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The best way to choose your subjects in Cambridge IGCSE


Reyan Mishra

Feb 02, 2021

Via: Jessica Abel

‘Transition happens in the background’, ‘you will know with age’ or ‘as you grow you will know what’s right for you to do. These cliches have become all too common for learners lately and hold little value as well, especially for those who are considering switching boards or are contemplating the subjects to choose under the Cambridge IGCSE curriculum in high school. Young learners, besides having a head full of aspirations, have fears and preconceptions that often cloud their judgement while zeroing in on a career option. And this calls for sound guidance on the parts of parents and educators alike.

From our observation of learners at Beyond 8, positive experiences, general perceptions of subjects and early conditioning have a lasting impact on one’s inclination towards a particular subject or set of subjects. However, are these parameters the only and best ways to assess how learners need to choose their subjects? What if a learner is gifted in a particular area but is averse to the subject because of traumatic exams or unimaginative rote learning he/she associates it with? Therefore, it is safe to say that there is no one-size-fits-all response to the question: which subjects should I choose in high school?

Enter dream mapping!

Every learner’s interests are nuanced and looking at them through the learners’ vision of their futures is the first step towards helping them choose subjects. When they enroll at Beyond 8, they go through dream mapping , an intimate conversation between young learners, their families and experts to capture their dreams for the future. In addition, the process also sheds light on the learner’s sources of motivation, strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities to grow. The process is an evolution of the Personal Futures Planning Program (PFP) which was initially developed at Perkins University to assist one plan the upcoming stage of one’s life. Keeping learner’s interests and passion at the centre of this process, trained facilitators use psychometrical tools and their expertise to help a child find out his/her true calling .

the best way to choose your subjects in cambridge igcse beyond 8 1

The process takes place in three distinct phases:

  • The warm up: The learner and his/her family are invited to go on a trip down memory lane and capture all the thoughts they are comfortable sharing from an individual context. They are encouraged to do it in any mode of expression they prefer: doodles, music, storytelling
  • The harvest of insights: The findings from the memory maps that the family presented in the first session gives the facilitator a clear indication of what they hold dear. The places they frequented or rarely visited provides clues into their tastes and social behaviour. The people they liked and disliked meeting, similarly speak about the values they hold close.
  • The dream phase: In this final phase, we invite the learner to dream about his/her life in the future, say as a 30-year-old adult. They will be invited to share visions of where they see themselves living, what they see themselves doing for a living and similar details. Based on these findings, the facilitator then guides the learners’ families about the possible learning and career pathways this dream can be a reality. In other words, they will help the learner have access to all the mentorship and materials needed to work towards their ‘dream life’ and sustain it.

What dream mapping is not

Dream mapping is a highly impactful way of helping learners set out on their journeys towards finding their ikigai. However, it does not set anything in stone: it is a dynamic process that mirrors the learner’s evolving passions over time. Dream mapping should also not be confused with a psychometric test or a career-counseling session as it provides greater insight from both a process and outcome standpoint.

Don’t take our word for it - hear it from the families who have found it life-changing!

Have a look at Beyond 8’s Guide to Dream Mapping !

If you would like to know more about landing your own dream mapping session, reach out to us . You can also find additional resources on Beyond 8’s YouTube channel and blog .

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The future of education is here

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