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How to Integrate the learner profile into IB Business: Caring

When I took my Level 1 IB Business teacher training, they encouraged us to integrate the learner profile into our lessons. And if I am quite honest, I didn’t have time really think about it in the first few years as I was trying to learn the exams, content, IA, EE and all of the other elements of the course.

 

However, a couple of years in, I have made it my mission to make sure that all of the learner profile attributes and integrated and practiced in my lessons. So, let’s start with the first one: Caring.

 

In general, my students are very caring and empathetic, but this activity challenges them to see others who are in situations that are extremely different from themselves. In Unit 3 Finance, they study microfinance. They learn that it is small loans given to people who might not have access to finance from other places.


kiva loan IB learner profile caring

To show this in real life, I direct them to Kiva.org which is a microfinance platform that matches doners with real life people from around the world. Each loan is $25 and students can browse by industry, geographical region, or type of loan/aid needed. Many of my students are shocked to see the small things people need or want to get their business off the ground, provide for their family, or survive until next week or month. This really opens students’ eyes to people outside of their own community and economic situation.

 

To do this activity, I have students browse profiles and choose one they would like to donate to. Based on the size of the group, they either work individually or in pairs/groups of three. They need to make a 1-2 minute appeal to convince their classmates that their loan is the best one. Once all of the appeals have been heard, there is a vote to see who should get the loan. I have already loaded money into my Kiva account and we loan out the money together as a class.




Over time, the site updates us on the person who got the loan and we can watch the money being paid back. I have been doing this for 4-5 years now and have used the same money over and over again. It is really fun for students to follow this person and understand the risks of microfinance. Sometimes the loan isn’t paid back in full!

 

This activity helps students see the world around those and care for all people no matter where they come from or what their situation is. They engage with different types of communities and understand how even small donations and acts of kindness can really help. I hope this inspires them to donate themselves and tell others about the platform. How do you integrate the learner profile attribute of caring into your lessons? Let me know if the comments below.

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