. Want to learn more about how your child can benefit from an OWIS education? Contact us to take a school tour or learn more about our admissions process.

This blog was originally written in collaboration with Jasween Gill, former Admissions and Communications Director, OWIS Nanyang and Suntec.