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IB Matters

Author: Jon Peterson

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IB Matters is a podcast (established in April 2019) which brings listeners content related to International Baccalaureate (IB) education. It is for students, parents, and teachers interested in learning more about IB and for those working in IB schools wanting access to pedagogical support for their teaching.

Please listen, subscribe, and post a review to help us spread the word about the IB. Follow us on twitter @MattersIB and be sure to let us know what you would like to hear more about in future episodes.

The podcast is hosted in Minnesota by the MN Association of IB World Schools (MNIB) but is intended for a global audience.
52 Episodes
Hi - welcome back to season 2 of IB Matters. This episode brings back Tim Kane and Asheesh Misra from IB with their take on the 2020 IB exam issues and how they have helped schools work with the fallout and results from this unique situation.We did simultaneously video record this episode because Tim shared his screen to illustrate the ways in which the scores werre determined in a year without exams. He also showed some of the tools they use to help schools increase access by better understanding how scores are determined in a more typical year.So, if you want to switch over and watch this episode rather than just listen, go to  the MNIB YouTube Channel. You can see everything Tim and Asheesh were talking about. The data visualizations are clear and very illuminating. Links are below.*So please listen (or watch) as we break down the 2020 exam season and help you plan for the next round of exams, whether it be November 2020 or May 2021.Links:IBschoolimprovement.comLink to video: IB Matters podcast web page*We may also be sharing some screen shots so you can find Tim's slides without having to watch the whole video - look for those to be uploaded in the coming days.
In this episode of IB Matters we talk to Oanh Crouch, a director of education at Globeducate Schools working in Madrid. Oanh’s extensive experience working in IB schools, serves her well working for this global consortium of 50 Schools whose mission aligns perfectly with the IB. Our conversation focused on ways her schools are using the COVID19 crisis as an opportunity to improve instruction and bring all parts of the educational community together.Given the uncertainty about how schools will look in the Fall, I’m sure we can all benefit from learning effective strategies that can be replicated in our own schools. Links:IB Matters WebsiteOanh Crouch on Twitter: @OanhCrouchLink to Globeducate Schools website
This is the 7th episode in the series on Becoming an IB School featuring Rockford High School about 40 miles west of Minneapolis, MN. As you may recall from previous episodes, Rockford is applying simultaneously to become an MYP, DP and a CP school. It’s a big task in any year but it became doubly difficult with the onset of the COVID-19 crisis of 2020. Local Rockford parent, Maris Ehlers is the host and asks IB coordinator, Dr. Matthew Scheidler questions about the end of the 2020 school year in the time of the Corona virus and she asks about the virtual consultant visits they had this Spring. They also talk about the process of adding official IB policies as required in the IB application process. Dr. Scheidler talks about getting all the stakeholders involved which is the best practice encouraged by IB.Links:IB Matters WebsiteBecoming an IB School - from
In this episode we talk to Andy Richardson whose IB journey is an example of, not only the world-wide influence of the IB, but also the personal journey of IB teachers as they realize the value IB teaching brings to their students, wherever they are.We also discuss building a personal network of engaged educators through blogs, social media, and other platforms. In Andy’s case, most of his work is in the MYP Design course and he shares several ideas about teaching design, both in-person and online.Links:IB Matters WebsiteFrom the conversation:Andy's Blog: https://pandiononline.comScratch - online coding application: Reagin's DesignCast Podcast
In this episode of IB Matters we talk with Jon Halligan, an experienced IB educator based in the Netherlands about the unique place of the Career-related Programme (the CP) in the suite of IB offerings. His recently published article (linked below) challenges the IB to help the CP take itself out from the shadow of the more well-known Diploma Programme. Jon argues that each Programme has its own strengths and the CP should have a chance to mature into the equal partner it deserves to be.Jon Halligan also talks about the new schools group starting up with a unique take on sharing CTE resources across schools to give greater options for students anywhere.Links:The LinkedIn article that sparked this conversationJon Halligan's series on the future of workTES Podcast with IB Director General Siva KumariIB Matters Podcast
In this episode of IB Matters we talk to four outstanding members of the Minesota IB community who will share their reactions to the murder of George Floyd in our State and in our local community here in Minneapolis.Anne Lalonde Laux, Chad Owen, Jenny Magdal, and Angela Wilcox are each IB coordinators representing the full IB continuum. Each has a very personal reaction to the events of the past weeks and they share their ideas and hopes for how schools can support students and teachers as we all try to make permanent changes using the momentum created by these terrible events. Links:IB Matters websiteFrom the conversation: Conversations About Race by Glenn SingletonLeading equity podcast Chad:Sending Messages of Hope - going into the summerBookend videos by the principal explaining the purpose and hope for the videos and closing with his/her own farewell message.As many adults as possible, record (approximately) 7 seconds of themselves sending off our students with one or more messages of:Strength for the coming summer in the face of uncertain and challenging times. Encourage them to be inquirers and reflective about who they are and how they choose to meet challenges.Family support and point out that they have caring Friends who are allies.Love, for who they are and what they have accomplished and the principled decisions they have made . Encouragement to become knowledgeable and to be both open-minded and thoughtful risk-takers as they process events with their friends, families, and communities.
In this unique episode we talk to Jason Reagin, the host of another IB-centered podcast called “Design Cast”. His podcast is focused on aspects of design curriculum in an IB context and includes very practical information for IB teachers. We are also joined by our MNIB president, Kurt Carlson who, like Jason, is a very experienced member of IBEN - that’s the IB Educator Network and a design teacher himself.Our discussion included a wide range of topics from design teaching to assessment, the Career-related Programme, distance learning, and even a bit about podcasting for an IB audience. At around 30 minutes in we talk about using IB criteria while assessing online projects. At 38 minutes, we talk about teachers’ online options and presence.At about 43 minutes we move to talk a bit about podcasting.This episode will be presented on both Jason’s Design Cast podcast where he incorporates video and shares on YouTube and of course, here on our audio only version. Once he publishes his version, we will post a direct link here.Check out DesignCast next time you are looking to add listening options. Even if you aren’t a design teacher, design thinking is an important part of many classes (and, our lives) so I think you will find it useful.You can watch the YouTube version of this podcast on Jason's Design Cast channel.Link to the Design Cast websiteJason's Twitter handle is @diskon4noLink to the IB Matters website
In this episode of IB Matters we talk to Asnaha Farheen in Bangladesh. She is an experienced PYP coordinator now guiding a new PYP candidate school through authorization. We had intended to talk when her visit was completed to see how it went. However, we recorded this podcast during the shut down of schools world-wide in the wake of the COVID-19 virus and as a result her journey to become an authorized IB World School has taken a turn. She is now preparing for a virtual authorization visit - something that is entirely new and only used in this unusual circumstance. Most of this episode is devoted to Asnaha’s description of her preparation for the now virtual visit. If your school is awaiting an authorization or verification visit, you may learn from her work.Here is the link to the IB Guidance Document for Virtual visits.Here is the link to the IB Matters Website
In this episode we speak with Adrian von Wrede-Jervis. He is an experienced coordinator in an IB continuum school and he has done quite a lot of writing and sharing of his research regarding education in general, and IB education specifically. We reached out to him recently to have him speak to us about making conceptual teaching more relevant as students progress through the programs from early years all the way through the senior programs of the DP and CP.At 36 minutes we talk about distance and online teaching in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. A key take home message for Adrian is to treat this an opportunity to give students agency in their learning. Why stick to lesson times when this is the prime opportunity to develop skills like self management and collaboration? Allow for curiosity not just busyness. Allow for deadends and fails. Allow for well-being. Turn the role of the teacher to coach not task master. Connect for connection (learning is the by product of connected engagement)."Fundamentally we need to understand how we learn. Learning is NOT knowledge transfer it is emotional engagement."Find him on -Twitter @AdrianvWJLinked in blog: his favorite references from the podcast:Rethinking Concept-based learning…Part BATL skills progression (that some skills are discipline specific only some are transfer skills) Review, Reflect, Respond as a collaborative practice with students (for Engagement in Assessment) to promote Purpose in Education. Are we teaching for Activism or compliance Stern's book "Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding, Secondary: Designing Lessons and Assessments for Deep Learning"IB Podcast on concept based learningFollow Trevor Aleo on Twitter @MrAleoSays 
We talk with Toddle Co-founder, Deepanshu Arora and colleague Chris Overhoff about the PYP support platform and how they are adapting to online learning in this time of the COVID-19 outbreak. They describe the many ways Toddle supports PYP teachers as they transition to online learning. We also talk briefly about the recent Toddle Planathon where over 450 unit plans were submitted in a global collaboration among PYP teachers.We will add the link to the Toddle Talk webinar taking place on March 28, 2020 here.Links to learn more about Toddle:To know more about how Toddle facilitates online learning in the PYP, visit’s Facebook Page -’s Twitter Handle - IB Matters Website link
In this episode of IB Matters we talk to Julie Stern and two members of her training team, Trevor Aleo and Kayla Duncan. They recently published an Online Learning Template for teaching online that ensures teachers consider a conceptual framework when using distance learning. They walk you through the template and also share many great ways to think about effective teaching and learning as we experiment with new ways to teach in the coming weeks during the COVID-19 Virus outbreak.Links from the podcast (Be sure to check out the blog!)Template: Twitter: @JulieHStern @MrsKaylaDuncan @MrAleosays Blog(s) Books and other resources Amazon: Podcast website link
As we record this episode, thousand’s of schools around the world are closed and teachers and school leaders are scrambling to create the means to teach students of all ages in remote settings.In this episode we talk to Sara VanDerWerf, a national leader in math education and a former IB teacher, about how to use modeling to prepare students for learning from videos - a common platform being used by teachers when creating E-learning opportunities. Her suggestions were posted in her popular math teaching blog and we reached out to her to make them available in the podcast.  Links from the podcast and Sara's work:Sara's website: saravanderwerf.comTwitter:  @saravdwerfFacebook: @saravanderwerfInstagram: @saravanderwerf*Blog post: Modeling E-Learning (distance learning in the era of COVID-19)Blog post:  Modeling Group Work:  100 Number TaskResponsive Classroom - Interactive ModelingTeaching Math Concepts vs Tricks - Free Math Download Book & articlesTeacher Desmos (the best online math content for teachers - free).  You can learn a lot about this resource HERE.FREE Math Support K-8 at Dreambox and ST Math* The blog post that inspired this episodeThe IB Matters podcast website
Why would a Head of School want to add IB? We hear from a new high school principal, with IB experience, describe the advantages he sees in leading an IB school.We were recently at Rockford High School to help them record a podcast for their local community about becoming an IB school and I had a chance to meet their new principal, Paul Menard. Administration changes are inevitable at any school and IB Candidate schools are no exception. When Rockford HS found themselves in need of a new principal mid-authorization, they were lucky to land one with prior experience with the IB authorization process. Paul Menard has previously guided another Minnesota school to authorization and is now helping Rockford with this process. As we recorded this interview for a local audience, we realized his comments could be used by a wider audience (ours) looking for a concise explanation of the IB educational philosophy and a principal’s perspective on leading a school using the IB Programmes. He makes a compelling case for using IB as the core framework for everything happening in the school.The interviewer is the Rockford IB coordinator, Dr. Matthew Scheidler who regular listeners will recognize from several other podcasts in this series. The link to becoming an IB school is at the IB website Now that we have a large number of IB Matters episodes covering a range of topics, we have created a webpage for this podcast which is organized by programme and by topic. So, you can find episodes featuring IB related stories without scrolling through our whole list which is now over 40 episodes. The link to the IB Matters website 
In this episode of IB Matters we talk to Jenny Magdal about maintaining students’ wellness as they try to balance the IB Programme, extra-curriculars and their active social lives. Jenny has led several workshops in her own school and district and for the MNIB on this topic and we think you’ll find her ideas applicable not only to Diploma students but to younger children and even staff who face increasingly busy and sometimes distracted lives in a technology infused world. Link to the IB Matters website where episodes are arranged by Programme and topic.Link to to learn more about all the IB Programmes
In this episode of IB Matters we speak with Trevor Aleo whose recent post was featured in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Blog. After reading his post called,  “Reading the World: The Case for Multimodal Literacy” we reached out to see if he would speak to us so more of you could hear about this intriguing trend in literacy teaching. Trevor also does work in support of another well known educator in IB circles, Julie Stern. You’ll hear many refences to her work that we have featured in other podcasts.As Trevor says in his post: "Much the same way that understanding history and psychology can enrich our ability to identify themes and analyze characters, borrowing concepts from fields like semiotics can help us more effectively teach content already present in our curriculum."Link to Trevor's post in the NCTE BlogFollow Trevor on Twitter @MrAleoSaysLink to the IB Matters Podcast web page
This episode of IB Matters was originally recorded at Rockford High School for the benefit of the Rockford Schools community. We edited this version to serve as a more universal example of how families see the role of IB as part of a comprehensive education which still dovetails with traditional expectations of parents and students for the entire high school experience.If you have listened to previous episodes from Rockford, you will remember that Rockford High School, located about 30 miles west of Minneapolis, is a candidate school for three IB Programmes: the MYP, DP, and the CP.In this podcast, we hear from veteran IB parent, Krisanthy Sikkila and her daughter Anastsia about what IB added to the high school experience and how IB prepared Anastasia (and her sister) for university. The host is Maris Ehlers; a parent with two students in Rockford schools.IB has many resources for parents looking to research the benefits of IB for their children on the IB website at Now that we have a large number of IB Matters episodes covering a range of topics, we have created a webpage for this podcast which is organized by programme and by topic. So, you can find episodes featuring IB related topics without scrolling through our whole list which is now approaching 40 episodes. Link to the IB Matters Website 
In this episode of IB Matters we return to speak with Humera Riyaz of Eastern Public School in Bohpal, India. Humera was a guest in our 12th episode several months ago and we are bringing her back to share the highlights of her recent article in IB World Magazine on Design Thinking in the PYP. You’ll get some practical ideas from her and you can learn more by checking out the article itself which is linked here.We have created a webpage for this podcast which is organized by programme and by topic. So, you can find episodes featuring IB related topics without scrolling through our whole list which is now approaching 40 episodes. The link to the website is here.
This is the fourth in the “Becoming an IB School” series.We were at Rockford High School to record another set of parent questions with Rockford parent, Maris Ehlers, and Dr. Matthew Scheidler - the IB coordinator. But we were also able to capture an interview with one of Rockford’s experienced teachers who is just beginning his own IB journey. Ben Pennings, formerly a Middle school History teacher has been tasked with moving to the High school along with the freshman class at Rockford. Together, he and his students are getting to know MYP as they practice implementation ahead of their authorization visit in about a year. I was impressed by his observations as a new-to-IB teacher. He speaks eloquently about the philosophy of IB  and some of his early impressions of the assessment schemes. Rockford is also applying to become a Diploma school. Mr Pennings will be teaching TOK for the first time with the cohort he is now teaching in 9th grade. In preparation, Rockford has created a “Theory of Logic” class as a precursor so staff can practice the TOK elements. Ben shares his enthusiasm for this as well.The parent questions revolve around the student load in the DP, college credit, and some of the transition questions parents have about already popular options at Rockford such as AP and College in the Schools (referred to as CIS throughout the podcast).We have created a webpage for this podcast with all our episodes organized by programme and topic.  IB Matters websiteFollow us on Twitter @MattersIB.Learn more about becoming an IB school: Become an IB World School
In this episode, we talk to Peter Muir of Melbourne, Australia. Peter is currently an MYP coordinator but he also has extensive experience with CAS - that’s Creativity, Activity, Service - a key component of the Diploma Programme core.We focus on the role of CAS in developing the Diploma student’s awareness of themselves beyond their academic capabilities and more on developing those characteristics which will make them lifelong contributors to a better and more peaceful world. Even if you don’t work with the Diploma Programme you will hear the key role CAS plays in the final development of IB students.  By the way, we have created a webpage for this podcast which organizes all of our 35 episodes by topic and by programme so they can be more easily located. please use the link in the podcast notes to find the website.Peter referenced a textbook he had a part in developing. Here is a link to that book from Cambridge Press.Please find all our episodes by visiting the new IB Matters webpage. We have all the episodes arranged by topic and/or Programme.
This is a sponsored episode with Toddle, a new PYP-focused platform that provides resources and a place for PYP teachers to collaborate.We speak with Deepanshu Arora - one of the co-founders of Toddle who tells us about the many ways Toddle supports teachers and students in the PYP Programme.Toddle just launched in early 2019 but is already becoming a leader as a PYP resource option and is finding a lot of “love” across the world. As an example, They are holding the first ever global PYP Planathon in early 2020 where teachers will have the chance to share their favorite PYP units in 54 different categories. These will be vetted, evaluated, and shared. Teachers will even win prizes for their submissions. Deepanshu tells listeners how to submit their work to be part of this global archive of best practices.Please join us in supporting Toddle as they help us to promote IB education through our podcast.You can learn more about Toddle at or go right to the Planathon page at you are interested in joining Toddle as an IB Matters podcast sponsor, contact us at Please find all our episodes by visiting the new IB Matters webpage. We have all the episodes arranged by topic and/or Programme.
Comments (1)

Gin Hon

My son will be going to an IB kindergarten in the fall. I really do feel like the round up did not do a good job of explaining it to me. Even though I'm in Michigan I thank you for this pod cast because it's been so informative. I wish my son's new school would do the same but until then this podcast is gonna be my go to.

Jun 2nd
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