Why every lesson should have a guiding question.

Travis Dixon Assessment (IB), Curriculum, Themantics Leave a Comment

The answer to this will probably seem pretty obvious, but there’s a little more to an effective guiding question than meets the eye. I like to keep my planning simple and a good guiding question is just one way I try to do less, but do it better. What is a guiding question? In the themantic model of curriculum design, …

5 reasons to be wary of choosing the development option

Travis Dixon Curriculum Leave a Comment

This post was originally called: “5 reasons why I wouldn’t choose the development option,” but I’ve changed it so it’s less scary for those teachers who are keen on the option. If you’re contemplating which options to go for in the new course, I personally wouldn’t be rushing into choosing development as one of them. I’ve only recently come to see just …

5 reasons why I think “depth” is better than “breadth” in IB Psychology.

Travis Dixon Curriculum, Revision and Exam Preparation Leave a Comment

When planning to teach (or study) individual topics in the new IB Psychology course, you might find yourself faced with the question: do I go for depth or breadth?  For example, should you teach (or learn) three effects of hormones on behaviour, or just one? The new course has supposedly been designed to allow the choice of either approach. However,  in …

What does “breadth or depth” mean?

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This post accompanies my other post about why I think it’s better to aim for depth over breadth in IB Psychology. What is depth? Depth refers to studying a topic by looking at only one or two examples. Examples Studying “Biases in thinking and decision making” by focusing only one on example, e.g., confirmation bias. Studying the effects of one …

Teaching Tip: How to cut content and increase understanding

Travis Dixon Criminology, Curriculum, Themantics 2 Comments

When it’s time to teach the new course, if you’re a bit savvy in your curriculum design you can exploit overlaps, cut content, and best of all – enhance student understanding of psychology. How do we do all this? In this post I’ll walk you through some helpful hints and show you the value of constructing relationship chains. Keeping it Simple …

IB Psychology (SL) in less than 125 Hours!

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  By teaching the course holistically and integrating the core and options it’s possible to teach the IB Psychology course in more depth and in less time. Here are two possible ways you could teach SL Psychology in less than 125 hours with the help of our textbook, IB Psychology: A Student’s Guide. Course Option #1 with Human Relationships     …

When the IB asks the wrong question…

Travis Dixon Assessment (IB), Curriculum, Themantics Leave a Comment

In the most recent IB Psychology exam the wrong question has been asked. And I’m not talking about the “etic” question, either. I’m referring to the SAQ from the cognitive level of analysis: Describe one study investigating the reliability of one cognitive process. This is obviously the wrong question to ask and may result in poor student performance, unless you’ve trained your …

Why teach themantically?

Travis Dixon Assessment (IB), Criminology, Curriculum, General Interest, Themantics Leave a Comment

Why teach thematically? If you think about it, teaching by the core approaches (or levels of analysis) in a linear way IS a thematic approach – the themes are biology, cognition and socio-culture, and then the themes are abnormal psych, health, etc. These themes tie together topics so by the end of the unit students have a broad conceptual understanding. …