What is IB?

The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IB) is an education programme that covers ages 3-19 and has the main aims of creating globally aware learners who are accepting of different cultures and values, aspiring to create a better and more peaceful world.

Learners of the IB curriculum work towards attaining 10 core values that help to build their understanding of the world through enquiry, action and reflection:

  1. Inquirers 
  2. Knowledgeable
  3. Thinkers
  4. Communicators
  5. Principled
  6. Open-minded
  7. Caring
  8. Risk Takers
  9. Balanced
  10. Reflective

The values at the centre of an IB curriculum align with the main aims of Scotland’s main education programme, Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). In CfE, learners aspire to be:

  1. Effective Contributors
  2. Responsible Citizens
  3. Successful Learners 
  4. Confident Individuals 

The two education programmes overlap as for example, ‘Responsible Citizens’ in CfE relates to how in the IB curriculum learners aim to be ‘Caring’, ‘Open-minded’ and ‘Principled’, meaning that all learners should respect all members of our multicultural world and hold their own values of tolerance, encouraging a peaceful world.

Furthermore, ‘Effective Contributors’ in CfE links to being ‘Thinkers’, ‘Communicators’ and ‘Balanced’ in the IB curriculum. All learners in both curriculums should aim to be valuable contributors to modern society, which refers to promoting your own and other’s mental and physical wellbeing, and being engaged in real world issues that challenge society, for example the environment (global warming), rights (LGBTQ+), governance (Brexit), religion (Islamophobia) and cooperation (tackling xenophobia). In the IB curriculum, ‘Communicators’ also refers to possessing knowledge of two or more languages, a valuable skill in the modern world that we live in. This is also encouraged in CfE, with Modern Languages existing as a subject choice.

‘Successful Learners’ is also promoted in both curriculums as learners aspire to be ‘Inquirers’ and ‘Reflective’, ensuring that they develop the skills to manage their own learning through the process of studying what they are interested in and evaluating how they can continue to improve.

‘Confident Individuals’ are important in both curriculums as it is important for learners to be ‘Risk Takers’ and ‘Knowledgeable’. These qualities ensure that learners are able to play a valued role in society and are not afraid to continue to challenge themselves, as they are supported by the knowledge they already possess, so are not intimidated by making mistakes and failing.

From evaluating the core values that both curriculums hold at their foundation, it is clear that they have mutual ambitions and the goal of creating learners who are ready to thrive in the outside world. Through my own experience of CfE so far, from being a pupil to planning class lessons with these values in mind, I have played a part in lessons that promote all of these ideas and it is positive to see this in practice. I particularly enjoy seeing pupils aim to challenge themselves in their learning, as it is clear they are working towards being ‘Risk Takers’ and are not afraid to try out new things and push their boundaries.

One Reply to “What is IB?”

  1. Some robust connections already being made here between CfE and the PTYP, particularly with regards the Learner Profile. Well done.

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