Writing and Refining Central Ideas

Roman Proverb

It is amazing how often teaching teams begin – and even complete – units of inquiry without ever really knowing what the unit is all about.  Investing the time, energy and professional pride in order to create central ideas that really are relevant, purposeful and powerful enough to provoke genuine student inquiry is really a non-negotiable in good IB schools. The “oh… that’ll do” mentality is really not good enough!

Here are the central ideas currently being developed by teaching teams here at ISHCMC. Teams are required to think about the following considerations when writing or evaluating a central idea:

  • Does the central idea really mean something?
  • Is it more than just a simple statement of fact?
  • Is it going to be relevant to the students?
  • Is it going to provoke genuine inquiry?

Some of these central ideas are in pretty good shape, some need a little more work. If you have any suggestions, please make a comment.

“Animals share our planet”

“Light and dark impact our world”

“A community depends on all people working together.’

“We can express messages through stories.”

“Humans are motivated to explore the unknown.”

“Understanding rights and responsibilities helps us to understand how and why people seek change.” 

“Learning about the origins of beliefs and values helps us to understand people.”


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