Introduction to International Baccalaureate

This post covers my reflections upon the first online module for the International Baccalaureate elective, comparing  the IB Programme to the Curriculum for Excellence.

Reflective Activity 1:

How do the IB aims align with the main aims of CfE?

The aims of CfE focus upon providing students with the knowledge, skills and attributes necessary in the modern world. Furthermore, CfE focuses upon creating lifelong learners beyond the school walls and interdisciplinary learning in order to bring together all aspects of knowledge. These aims mirror much of the IB aims, sharing a focus on equipping students with skills as well as knowledge to thrive in the global community. Furthermore, IB encourages lifelong learners and forms links in students’ learning.

Have you experienced any aspect of the IB aims when working with children or in your own education?

During my placement I saw an emphasis on intercultural understanding and respect within the school, The subject of PSE was used effectively each week to help the children understand and celebrate their differences. The children were confident in sharing their cultures and experiences, as well as being keen to learn about other cultures. This created an environment in which everyone felt comfortable and could therefore thrive.

Reflective Activity 2:

Compare and contrast the IB Learner Profile attributes with CfE’s four capacities. What are the similarities and differences?

Similarities:

  •  Openness to new thinking and ideas – IB attribute: Open- Minded , CfE capacity: Successful Learners.
  •  Development of respect and responsibility – IB attribute: Principled , CfE capacity: Responsible Citizens.
  • Importance of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing – IB attribute: Balanced , CfE capacity: Confident Individuals.
  • Building confidence in communicating – IB attribute: Communicators , CfE capacity: Effective Contributors.

Differences:

  • IB’s attribute of ‘Communicators’ includes the ability to communicate confidently in more than one language. Where as the CfE do not include this skill within their capacities for young people. The learning of a language in CfE often depends upon the resources of the school and course choice in older years.

Reflective Activity 3:

Within the document The History of IB (IB, 2017), focussing on Educational Trends (page 3) – which of ‘progressive’ trends align with CfE?

The following of the ‘progressive’ trends align with CfE:

  • Critical analysis – The CfE has moved away from the traditional memorisation of knowledge and facts. There is now a focus on using creative and relevant ways to learn, adapting the learning to suit the children.
  • Transdisciplinarity – CfE holds a great focus on interdisciplinary learning, providing a well rounded and connected education.
  • Range of skills testing – CfE recognises the importance of skills as well as knowledge and therefore ensures a variety of styles of testing to evaluate both.
  • Child- centred – The CfE holds great importance on revolving the education around the child.  Teachers are encouraged to involve pupils in decisions in the classroom and their personal education.
  • Education of the whole child – CfE also grasps onto this notion that education must go further than that of knowledge. Education is seen in CfE to cover the mental, physical and emotional aspects of the child.

Reflective Activity 4:

Reflect upon the similarities and differences of Primary Years Programme (PYP) and CfE.

Both PYP and CfE share many similarities:

  • Relevance to local and global community – Both curriculums incorporate the children’s own local and global surroundings into their education. Moreover, they aim to incorporate relevant issues from the world around them into their education. PYP looks at this under the theme of Where are we in place and time, while CfE shows this focus in the principle of Relevance.
  • PYP and CfE are both flexible and aim to use what the children are interested in doing to inform their education. This creates engagement and interest in learning. This is shown in CfE in the principle of Personalisation and Choice.
  • PYP teaches topics which are interdisciplinary and creates fun ways to cover a wide range of subjects under one topic or issue. CfE also highlights the importance of this in learning, identifying Interdisciplinary Learning as one of the four contexts for learning.

A difference between PYP and CfE is the level of self discovery and joint learning between teacher and pupils. The PYP gives great levels of independence to pupils to discover knowledge for themselves and create their one way to learn. The CfE also aims to create pupil involvement in their own learning under the principle of Personalisation and Choice, however pupils are still very much reliant on learning from the teacher. Personally, I feel the CfE could have more of a push on children learning and discovering knowledge and concepts for themselves.

References:

International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) (2017) The history of IB. Available at:http://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/become-an-ib-school/ibpyp_en.pdf. (Accessed: 8/8/18).

2 thoughts on “Introduction to International Baccalaureate

  1. Nikki

    Hi Emma
    You identify some very relevant parallels here between CfE and the IB’s PYP – particularly with regard to the holistic nature of the curriculum. Absolutely both the PYP and CfE recognise the importance of skills, as well as knowledge. As noted, within both relevance is also a core principle. As you develop your understanding of the PYP, you will learn that learning should have relevance to pupils’ lives not just within the transdisciplinary theme ‘Where we are in place and time’, but across all transdisciplinary themes.
    I look forward to working with you in September!
    Nikki

    Reply
  2. Linda Lapere

    It would be interesting to tease out two of your statements:
    “Critical analysis – The CfE has moved away from the traditional memorisation of knowledge and facts. There is now a focus on using creative and relevant ways to learn, adapting the learning to suit the children.
    Range of skills testing – CfE recognises the importance of skills as well as knowledge and therefore ensures a variety of styles of testing to evaluate both.”

    Did the introduction of CfE promote using creative and relevant ways to learn and adapting te learning to suit the children or was this happening in classrooms already? Does CfE state this is the purpose in its documentation or Experiences and Outcomes?

    What ‘variety of styles of testing’ to evaluate skills are you describing? Do you mean formative assessment opportunities or the new national assessments?

    Reply

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