There are many similarities between the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and Curriculum for Excellence (CfE).
In the IB curriculum there are ten main aims for IB learners to strive in (learner profile):
- Inquirers– curious and enthusiastic lifelong learners who ask powerful questions.
- Knowledgeable– exploring locally and globally.
- Thinkers– critical, creative and ethical decision makers.
- Communicators– good listeners, confident in more than one language.
- Principled– honest, fair and responsible.
- Open-minded– developing critical appreciation four our own cultures and others.
- Caring– committed to service within the community.
- Risk takers– courageous, resourceful and resilient.
- Balanced– focused on wellbeing of ourselves and others around us.
- Reflective– thoughtful, realistic and hopeful for the future.
At the heart of IB education, the aim is that the program will create passionate lifelong learners who believe that how you learn and why you are learning is as important as what you study in school. This links in with the aims of CfE as, when teaching, learning intentions and success criteria are used this allows pupils are aware of what they are learning and why they are learning it.
The IB aims do align with the main aims of CfE, as in IB aims 1-10 mentioned above are reflective within CfE. As we want our learners to be engaged with their learning and ask questions (Inquires). Learners need to be critical, being able to make decisions within their learning for example, chili challenge. Learners need to be good listeners in order to learn and be respectful to others (Communicators). Pupils must be honest and let teachers know when they find something hard/are not understanding. Pupils also have to be honest to their peers (Principled).
In aspect of working with children under CfE these IB aims are very similar, Open-minded- this is taught in CfE through RME as pupils will learn about different religions and cultures. Pupils are also taught in CfE to be resilient (Risk Takers). Balanced aim from IB is also taught in CfE under the curriculum area: Health and Wellbeing. In CfE pupils are encouraged to be reflective on their work and mark it honestly and give themselves fair feedback (Reflective and Principled).
In CfE the four capacities are:
- Responsible Citizen: respect for others, commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life.
- Effective Contributor: an enterprising attitude, resilience and self-reliance.
- Confident Individual: self-respect, a sense of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and secure values and beliefs.
- Successful Learner: enthusiasm and motivation for learning, determination to reach high standards of achievement, openness to new thinking and ideas.
These capacities link in with the IB goals.
The similarities between the CfE capacities and the IB learner profile. Both promote a program where pupils are taught and encouraged to believe in themselves, be polite, respectful and fair to others, pupils show enthusiasm and dedication to their work. Most of the IB and CfE attributes are very similar.
There are not many differences between the CfE capacities and the IB learner profile. The main one being that in the IB learner profile they describe communicators as being a good listener which is an attribute of CfE, and secondly being confident in more than one language. Languages are taught in the CfE curriculum but pupils are not pushed to be fluent in more than one language.
I have experienced some of the IB learner profile in practice, when on placement. I experienced: Reflective- thoughtful, realistic and hopeful for the future. I experienced this when teaching My World of Work, as pupils were engaged with their goals for the future and how to achieve them. Knowledgeable- exploring locally and globally. Was another learner profile which I experienced when pupils within the class were learning about racism. They learnt about global historic events as well as local.
The progressive education trends by the 1960’s which align with CfE are: Critical analysis, student choice, range of skills testing, child-centred, open plan rooms, education of the whole child, criterion-referenced and transdisciplinary.
Critical Analysis, as in CfE children are encouraged to analyse their own work and make constructive comments on it. Also, critical analysis is under the curriculum area of Literacy and English for CfE. In this area of the curriculum critical analysis is a skill in which pupils will learn.
Student Choice, this is a big aim for CfE as all children should have an input on what they are learning.
Range of skills testing is used throughout CfE to ensure that learners are meeting success criteria.
Child-centred approach is used in CfE in order to make sure that the learner comes first and that everything to do with that child’s learning can be adapted to suit them.
Open plan rooms, these are used in CfE classrooms to enable children to flow freely throughout the room, allowing them to choose what they want to do.
Education of the whole child is a big part of CfE as the curriculum is set out to give each child a balanced and well-rounded education. Therefor covering every area as much as possible to ensure that the child has been able to learn as much as they can.
Criterion-referenced, this is used within CfE through open questioning as an assessment method. As this allows the teacher to know where their pupils learning ability is at for what has just been taught to the pupils.
Transdisciplinary, is used a lot in CfE with interdisciplinary learning as this allows pupils to expand their knowledge in different areas of the curriculum.
The CfE curriculum and PYP both have very child centred approaches where the children are involved in their own learning.
The PYP is all about students who are aware of the world around them and it’s not as structured a curriculum as CfE as the PYP does not have certain principles of design which they must follow. The PYP allows the children to think for themselves and direct their own learning and next steps.
Both the PYP and CfE work hard on interdisciplinary learning, as this is one of the key parts of the curriculum for CfE. This allows learning to be followed and allow a deeper understanding for the pupils.