Educational trends are constantly changing with a major emphasis on how children are taught. In the 1960’s the traditional way of teaching involved things such as memorisation, same content for all, teacher centred, academic intelligence, closed classrooms and machine-scored tests. Now the IB focuses a lot on being child-centred, student choice, range of skills testing, education of the whole child and open plan classrooms. There are obvious similarities in what the CfE and IB are aiming for.
For example, being ‘child-centred’ aligns with CfE’s approach of GIRFEC which ensures children and their families are put at the heart of all decisions made ensuring that the appropriate support is available if needed. Student choice in schools is emphasised in the CfE as it is a principle within the curriculum meaning that learning planned for children responds to each of their individual needs. Traditional trends seen a lot of tests which determined how “intelligent” someone was whereas now a range of skills are tested, and intelligence isn’t based on memory but rather on the whole child. Scottish education is seen to have more open-planned classrooms in schools to broaden their learning experiences with opportunities of shared leaning with peers in different classrooms.
The two main similarities between the Primary Years Programme and Curriculum for Excellence is learning being child centred and interdisciplinary learning. Having a child-centred learning approach within both curriculums means that children will have the initial interest to learn as they have the choice and involvement of what they are learning. This allows children to be engaged in their learning which in turn makes a better learning environment and experience for all. The IB has six subject areas: Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts and Personal, Social and Physical Education which is similar to the CfE which has expressive arts, health and wellbeing, languages, mathematics, RE, sciences, social studies and technologies. Interdisciplinary learning means that learning is explored across all these areas so that children can begin to make connections between the real world making their learning relevant and meaningful. For example, measurements can be explored through baking which covers more than one subject area. Finally, another similarity is using reflection as a tool for leaning. Both the IB and CfE have their children look back on their learning to see if any improvements can be made and what went well in their learning that they might use again.