18 June 2018

Being Open-Minded

What does it mean to be truly open-minded? This can be very difficult. As adults we develop our values over the course of our lives and usually surround ourselves with people who share these values. Being open to other people's values, especially when they are different from our own, can be challenging and requires a risk taking attitude and a degree of courage.

The International Baccalaureate Organisation defines open-mindedness as "critically appreciating our own culture and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. Seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and being willing to grow from the experience." (IBO MTPYPH)

The benefits of being open-minded are numerous. It allows you to experience new ideas and thoughts and to challenge the beliefs you currently have. It provides you with the opportunity to reflect on your values and possibly change them. In accepting to have an open-mind, you also accept you do not know everything and that there are thing you may not have considered.

A key aspect of an open-minded approach to life and learning is the willingness to make mistakes. By opening your perspective to those of others you try to walk in their sandals and see things from their point of view. This can also assist you to reflect and recognise some mistakes you make have made and misconceptions you may have had.

The experience of being open-minded allows us to learn and develop. We can build upon what we have experienced by adding the perspective of others. This openness and learning can develop a new level of confidence in us and help us to grow.

Through the PYP we offer the boys many opportunities to see and discuss many different perspectives. We try to share with them experiences and points of view they may not normally encounter. We believe this opens their minds and assists them in developing a deeper understanding of concepts and produces a worldview. However, this is not always an easy thing to do. We firmly believe the effort involved is worth it in the long run as there are great benefits for our boys, or anyone, viewing the world with an open-mind.


John Stewart

Head of Junior School