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Human Library at Oakridge: A New Era of Interaction!
Bringing stories to life

Students of Oakridge International School were in for an absolute delight: The Human Library, a revolutionary new initiative by Oakridge Newton Campus, wherein students took their place as human ‘books’, sharing their life stories and experiences with intimate groups consisting of their peers and discussing thought-provoking and inspiring ideas.

From stories about their experience of moving from a foreign country to thoughts about the importance of expectations to a discussion of their journey of making an app, the human books were eager to present their innovative and ingenious thoughts and ideas to their fellow students in an engaging and creative setting.

The audience was thrilled and inspired following the erudite conversations with their human books, and look forward to attending and participating in such events more frequently in the future. This was a truly unique and enriching experience for all students involved, and the memories from this successful event shall be cherished for years to come!

The Human Library at Oakridge International School, Newton Campus: A New Era of Interaction!

To begin the with-

– Which IB programme are the students studying?
The students are studying in the IB Middle Years Program.

– Where did the idea of a human library come from?
The idea of a human library came from our desire to help share some of our student’s life experiences with their peers and inspire and motivate their fellow students from their personal journeys. We first noted the idea in an issue of the IBO magazine, and following research on the internet, where we observed that such Human Libraries were being conducted for adults globally, we decided to also introduce this concept for our MYP students and help them learn, share, and grow.

– How was it organized?
A few aspirant students were selected as the ‘Human Books’ for this event, who would later share their life experiences with their peers. At the event, the rest of the MYP students were then asked to ‘borrow’ a human book of their choice, and gain insight into the stories and journey which that book would like to share and discuss. Students and their selected human book were subsequently organized into intimate groups, discussing thought-provoking and inspiring ideas.

– What stories did students share? Please provide examples.
Students shared a variety of different stories and experiences of their life which they believed could help inspire their audience and provide valuable insight into their journeys. Some examples of the stories shared by students include a student’s experience and the challenges faced and lessons learnt while moving from the United States to India at a young age, a student’s journey and inspiration of creating a mobile app at the age of twelve, and a narration of a student’s development of his passion for music and how this passion helped him in life, among several other such motivating topics and unique ideas.

– What did students learn?
The students which embodied the human books successfully nurtured their communication and social skills as they interacted and communicated their stories and experiences to their peers. The students comprising the audience were inspired by their fellow students’ experiences and learned numerous lessons from the stories of the human books, such as about achieving success and developing passions in life, overcoming challenges, and the importance of innovation and international-mindedness, among other such aspects.

– Are there plans to run the human library again?
Yes, we have most certainly planned to host the human library again in the near future. We may likely even choose to expand this initiative by including a greater number of human books and introducing this concept to a wider audience of students from other IB programmes, parents, etc.

This article was also featured in January 2018 in IB blog.

– Blog Post by Ambika Kapur


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