Students in Grade 10 are looking at Conflict Resolution currently and will be examining the work of the UN Peacekeeping mission in Timor Leste. This week they have been exploring some of the legacies of the colonial past and had an opportunity to use some of their artistic skills to put the Timor Leste topic into a historical context. Here is an example of some of the work that they created.
This week the students of the Global Politics and Societies class had the opportunity to visit the US embassy and ask questions about their foreign relations with Vietnam and continue their discussion on Human Rights.
Since last week our second and last GIFA Rapporteur presentations took place this week we had the time to continue our discussions on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, key global politics concepts and different case studies. At the end of these discussions we took some time to research and prepare for the class trip to the US embassy. Each student did some in depth research on the US and Vietnam relation and each prepared 3 different questions to ask the US embassy diplomats. The topic of the question varied from the international relations between Vietnam and the US, the effects of current president Donald Trump withdrawing from NATO and how the current situation with Iran could possibly affect Vietnam.
When the class first arrived to the embassy we were greeted by Gabriel Hurst head of the Public Affair section who introduced himself and gave us some information on the different sections of the embassy and what they do. We proceeded to meet diplomats from the political, economic, management & consular sections and some of us even got the opportunity to ask the question that we prepared.
This trip gave the class some extremely meaningful insight into the international relations between Vietnam and the US and we even had a chance to learn more about a number of projects that the embassy is currently working on.
Written by Ines Barran Senin
TOK Areas of Knowledge Knowledge Seminars are underway for us year 1s.
The IB economics internal assessment is about the work that students show the ability to connect economics concepts with real-life examples used in news articles which is no older than 6 months. This IA gives us an opportunity to practice our research, diagramming, synthesis, analysis, and evaluation skills.
My IA is based on microeconomics. I am researching the impact of taxes on demerit goods.
Ceteris Paribus, we know when there is a tax, it will generally lead to price increase and decrease the demand. The decrease in demand will depend on the elasticity of demand for that demerit good. A tax on a demerit good that leads to the price increase frequently results in a black market for that good.
So, what my IA is really about is government intervention and market failure.
In my case study, Australia raised the tax on cigarettes which are considered as a demerit good. They did this in order to decrease the demand which they hope to reduce citizen’s consumption which leads to a health problem which is a negative externality of consumption.
During the Tet break, it would be great to spend time preparing for IA by having a practice of diagramming, synthesis, analysis, and evaluation based on research and own understanding. I hope to come back with a draft of IA to have a productive discussion with my colleagues and teacher.
Minju Jin (Grade 11)
Round two of our great debate on quantitative tools (unit 3) got underway this week with the Balance Sheet team going head-to-head against Cash Flow Forecasting; Liquidity Ratio versus Profit Loss Accounting; Efficiency Ratio against Net Present Value.
Students in Grade 11 and Grade 12 studying DP Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) made a recent two-day investigation of the ecosystem of Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam’s largest nature reserve. The trip saw students engage in practical work, including ecological sampling techniques, and data collection in terrestrial and aquatic environments.
‘Through various experiments and physical exposure to the sites at Cuc Phuong National Park, the trip allowed students to get a grasp of this knowledge in real life. Furthermore, by reflecting upon these experiences, students can then enrich and extend their knowledge and understanding of applied concepts.’ – Richard Dang of Grade 12
‘I think that the Cuc Phuong benefitted me because it showed me that my in class learning was applicable to the real world, and that everything I learnt in class I could use.’ – Bailey Shelley of Grade 12
Grade 10 students are making continued progress towards formulating their course requests for next academic year. The HS Counsellors, Ms Brenda Manfredi and Mr Franko Ciffizari, have now held individual meetings with all Grade 10 students to discuss their pathway to university. The Grade 10 Mathematics teachers are in the process of making recommendations to students regarding the courses available next year based on evidence of learning.
Grade 10 students have until Thursday 13 February to decide on their course requests for next academic year which they will submit by completing a Google form during Homebase on that day. Students are encouraged to reach out to UNIS Hanoi Teachers, Grade 12 Students, their HS Counsellors, and the DP Coordinator if they have questions.
This past week, DP Year 1 Economics classes continued our preparation for the IA on Microeconomics. At the start of the week, Mr. Mirza came into class to talk to us about his personal notes and tips for writing the IA. He also handed us sample IAs from his previous students for use and reference. We were able to have a better idea of what we need to do, so thank you Mr. Mirza!
In the next few classes, we took a sample IA and reviewed it. After discussion, we came to realize the value and importance of peer feedback. In someone’s own work, their explanations, analysis and evaluations would be perfectly understandable to them. However, through someone else’s eyes there could be mistakes or areas of confusion which stand out more.
This is why honest, constructive feedback from peers is extremely beneficial even before we share our drafts with our teachers in order to prevent a paper going to the IB that does not meet the right standards – leading to the whole grade having repercussions from a marking error. By looking at an example, we developed a deeper understanding for what the IA should and should not look like, but we also noticed good things that we will apply to our own papers.
To conclude the week, we discussed our IA topics and got feedback from classmates. The class chose articles from all over the world, with topics from minimum wage, to price caps on airfare, to the taxation of cigarettes. We are very excited to continue our exploration in the following week where hopefully we will be able to have rough drafts ready for feedback.
The ToK year 1 classes are deep in preparation for our next round Knowledge Seminars starting on 14 January and running in each ToK class until Tet.
Our goal is to better understand each Area of Knowledge by using the TOK Knowledge Framework and Knowledge Questions within a subject area that we take as at the Higher Level or that we are sincerely interested in.
We have been exploring our subject areas and the production of knowledge in these subject areas in order to answer the following question (that was actually very close to a previous year’s ToK Essay title):
“What is the role of disagreement between experts in the production of knowledge in your area of knowledge (subject area) of focus?”
Perhaps the most important part of our preparation was actually discussing the production of knowledge and the role of experts directly with our subject area teachers.
We’ve been reaching out to our teachers to find out different real life examples of disagreement between experts in film, physics, history, economics, theater and any other subject you can think of.
Please join us and be part of our discussions (each one lasts about 12-13 minutes) in B5 G20, G21 and G29 starting on 14 January.
Written by Chloe Chee