Guess the Learner Profiles – Recap

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.

Guess the Learner Profile

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.


Guess the LP pt 2

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.


Guess the LP pt 3 Resize

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.


Guess the LP pt 4

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.


Guess the LP pt 5

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.

5 thoughts on “Guess the Learner Profiles – Recap

  • December 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Love the pictures and its explanations. Very deep and represent the profiles attributes well.

    I shared your blog to all my teachers and friends in Indonesia.

    Thank you for sharing it thru OCC.

  • December 3, 2009 at 11:02 am

    @Frida Dwiyanti
    Thanks! It actually took me much longer than I anticipated. I really needed to understand what each attribute meant and think about how I was going to represent that with a single image and no words. I would say that I now have a much better understanding of the Learner Profile than before. Now, imagine if we can get our students to reflect about the meaning of the Learner Profile to create these images, use those images to represent the Learner Profile around the school to give the students ownership of the process, and discuss the possible interpretations of the photos to better understand different aspects of each attribute….

  • September 4, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I LOVE this activity and will use it, for sure! I also wanted to share my idea for Open Minded. I teach in a small-town high school in the United States where ideas and attitudes are still pretty narrow. When I think Open Minded around here, I think of the students with the colorful spiked hair, several piercings, black nail polish, unusual clothes. The first time I taught some of these students I was amazed at how intelligent, open, and caring many of them are! I’d include that kind of picture. 🙂

  • September 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    @Lynda I’m glad you like it and I hope it goes well for you. I’d love to see what your students come up with. I’ve just created a Flickr Group where we can share and compare.

    What I realized as I was posting this series is that every image can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways. What I choose to represent “Open Minded” might be different from what you would choose. But what is most important is that we’ve raised the awareness of Open Mindedness in our school and we’ve started a conversation that our students can carry on if they choose.

    And I love your interpretation of Open Minded. When I read it, I immediately thought of all the goth and “cos play” kids who hang out by Harajuku Station in Tokyo!

  • September 5, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I think “interpretation” is what IB is all about. We each live in different cultures, so what you think is going to be different than I think. The same is true of the AoIs. A lesson can be looked at through many of the AoI lenses. You’re right, though. The best part is that it starts conversatio (communicators!) :).

Comments are closed.