Resources for Teaching Perspective and Open-Mindedness
Inspire your students to try new things and have new experiences by teaching perspectives and open-mindedness. You will find picture books, videos and online resources, looking at the world with an open mind, tolerance, perspective and acceptance.
Teaching Perspective and Open-Mindedness
According to the IB learner profile, open-minded learners “critically appreciate [their] own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. [They] seek to evaluate a range of points of view, and [they] are willing to grow from the experience.”
Teaching the IB makes it more straightforward to embed open-mindedness as it is part of the curriculum by way of the Learner Profile. Your students should be surrounded by the perspectives and values of other cultures and communities. An environment that will help them embrace new perspectives while developing and learning from their own experiences.
When we talk about being open-minded it is not just in relation to other people. We also want students to be open to new possibilities and adventures. This links in with another IB trait, risk-takers. Trying new things or putting themselves outside their comfort zone leads to increased confidence, independence and happiness.
Characteristics of Open-Minded Children
Being open-minded means understanding we are all different and embracing these differences. Other open-minded characteristics we want our students to exhibit include:
- respecting and considering the perspectives and approaches of others
- being eager to learn new things
- reflect on their own learning and the ideas of others
- reacting positively to constructive feedback
- acting with positivity, honesty and empathy
- listening attentively
- putting themselves in other people’s shoes
- willing to venture outside their comfort zone
- asking questions to broaden their mind and understandings
- working towards positive relationships and collaborative experiences.
Key Benefits of Being Open-Minded
There are many benefits to teaching perspectives and helping your students to view their life with an open mind. Open-mindedness gives students the ability to:
- embrace different points of view
- listen to and consider the perspectives of others before making a decision
- understand new ideas and experiences broaden their mind and challenge their thinking
- understand mistakes or failure leads to a deeper understanding
- be eager to learn new things and build on existing knowledge, even if it challenges existing views
- be honest, understanding they don’t know everything and can admit it
- know the first answer is correct and will search for alternatives before settling on an answer
- be an effective team player and collaborator
- be fair and objective, building trust with others.
- handle constructive feedback, understanding they learn from their mistakes.
In this section, you will find a wealth of resources to help your students view the world with an open mind. There are picture books, short videos, online resources and questions.
Open-Minded Picture Books
Literature is a wonderful way to teach perspective and open-mindedness. This selection of books tells the adventures of open-minded characters and some who are not so open-minded!
For the books with an image displaying ‘teaching resources’ click for additional book information and related online resources. Below, there is a list of open-minded questions to use during a read-aloud session.
Open-Minded Discussion Questions
- What does an open-minded mindset look like? Which characters were open-minded?
- Why does being open-minded matter?
- Was [character] willing to change their mind as events progressed? How did this decision make a difference to the outcome?
- Why do you think [character] bullied other characters? What could they have done instead?
- In what ways was the [character] judgemental towards others?
- Who was the most open-minded character? In what way?
- How could [character] have been more open-minded?
- How would it have helped [character] if s/he was more open-minded?
- Why was it important that [character] was open-minded?
- Did [character] think about how their actions affected other characters?
- Could [character] have understood the feelings of [character] better? How?
- How could [character & character] have dealt with their differences better?
- Did [character] take on board the opinions of others? Would it have made a difference?
- What caused [character] to act in the way they did? What could they have done differently?
- What could [character] do differently next time to be more open-minded?
Open-Minded Resources Online
- Big Think: How to Teach Perspective- Taking and Empathy to a Child
- Lifehack: 10 Things To Remember If You Want To Raise Your Kids To Be Open-minded
- Parent: How to Raise an Open-Minded Child
- Psychology Today: How Do We Help Children Take Other Perspectives?
- Michigan State University: The importance of perspective-taking for young children
- Social Justice Books: Children, Arab Heritage, and Anti-Bias Education
- User Generated Education: The Future Belongs to the Curious: How Are We Bringing Curiosity Into School?
- Big Think: How to Teach Perspective- Taking and Empathy to a Child
- Connections Academy: Practical Tips to Inspire Student Curiosity
- The Hub: How to Promote Equality and Diversity in the Classroom
- IB Community Blog: Approaches to open-mindedness
- Kids Discover: The Classroom Curiosity Cabinet: Extending Show and Tell to Create an In-Class Museum
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: Living, Learning Together Lesson Ideas
- One World One Heart:Teaching Tolerance Lesson Plans
- Speech and Language Kids: How to Teach Perspective
- Scholastic: Point of View: A Unit on Perspective
- Teaching for Change: Teaching Young Children about Race – A Guide for Parents and Teachers
- Teaching Tolerance: How are we the same and how are we different from each other? Learning Plan
- TES Teach: Open-Mindedness Resources
Open-Minded Discussion Starters: Videos
These short videos can be used as discussion starters for talking about ______. Watch the video before playing them to your students. Some of them are simple while others are more complex or abstract.
Merry M. Merryfield presents alternative practices for teachers that support the development of open-mindedness. In the article Four Strategies for Teaching Open-Mindedness, she provides a detailed description of effective ways to teach open-mindedness. She concludes the article by stressing teachers choices “can either lead to open-minded and globally-aware citizens, interested and engaged in diverse cultures — or to young adults who know little about the world beyond our borders.”
What do you do to teach perspectives and open-mindedness? Hit the comments and let me know! Remember to visit 32 of the Best Open-Minded Books for the Classroom for more great open-minded picture books.
- 32 of the Best Open-Minded Books for the Classroom
- Children’s Books & Resources for the IB Learner Profile Traits
- Tolerance Book List & Resources
- Discover the Benefits of Picture Books for Older Readers
- 7 Reasons Why Wordless Picture Books are so Powerful
- How to Use Picture Books to Teach Cause and Effect
- 6 Powerful Strategies on How to Choose Books to Read
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