IB Educational Trends

The IB Programme was initially founded in 1968 when a Diploma Programme was created to merge subjects together and create a holistic understanding for the learner.  This programme provided the core foundations for the later programmes introduced as it is where the ideology of a course focused on interdisciplinary learning began. The Primary Years Programme was created in 1997 to start the IB programme from a young age, in order for learners to maximise their potential in being successful learners and members of society.

Throughout history, the structure of education and the essence of teaching have evolved in a number of ways for the better, ensuring that learners are gaining more from their education experience than a simple structure where standardized testing and memory were important indicators of a pupil’s learning progress. In the 21st Century, an emphasis on following each child’s individual learning journey has been placed, and education focuses more on the following:

  • Critical analysis
  • Student choice
  • Transdisciplinarity
  • Range of skills testing
  • Constructivism
  • Child – centred
  • Education of the whole child
  • Criterion-referenced
  • AV and AL (languages)
  • Open plan rooms
  • Multiple perspectives

(The history of the IB, 2017)

These progressive trends in the education system ensure that learning is now more of an interactive activity, where each child is assisted to perform their best and individual progress is tracked so that each child is progressing at a speed suitable to them.

The latest progressions that have been identified by the IB Organisation are also present in the CfE curriculum that exists in Scotland. For example, CfE is criterion-referenced with the existence of Experiences and Outcomes, which is a nationwide approach to ensuring every child under CfE possesses the same skills and knowledge, so no pupil is disadvantage by not knowing the bare minimum and vice-versa. This ensures that there is a consistent approach of child-centred learning, as Outcomes have been designed to be applicable to modern society and teachers can interpret the Experiences and Outcomes to suit the pupils in their class, choosing when to progress to the next level or when to provide constructive support to help each pupil achieve their potential. This is a contrast to education systems in the past, where learning was not as individually focused and content was the same for all.

‘Student choice’ is also an aspect that can be seen applied in CfE as Principles of Curricular Design exist in the CfE framework to ensure lessons help learners prosper in many ways. ‘Personalisation and Choice’ is one of the core principles because it is important for pupils to develop independence and the ability to manage their own learning, so they must be able to decide what stage of their learning they are at and be able to make learning enjoyable and not a chore for themselves.

Furthermore, it is clear that the approach to teaching has also improved through time as transdisciplinarity is an important aim of CfE also. For example, subjects such as Health and Wellbeing, Mathematics and Languages also have ‘Responsibility for All’ Experiences and Outcomes, highlighting it is the responsibility of the teacher to incorporate these three subjects in as many lessons as they can, as they are essential and relevant to many more subjects also.

To conclude, it is clear that the structure of learning has changed dramatically as the century has changed, particularly with the introduction of CfE in Scotland which aims to modernise learning by taking the factors above into consideration. Therefore, many aspects of inclusive and child-centred learning can be seen present in CfE, making the curriculum relevant to modern day society and ensuring pupils get the most out of their learning experience.


The history of the IB. (2017).  International Baccalaureate. Available at: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/digital-tookit/presentations/1711-presentation-history-of-the-ib-en.pdf (Accessed 20/8/19).

One Reply to “IB Educational Trends”

  1. Good! It will be interesting, as we progress through the elective, to explore some of the theory that underpins the concept of student agency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a Glow concern
Cookie policy  Privacy policy

Glow Blogs uses cookies to enhance your experience on our service. By using this service or closing this message you consent to our use of those cookies. Please read our Cookie Policy.