The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a foundation that has a lot of similarities with Scotland’s own Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) programme when it comes to the education of young learners. My most immediate take from their similarities is the importance that it places on readying students for life beyond school through their learnings, as well as planting the seed for growing their curiosity for how and why things are done the way they are. However, there is much more to this relationship than this link. Additional resemblances appear on the subject of general teachings, the relationship between student and teacher and the importance of the student’s education being the focal point of lessons.
As noted above, both the IB and CfE put high importance on creating an atmosphere where the student is curious about their learning and asking questions to improve their own understanding of what they are learning. This kind of teaching aligns with Bloom’s Taxonomy that puts emphasis on the child’s own cognitive abilities so that they can see the purpose of what they are doing and make connections with how it alters their everyday life. In regards to CfE, this is of large importance when factoring in one of the pillars of learning: Relevance. For a child to realise just how important what they are learning is to their understanding of the world, it proves a great hurdle for them to overcome when utilising outside of school, too.
An example from my own experience in school during placement that reflected this was when I was scheduled to teach the class topic of Australia. I took an approach during a particular lesson, based on Australian wildlife, by asking open questions to the classroom about why they thought the animals in Australia differed to those that we found at home in Scotland. Although I had used Bloom’s Taxonomy before, it was never in the manner of open-based questions and instantly realised why it is such a positive approach to teaching. The class essentially turned into an open forum for discussion without ever derailing the lesson or moving off-topic. The children were quite literally teaching themselves on the differences through their discussions and I found that most of the class wanted to offer their own perspective on the subject.