The International Baccalaureate® (IB) was created in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968 as a non-profit educational foundation by teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools. What started as a single program for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has grown into four programs for students aged 3 to 19.
The first IB schools were predominantly private international schools, however, today over half of all IB World Schools are public schools.
IB programs encourage international-mindedness in students and educators through the IB learner profile — a set of values that represent our mission and principles.
The IB is more than its educational programs and certificates. The IB organization is motivated by a mission to create a better world through education.
IB promotes intercultural understanding and respect as an essential part of life in the 21st century.
All of this is captured in IB mission statement.
- The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
- To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.
- These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
- We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research.
- We know how to learn independently and with others.
- We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
- We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines.
- We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
- We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems.
- We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
- We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways.
- We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
- We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere.
- We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
- We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others.
- We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
- We show empathy, compassion and respect.
- We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
- We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives — intellectual, physical, and emotional — to achieve well-being for ourselves and others.
- We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
- We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience.
- We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.
- We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination.
- We work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies.
- We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
With the development of a continuum of international education, the teachers, students and parents are able to draw confidently on a recognizable common educational framework, a consistent structure of aims and values and an overarching concept of how to develop international-mindedness.
With the addition of the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) in 2010, the IB is expanding the number of ways that students can benefit from an IB education. This is a career-related qualification that is specifically designed to provide a flexible learning framework tailored by the school to meet the needs of students and the local community as well as the world beyond.
The IB learner profile is at the heart of this common framework, as a clear and concise statement of the aims and values of the IB, and an embodiment of what the IB means by "international-mindedness".
The four IB programs are now available to students aged 3 to 19 from a wide range of cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds; and taught at almost 3,500 IB World Schools in 143 countries around the world.
The IB continuum of international education is unique because of its academic and personal rigor, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal growth.
- The IB Primary Years Program, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.
- The IB Middle Years Program, for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between traditional subjects and the real world, and become critical and reflective thinkers.
- The IB Diploma Program, for students aged 16 to 19, is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students for success at university and beyond.
- The IB Career-related Certificate, for students aged 16 to 19, incorporates the vision and educational principles of the IB Programs into a unique offering specifically designed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.
- Developing citizens of the world in relation to culture, language and learning to live together.
- Building and reinforcing students' sense of identity and cultural awareness.
- Fostering students' recognition and development of universal human values.
- Stimulating curiosity and inquiry in order to foster a spirit of discovery and enjoyment of learning.
- Equipping students with the skills to learn and acquire knowledge, individually or collaboratively, and to apply these skills and knowledge accordingly across a broad range of areas.
- Providing international content while responding to local requirements and interests.
- Encouraging diversity and flexibility in teaching methods.
- Providing appropriate forms of assessment and international bench-marking.
The MYP began as an initiative of the International Schools Association. The aim was to develop a curriculum encouraging international awareness with emphasis on the skills, attitudes, knowledge and understanding needed to participate in a global society. From 1994 it has been one of the four IB programs and has continued to grow in the same spirit of collaboration with and among schools.
The Diploma Program was established in 1968 to provide students with a balanced education, to facilitate geographic and cultural mobility and to promote international understanding. Since then, innovative and committed teachers and examiners from around the world have played a significant role in the development of the program.
The four programs form a coherent sequence of education by promoting the education of the whole person through an emphasis on intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth.
In all four programs, the education of the whole person is manifested through all domains of knowledge, involving the major traditions of learning in languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics and the arts.
Furthermore, all four programs:
- require study across a broad range of subjects drawing on content from educational cultures across the world;
- give special emphasis to language acquisition and development;
- encourage learning across disciplines;
- focus on developing the skills of learning;
- include, to a varying extent, the study of individual subjects and of trans-disciplinary areas;
- provide students with opportunities for individual and collaborative planning and research;
- include a community service component requiring action and reflection.
- only one IB program
- more than one IB program, i.e. any combination of two programs, or all four programs
- local or national programs in addition to one or more IB programs.
- The Primary Years Program (PYP) may be taught in any language. The IB publishes PYP curriculum documents in English, French and Spanish, but this does not prevent schools teaching the program in other languages.
- The Middle Years Program (MYP) may be taught in any language. The IB publishes MYP curriculum documents in English, French, Spanish and Chinese, but this does not prevent schools teaching the program in other languages. However, if schools require the grades of their students to be validated by the IB then sufficient student work must be produced in English, French, Spanish or Chinese.
- The Diploma Program may be taught in English, French or Spanish. The IB publishes Diploma Program curriculum documents and produces examination papers in English, French and Spanish. Schools must therefore choose at least one of these languages as the language of instruction in the school.
The PYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curricula and provides the best preparation for students to engage in the IB Middle Years Program.
The IB Primary Years Program:
- addresses students’ academic, social and emotional well-being;
- encourages students to develop independence and to take responsibility for their own learning;
- supports students’ efforts to gain understanding of the world and to function comfortably within it;
- helps students establish personal values as a foundation upon which international-mindedness will develop and flourish.
In the PYP a balance is sought between acquisition of essential knowledge and skills, development of conceptual understanding, demonstration of positive attitudes, and taking of responsible action.
One of the most significant and distinctive features of the IB Primary Years Program is the six trans-disciplinary themes. These themes provide IB World Schools with the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum and effectively allow students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
- Who we are — an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
- Where we are in place and time — an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationship between and the inter-connectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
- How we express ourselves — an inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
- How the world works — an inquiry into the natural world and its laws, the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
- How we organize ourselves — an inquiry into the inter-connectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
- Sharing the planet — an inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Since these ideas relate to the world beyond the school, students see their relevance and connect with it in an engaging and challenging way. They begin to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as learners and become actively involved with their education. All students will realize that a unit of inquiry involves them in an in-depth exploration of an important idea, and that the teacher will collect evidence of how well they understand that idea. They will expect to be able to work in a variety of ways, on their own and in groups, to allow them to learn to their best advantage.
The PYP offers a balance between learning about and through subject areas, and learning beyond them. There are six subject areas in the PYP — arts; language; mathematics; physical, social and personal education; science; and, social studies. These subject areas provide students with knowledge, skills, and concepts, which students can explore to understand the interconnected nature of the subject areas and the trans-disciplinary themes.
The PYP curriculum is defined to include an approach to teaching and learning, recognizing the fact that, in practice, the two are inextricably linked. The curriculum reinforces the pedagogy of authentic learning that is inquiry-based and conceptually driven. The program is committed to structured, purposeful inquiry that engages students actively in their own learning. In the PYP it is believed that this is the way in which students learn best. In this way, teachers can support them in constructing meaning.
The curriculum also touches on the approaches to learning (ATL) which are currently identified as “trans-disciplinary skills” in the PYP. The ultimate intention of ATL across the IB continuum is to develop self-regulated (self-managed, self directed, independent) learners through skill based, process focused teaching.
The deliberate use of ATL strategies reinforces a holistic experience that not only addresses students’ cognitive development, but their social, emotional and physical well being.
Assessment in the Primary Years Programme identifies what students know, understand, can do and value at different stages in the teaching and learning process. The direct link between assessment and the teaching and learning process means that they must function purposefully together. Assessing the result of inquiry as well as the process of inquiry are important objectives of the program.
The principal purposes of assessment in the PYP are to:
- provide feedback to students, parents and teachers;
- determine what the student knows and understands about the world;
- inform and differentiate teaching and learning;
- monitor student progress in the development of the IB learner profile attributes;
- monitor the effectiveness of the program.
- Formative assessment is embedded in the teaching and learning process and therefore occurs in the daily routine of a classroom. It aims to support students to become better learners and helps teachers to plan the next stage of learning.
- Summative assessment occurs at the end of the teaching and learning process and provides students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned in a new context. It aims to give teachers, students and parents clear, evidence-based insight into students' understanding at a particular moment in time.
When assessing the process of inquiry, teachers consider whether:
- the nature of the students’ inquiries develop over time; whether they are, in fact, asking questions of more depth, which are likely to enhance their learning substantially;
- the students are becoming aware that real problems require solutions based on the integration of knowledge that spans and connects several subject areas;
- the students are mastering skills and accumulating a comprehensive knowledge base in order to conduct their inquiries successfully and find solutions to problems;
- the students demonstrate both independence and an ability to work collaboratively.
Students who are in their final year of the program are expected to carry out an extended, collaborative inquiry project, known as the exhibition, under the guidance of their teachers.
The exhibition represents a significant event in the life of both the school and student, synthesizing the essential elements of the program and sharing them with the whole school community. It is an opportunity for students to exhibit the attributes of the Learner profile that have been developing throughout their engagement with the program. It is a culminating experience marking the transition from PYP to further steps in education.
Schools are given considerable flexibility in their choice of real-life issues or problems to be explored or investigated in the exhibition.
The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning which encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.
The MYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curricula. It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Program and the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC).
The IB Middle Years Program
- addresses students’ intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being;
- enables students to understand and manage the complexities of our world, and provides them with the skills and attitudes they need in order to take responsible action for the future;
- ensures breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding through the study of eight subject areas;
- requires the study of at least two languages to support students in understanding their own culture and that of others;
- provides the opportunity for students to undertake an independent project into an area of interest.
Students are required to study at least two languages (as part of their multilingual profile), humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology. In their final year, students will also undertake an independent ‘personal project’ to demonstrate the development of their skills and understanding.
MYP assessment standards are consistent around the world. In order to maintain the rigor for which the IB is renowned, the MYP assessment model is criterion-related. Teachers structure varied and valid assessment tasks so that students can demonstrate achievement according to objectives defined by the IB. Tasks are assessed against established criteria, not against the work of other students.
The MYP’s core features five contexts for learning that provide powerful opportunities to engage in the study of issues that affect students today. Using a common language, teachers organize the curriculum through the following areas of interaction:
Approaches to learning (ATL) represents learning skills that students will develop and apply during the program and beyond.
Community and service considers how students can learn about their place within communities and be motivated to act in new contexts.
Health and social education is designed to help students identify and develop skills that will enable them to function as effective members of societies. They also learn about how they are changing and how to make informed decisions that relate to their welfare.
Environments explores how humans interact with the world at large and the parts we play in our virtual, natural and built environments.
Human ingenuity deals with the way in which human minds have influenced the world and considers the consequences of human thought and action.
Teachers organize continuous assessment over the course of the program according to specified assessment criteria that correspond to the objectives of each subject group. Regular school assessment and reporting play a major role:
- in the students' and parents' understanding of the objectives and assessment criteria;
- in the students' preparation for final assessment;
- in the development of the curriculum according to the principles of the programme.
- open-ended problem-solving activities;
- organized debates;
- hands-on experimentation;
- analysis and reflection.
The recording and reporting of individual levels of achievement are organized in ways that provide students with detailed feedback on their progress as it relates to the assessment criteria for each subject group.
The IB Diploma Program (DP) is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with final examinations that prepares students, aged 16 to 19, for success at university and life beyond. It has been designed to address the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of students. The program, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities.
The Diploma Program prepares students for effective participation in a rapidly evolving and increasingly global society as they:
- develop physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically;
- acquire breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding, studying courses from 6 subject groups;
- develop the skills and a positive attitude toward learning that will prepare them for higher education;
- study at least two languages and increase understanding of cultures, including their own;
- make connections across traditional academic disciplines and explore the nature of knowledge through the program’s unique theory of knowledge course;
- undertake in-depth research into an area of interest through the lens of one or more academic disciplines in the extended essay;
- enhance their personal and interpersonal development through creativity, action and service
- The extended essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
- Theory of knowledge develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
- Creativity, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program. Creativity encourages students to engage in the arts and creative thinking. Action seeks to develop a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. Service with the community offers a vehicle for a new learning with academic value. The three strands of CAS enhance students’ personal and interpersonal development through experiential learning and enable journeys of self-discovery.
Students take written examinations at the end of the program, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest). Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay. The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole program and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Program student can be awarded is 45 points.
Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against pre-specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigor and consistency of Diploma Program assessment practice.
At least three and not more than four subjects are taken at higher level (240 teaching hours), while the other subjects are taken at standard level (150 teaching hours). Students can study and take examinations, in English, French or Spanish.
In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Program features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Program courses.
The Diploma Program goals provide students with:
- a broad and balanced, yet academically demanding, program of study;
- the development of critical-thinking and reflective skills;
- the development of research skills;
- the development of independent learning skills;
- the development of intercultural understanding;
- a globally recognized university entrance qualification.
- analyzing and presenting information;
- evaluating and constructing arguments;
- solving problems creatively.
- retaining knowledge;
- understanding key concepts;
- applying standard methods.
Assessment tasks are designed to support and encourage good classroom teaching and learning.
Student results are determined by performance against set standards, not by each student's position in the overall rank order.
The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) is preparing students to follow their chosen pathways in life. Life in the 21st Century places many demands on students. Enabling students to become self-confident, internationally minded learners must be integral to their education. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has developed a framework of international education incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into local programs to address the needs of students engaged in career-related studies.
The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) increases access to an IB education and is specifically designed to provide a flexible learning framework that can be tailored by the school to meet the needs of students.
The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) is an innovative education framework for students aged 16 to 19 incorporating the vision and educational principles of the IB into a unique program specifically tailored for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.
The IBCC’s flexibility allows schools to meet the needs, backgrounds and contexts of students with each school creating its own distinct version of the IBCC.
The aim of the IBCC is to provide students with both an academic and practical foundation to support both their further studies and specialized training, thereby ensuring their success in the workforce.
The IBCC combines highly regarded and internationally recognized IB Diploma Program courses with an approved career-related study and a unique IBCC core.
IBCC students engage with a challenging program of study that genuinely interests them while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement. They are well prepared to succeed at institutions of higher learning.
As the IB’s fourth program, the IBCC provides a comprehensive link between the academic challenge of the Diploma Program and the international-mindedness of the IB classroom into a tailored, career-focused pathway.
The IBCC framework is built around three interconnected elements:
- at least two Diploma Program courses;
- an IBCC core that includes approaches to learning, community and service, language development and a reflective project;
- an approved career-related study.
The IBCC enables students to:
- Develop a broad range of career-related competencies and to deepen their understanding in general areas of knowledge;
- Prepare for effective participation in an ever-changing world of work;
- Foster the attributes of the learner profile allowing students to become true lifelong learners willing to consider new perspectives;
- Engage in learning that makes a positive difference to future lives;
- Become a self confident person ready for life in the 21st century.
For more information refer to http://www.ibo.org/