Developing your understanding of the IB Learner Profile
The IB Learner Profile attributes are as follows:
Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced and Reflective.
The CfE’s four capacities are as follows:
Successful Learners, Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals and Effective Contributors.
Between IB and CfE, there are many similarities and differences between these.
There are many more similarities than differences. To begin, The IB attribute ‘inquirers’ links to the CfE capacity ‘successful learners’ because they both encourage pupils to learn independently and in a group and also enables pupils to feel enthusiasm and motivation for learning.
Next, the IB attribute ‘knowledgeable’ applies to the CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ because they both provide opportunities for commitment to participate responsibly in political, economic, social and cultural life and to engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance. They both allow pupils to understand the world in which they live better.
Furthermore, the IB attribute ‘thinkers’ relates to the CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ because they both allow pupils to think critically and make informed choices and decisions in society and to develop informed ethical views of complex issues. This helps them to think about issues relevant to the society in which they live, helping them to understand how to contribute positively into society through making the right choices.
The IB attribute ‘communicators’ is similar to two CfE capacities; ‘confident individuals’ and ‘responsible citizens’. It is similar to ‘confident individuals’ because this capacity teaches pupils self-respect and gets them thinking about secure values and beliefs. The ‘communicators’ attribute enables pupils to express themselves creatively. It is similar to the ‘responsible citizens’ capacity because it enables pupils to have respect for others and understand different beliefs and cultures. The ‘communicators’ attribute enables pupils to listen carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
The IB attribute ‘open-minded’ is very important because it encourages pupils to not be judgemental and accept anyone for who they are and what they believe in, even if they are different to themselves. The CfE capacity ‘responsible citizens’ is similar to this attribute because, again, it encourages pupils to understand different beliefs and values. The ‘open-minded’ attribute gets pupils to critically appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others, seeking to evaluate a range of points of view. This helps to create a more positive society for the future as it discourages negative mindsets and issues such as racism in society. Similarly to this attribute, the IB attribute ‘caring’ links to ‘responsible citizens’ in the CfE capacities because again it encourages pupils to have respect for others. The ‘caring’ attribute makes pupils show empathy compassion and respect.
‘Risk-takers’ in the IB attributes is also a very important attribute. It encourages pupils to approach uncertainty with forethought and determination and also makes pupils resilient in challenge and change. This is similar to the CfE capacity ‘effective contributors’ as it also encourages resilience and self-resilience in pupils. It also encourages pupils to apply critical thinking and new contexts.
‘Balanced’ is an IB attribute which relates to the subject of Health and Wellbeing in the CfE curriculum. The attribute is all about making sure the pupil has a good well being by having a good balance of intellectual, physical and emotional wellbeing. This is similar to the CfE in the ‘confident individuals’ capacity as it also gives pupils a sense of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Both curricula strive for pupils to be happy and have a good well being, so that they can be the best they can be and achieve their full potential.
Finally the ‘Reflective’ IB attribute is similar to the area of Growth Mindset in CfE. This gets pupils to think about how their learning is going and how they feel about their own learning. The ‘reflective’ attribute gets pupils to think about their strengths and weaknesses, which is similar to what Growth Mindset does for pupils in CfE.
The differences I noticed between the IB attributes and the CfE capacities were that the CfE is very much centred around Scotland; for example, although pupils do learn about the world around them, the ‘responsible citizens’ capacity states that children have the knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it. Whereas, IB schools do not have a focus and learn about the world around them in greater detail. In addition, I noticed that the ‘communicators’ attribute makes it a priority that pupils can speak more than one language in order to achieve better communication with the world around them, however, the CfE has made language learning bigger in schools, there is still less of a focus on speaking more than one language than in an IB school. Lastly, the ‘principled’ attribute teaches pupils to take responsibility for their own actions and their consequences, however this is not expressed as much in the CfE.
Through my educational experience, I have seen the attribute ‘reflective’ on more than one occasion. The first occasion I witnessed the attribute during my work experience in S6 when the class were focusing on Growth Mindset. The class completed a survey with the teacher on how they felt their learning was going throughout the year, being asked questions such as how they feel about how smart they felt, or how good they felt at a subject. In addition, I also came across it in my MA1 placement when the teacher did a Reflective Learning activity with the pupils, providing stations around the class rooms with questions about what they enjoyed learning about etc. Pupils have also been ‘risk- takers’ through completing the Chilli Challenge in my MA1 placement as well through having the chance to challenge themselves in choosing an activity that could be a bit more difficult.
On the whole, both curricula are extremely similar, and both work very well and provide pupils all over the world with the best quality education.