Over the past few weeks, I have been finding Creative Commons licensed photos on Flickr using Compfight and FlickrCC that I felt represented the 10 attributes of the IB Learner Profile. Check out the original posts – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 – and the subsequent discussion in the comments.
I’ve had a great time completing this activity. I originally envisioned this as an Advisory activity,with the outcomes of making the Learner Profile more relevant to students and giving them a sense of ownership of these (possibly) abstract concepts, as well as teaching students about Creative Commons, Flickr and various CC search engines. I’ve realized that this is way to big to be done in total by students learning about the Learner Profile. It took a lot of time and effort to think of and locate meaningful and appropriate visualizations of the 10 attributes. I think the hardest part was trying to strike that balance between literal and abstract representation. This really drives home the power, the importance and the difficulty of teaching visual literacy.
Okay, so here are my interpretations of my Learner Profile images. Feel free to comment below.
Top Image: Knowledgeable – One of the most literal images of the series. What represents knowledge like a big ol’ stack of books?
Bottom Image: Thinker – I was going for a primate version of Rodin’s The Thinker.
Left Image: Risk Taker – Another pretty literal image.
Right Image: Reflective – I was inspired by the adage “The eyes are the window to the soul.” To be reflective one needs to be able to look inside oneself, to stare at one’s own soul.
Top Image: Principled – This is probably the biggest stretch of the lot. When I think of principled, I think of having firm beliefs and strong ideals. To me, the pillars of the pier represent the principles that support your beliefs.
Bottom Image: Balanced – This one was for Adrienne, my aspiring yogini friend.
Left Image: Caring – Living in Tanzania for 4 years, this image really resonated with me. It is such a common sight to see young children caring for even younger siblings. I love the title of this image as well: He’s Not Heavy, He’s My Brother!
Right Image: Open Minded – In order to be the architect/builder responsible for this building, you have to be pretty open minded! In my opinion, this is the weakest image of the group but I struggled with how to visualize open-minded. I thought of merging the old with the new (an old Japanese woman in kimono talking on her iPhone, for example) but couldn’t find the right image.
Top Image: Inquirer – The raw curiosity of the boy peeking under the fence gets to me. What’s he looking at? I want to know!
Bottom Image: Communicator – This one was much harder to find than I thought it was going to be. I was initially looking for a multi-tasker – maybe somebody talking on their mobile while sitting at a cafe IM-ing with somebody else – but couldn’t find the rght image. I then decided on this image. I liked that it was lo-tech and that he is listening rather than speaking.
I have placed the hi-res versions on Flickr. Each pair of photos will print out on a single A4 sheet. Feel free to use them as you see fit. Or, even better, add your or your students’ interpretations to Flickr as well so that we can all play “Guess the Learner Profile”. If there’s interest we can get a Flickr group started.