Maths class is not always popular with students. Some believe that numbers aren’t their thing and that they will never understand mathematics. Dr. Dorothea Vielmetter, an experienced maths teacher at the grammar school, sees a different cause for these students’ frustration. In her opinion the problem lies, among other things, in the traditional method of instruction that involves a teacher who stands in front of the class and lectures. If all students receive the exact same instruction, this lesson is unlikely to fulfill each student’s individual needs. In her experience the teacher will mainly reach the average students with this approach, while the stronger students are not being challenged sufficiently and the weaker students are overwhelmed. As a consequence, these groups are likely to get bored and stop paying attention. For weaker students this can quickly lead to a situation where they get left behind: They cannot catch up to the rest of the class anymore and the deficits accumulate. At some point frustration takes over and they decide they just can’t do maths.
A group of International School students recently participated in a Model UN (MUN) conference in Neuss called MUNelly. A MUN conference is a simulation of a UN general assembly that is usually conducted with secondary school or university students. These simulation activities have been taking place for almost as long as the United Nations themselves have been in existence. The goal is to replicate the sessions and negotiations of the main bodies of the United Nations as authentically as possible. This serves to give the participants a realistic impression of how the UN operates and allows them to catch a glimpse of the complexity of international relations and decision making. It also teaches them to negotiate different interests. Most commonly groups of participants will be asked to represent a country that is not their own country of origin, forcing them to put themselves in the position of someone else – which can of course only be done after they have researched what the interests of said country are.
For many years the UNICEF gala at the Maritim Hotel has been a fixture on Cologne’s event calendar. At the end of November, big stars and young artists come together to collect money for children. This year, for the first time, IFK’s big band was among them. The band had the privilege of being the opening act. It was a wonderful performance that was rewarded with great applause.