IB Introduction – Reflections

One – summary of aims

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, is a global curriculum that offers four education programmes for learners aged 3 to 19.

The IB is primarily learner focused. It gives learners the tools to achieve autonomous learning. Using effective teaching, significant contents and global contexts to do so.

Something that runs true with me is the relevance that the programme has to the modern world. Some syllabus’ are dated but the IB seems not to be. Learning focus on things like the environment, rights, conflict and governance to create well rounded learners.

I want to know more about how they keep IB consistent across the world, about the choices and the freedom that teachers have – and how this can tie in to the things mentioned above.



Two – a) differences and similarities between IB and CfE b) My own experience and the IB learner profile attributes

a) It seems that both IB and CfE want to create a well rounded individual. A learner that is responsible, aware of the world around them. Both programmes mention creating a confident individual. One difference is I think that the IB profile mentions the skills that are to be developed, where as CfE mentions the outcomes AFTER development. I think that on the whole CfE is perhaps more outcome based.

b) I have never worked in an IB school, or had much to do with an IB school. I have however worked in schools in Scotland and in Italy. I think during my time in Scottish schools I have seen a lot of focus on reflection. There is now a push to encourage self-assessment which in turn creates reflection. Also things like ‘Friday Reflection’ have been observed. This is an example of creating a reflective learner.

During my time teaching in English in Italy I chose to create a serious of lesson on the millennium development goals. This helped create knowledgeable and caring learners. They were also invited to use their own form of communication to develop a presentation as part of this. This encourages learners to be thinkers and communicators. I have also seen and taught this in Scottish schools. Giving learners the opportunity to use their own form of communication. This also promotes autonomy in learning.

Three – Progressive trends and how they match with CfE

Again I want to think about autonomy in learning. This is something that is a funding principle of CfE and that seems to be evident in IB. I think these fit into the Student Choice and the Child-centred parts of the document. I believe that CfE’s focus on STEM subjects fits well with inter-disciplinary learning and multiple perspectives.

Four – similarities and differences between CfE and PYP

One obvious similarity is the way that both programmes are trying to make things more student centred. Making things flexible so that learning can be about what the child wants it to be about. The freedom the teachers have seems to be a similarity, although I think with the PYP programme teachers seem to work more collaboratively together.

I think one stark difference is the way that the CfE is so outcome based whereas the PYP is much more skills based. In those short videos the CfE teachers make many many references to different areas of the curriculum. Whereas the PYP  docent as much. I also think there seems to be more trans-disciplinary learning with PYP.

My philosophy is torn. When I see CfE being implemented I still often think it is quite archaic. Contexts that things like Maths and Language are taught in are often boring, dated and aren’t necessarily engaging. However perhaps this has nothing to do with CfE itself. I like the idea of making things much more trans-disciplinary within PYP, and of using new and relvant (to the day) contexts. I also like and of the collaboration teachers have with each other. I often wonder why there isn’t a massive data base of teaching resources as part of the Education programmes we use. If Mrs X in Sweden has spent a whole weekend creating an engaging and current lesson, that uses Mathematics skills as well as other areas, then surely she should be able to share this?


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