Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This may be volatile...AIM

I know this could potentially turn into a "lets bash AIM" post, but I genuinely am interested in what people think. (This is about senior AIM for me, but I want to know what junior AIM is like as well).
Today for example, my class was asked what we wanted to get out of the class and so we answered with ideas like college prep time, homework time, food, team building activities (like the ropes course) and the like. Immediately after we had finished the discussion, we were told that the teacher did not see anything that we wanted out of the class. He saw ways we were trying to avoid the class. However, he had not told us the purpose of senior AIM, and then critiqued us without actually knowing what he had wanted us to come up with.
How is this logical?
This class was supposed to be implemented in order for us to make the "transitions", but how can you make the transitions without actually graduating high school (hence the homework time), or applying to colleges (hence the college prep time), or the team building (since the IB kids "run around in packs throughout the school"). However, when we had tried to make the class work for us, we were immediately shot down with "you guys aren't even trying to use the potential this class has". When authority talks to people like this, i believe they lose some of that authority because they lose respect as well.
So, why do we have AIM?
What is going on in other classes? (I know this isn't exactly ToK, but our class isn't exactly the most open to the "IB kids"). Why do people gravitate into cliques when in a class thats meant to break that?
Why do people automatically reject something thats new (think allegory of the cave), or is it when the new thing is forced upon people? (Or do we reject it because we lost late start in our sophomore year?)
-Also (from AIM) can a place (location) be important to someone or is it the event or memory of something that happpened there the true importance?


katrina337 said...

In my aim class, we came up with those same suggestions, and my teachers thought they were brilliant ideas and that we might do some of them. and it's definitely the memory that actually makes the place special. I talked about leprechaun land. you have no idea how hard it is to try and keep a straight face about that whilst caitlin's laughing when she's not supposed to react.

R_Dong said...


I think that it depends on the teacher and the kids in the class. For me, AIM (please don't hurt me) has been a relatively decent experience.

Our AIM class is fun and the teachers are open to suggestions. I hae met a lot of different kids in AIM that I normally would never come into contact with, and the teachers actually let us chat amongst ourselves and interact.

So I guess it depends on the kids, whether they are willing to be accepting of AIM, and the teachers, whether they are willing to step back from the curriculum and actually let the students mingle.

Kenshin_Himura said...

I'm pretty sure that the "transitions" aspect was focused more on the freshmen-sophomores... I might be mistaken, though.

Anyway, not to bash anything like that, but I personally see no logic whatsoever in that argument. Was it an assignment to write all that down?
If so, then I find that highly confusing.
Who would make an assignment and then neglect parts of it?

Anyway, about the whole "AIM is ___" subject (yes, I left it blank, fill it with whatever word you choose, {I personally put in "all right"}) I believe that it is a wonderful opprotunity.
I won't deny that I personally have a slight stereotype/bias against non-IB people, but I have gotten to know some wonderful peers that have shattered parts of that bias. (And yes, there were others that made it worse, unfortunately).

As a whole though, AIM is a nice experience...

(Please, I'd like to remain INTACT for next AIM... So, like Robert said, don't hurt me. :P)

Kendra said...

Our AIM class had a very similar discussion. We suggested homework time and food, but were told to come up with other ideas and "dig a little deeper".
The main intent of AIM is to develop emotional intelligence as we transition from high school into another stage of our lives. This consists of being self-aware of how our emotions affect our actions and knowing how to work with others' emotions.
If this is the main goal, then why are we labelling our emotions with a number scale or a weather forecast, when we should be learning how to intuitively figure out how we and others are feeling?
From a ToK point of view, how is emotional intelligence and knowledge justified? At what point has one reached a high level of emotional intelligence? How can emotional intelligence be defined?

Pumanupes said...

See, for me, I think because my teacher has been with my class since we were sophomores, we all know each other pretty well and we all know her pretty well. We suggested the same things, and she was extremely excited about it. In fact, today we went to the lab to work on scholarship information. Interestingly enough, I think few kids really spent a majority of the time on that topic, but we still were doing productive stuff. I think the fact that we know what to expect from each other puts the class at ease.
You're right though, especially because we're (we as in IB kids) are the last ones to have actually experienced the late late start... we have a particular bias towards AIM. I also might suggest that because we, as IB kids, already have a pretty close community and know each other extremely well (or else how would we be comfortable talking to each other like we already are on previous posts - to me, that suggests a strong sense of bond, comfort and trust)... but because we already have that sense of community, AIM seems even more of a waste of time in that we already have what it's trying to establish for everyone else. (That was the longest sentence EVER)

This year I'm enjoying AIM much more than any other year. 10th grade was terrible and my class hated each other. 11th was much better, especially as we all matured and got to know each other better and now, even though there still are people who absolutely resent being in the class, the majority of us are really chill about the whole ordeal.

That's just my experience. I will not hurt Roberto... promise.
~Anupama (for those who didn't already know :-D)

Wrightla said...

I think that the basic idea behind AIM is a very good idea, creating "smaller learning communities" and a support network for those who need it. However, I think it has been rather I hesitate to say poorly, perhaps roughly implemented so that it really a hit or miss on whether to get a good AIM teacher or a bad one.

I would say that it is bad that teachers are not listening to student impact. I have heard the same thing from the students who attended the Administration-Student Representatives thing, last year(?). That the administration did not listen to their discussion and suggestions but rather tried to force the discussion the way the wanted it. Please keep in mind I had no part in that meeting so this is based on what I have heard from others. I think that resistance to student input is contrary to the entire idea of what AIM is supposed to be.

Lastly, I agree with Anupama that one of the reasons IB students may find AIM even more purposeless is that we, as IB students are already part of a "smaller learning community". I know that I know pretty much every IB senior as well as many IB juniors. I think that having this community is really a big positive for IB because it allows us to become really familiar and friends with a group of people and to be able to rely on them for support if you need it. A caution to this is that you need to not allow the community to become some 'exclusive' clique and you refuse to interact with people who are not in it. I, from my experiences with non-IB students, have found that IB students in general are doing a good job at avoiding that. Many of the non-IB students I've talked to say that IB students are some of the friendliest and most out-going people they've met.

I got away from my main points there, but I think AIM is a good idea, that has been poorly implemented.

Yeesh way to make me feel old, "Back when I was your age late start was at 9:12 on Wednesdays"

Dani said...

I'm sorry! I didnt mean to like, scare anyone but wow....

Wolf, Sara and i were just talking about it because one of our teachers seems really cool, but also has no problem telling us when he thinks that were slacking and just trying to waste his time. It wasn't an assignment, we were put into groups and then he went around and had ideas written on the board. Its hard to anticipate what the teacher wants when you haven't even been told the objective of the class.

I think that AIM is kind of like communism (Marxist communism) where its a good idea, but it takes time to implement and has to have universal acceptance. My class is totally against AIM; we haven't had the same teacher throughout the years, and the cliques are pretty firmly established, the class hasn't been the same people, and many of our classmates take AIM time as time to go to city park or BCB and just hang out. When most of the class doesn't take it seriously (they play along, but don't actually want to participate) then its hard to understand the relevance.

tsizzinc said...

wait why are we talking about aim, i see no values in discussing aim class, because i think everyone likes to whine about it and no one really just suck it up and accept it. stop being babies and dont drag aim into TOK.

J.Malone said...

I, as your TOK "authority" in the sky watching over you, would like to reiterate what TC said above...

I don't mind AIM being discussed, but make it a TOK issue, not a forum for what you think of the program. I do think what you have to say is extremely valuable so pass it on to your teachers, admin, whoever. I you want me to take it forward for you, I will.

But again, use this blog for TOK stuff and some of you are trying to do that with AIM, by twisting into an AIM issue. If you can continue to do so, feel free to discuss. If not, continue this conversation... just not here.


Dani said...

Maybe I should reiterate what i said at the bottom of the original post, why do people reject what is new or even just blatantly resent change?
AIM was really just the personal acquaintance that seemed relevant.

katrina337 said...

I really don't resent change, but I think a lot of people do when it takes away something good because of a fear that something bad will replace. And (following your example because I can't think of a better one right now) as AIM hasn't had much time to establish itself, a lot of people can't accept it as something 'good'. Thus, we've replaced something good (latestart) with something bad (AIM). People are more accepting when the change is replacing something good with something better (I'm dead on examples today, I'm sorry, I'll comment again later if I think of something)

katrina337 said...

Another example of good things getting replaced with bad things is the soda machines, a lot of people are complaining because they replaced real soda (that actually tasted like soda...) with diet (which gives you cancer faster, and doesn't help with the obesity epidemic at all). SO yeah. I'm still working on an example of the other one, I just thought we might need a non-aim example so we weren't so focused on that.

Rachel said...

For the instigation of change, i think it is important that people understand the reasons for change. If it seems pointless and just a way for going from something good to something bad, it is rejected. With the examples of the pop machines and aim, i think if people immediately noticed a decrease in obesity and increased general health and energy level, or found friendly, receptive, and productive communities in aim class, we would all view the changes a lot more positively. I think the opinion that people are afraid of damaging what they percieve as a good thing, or gaining a worse situation, is a very valid one.

susanna.w said...

I think the AIM syllabus may have something to do with it. From what I've seen, my AIM teacher already has a list of activities for everyday and our monthly discussions, etc. They ask us for ideas but we don't know if their going to actually implement them. The teacher may also not see the connection that you are making as there are many different ways to interpret the definition and aim of AIM.

I think a place can be important to someone. When I go to a certain beach for example, I don't recall any particular memories but simply the feeling I get whenever I go there. It's a sensory thing for me I guess.

katrina337 said...

except the switch in teh vending machines isn't dropping the obesity rate or making people healthier, so is it a positive change?

And I agree with what Susanna said about a place being important, though I do believe sometimes its the memory itself.