WHAT IS AN IB EDUCATION?
Creating a better world through education
An IB education is designed to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who will help to create a better and more peaceful world. Each of the four IB programmes provides a detailed and developmentally appropriate curriculum or curriculum framework that is broad, balanced, conceptual and connected.
IB programmes offer students access to a broad and balanced range of academic studies and learning experiences. They promote conceptual learning, create frameworks within which knowledge can be acquired, and focus on powerful organizing ideas that are relevant across subject areas and that help to integrate learning and add coherence to the curriculum.
The programmes emphasize the importance of making connections, exploring the relationships between academic disciplines, and learning about the world in ways that reach beyond the scope of individual subjects. They also focus on offering students authentic opportunities to connect their learning to the world around them.
The IB programmes are different from other curricula because they:
encourage students of all ages to think critically and challenge assumptions
develop independently of government and national systems, incorporating quality practice from research and our global community of schools
encourage students of all ages to consider both local and global contexts
develop multilingual students.
IB programmes help students:
Ask challenging questions
Develop research skills proven to help them in higher education.
IB programmes also encourage students to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study.
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 programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
THE IB LEARNER PROFILE
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) learner profile describes a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success.
They imply a commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others and the world around them.
Each of the IB programmes is committed to the development of students according to the IB learner profile.
IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME (IBDP)
In the DP, the curriculum consists of six subject groups and the three elements of the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay.
IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of the five groups (1 to 5), ensuring breadth of knowledge and understanding in their best language, additional language(s), the social sciences, the experimental sciences and mathematics. Students must also choose either an arts subject from group 6, or a second subject from groups 1 to 5.
DP subjects can be taken at higher level or standard level.
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).
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. The theory of knowledge (TOK) course encourages students to become more aware of their own perspectives and assumptions through an exploration of the fundamental question of how we know what we know.
Creativity, action, service (CAS) involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Programme. 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 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.
IB PRIMARY YEARS PROGRAMME (PYP)
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children aged 3-12 nurtures and develops young students as caring, active participants in a lifelong learning journey.
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) offers a transdisciplinary, inquiry-based and student-centered education with responsible action at its core, enabling students to learn between, across and beyond traditional subject boundaries.
The framework serves as the curriculum organizer and offers an in-depth guide to achieve authentic conceptual inquiry-based learning that is engaging, significant, challenging, and relevant for PYP students. Students explore six transdisciplinary themes of global significance: who we are; where we are in place and time; how we express ourselves; how the world works; how we organize ourselves; sharing the planet.
Through the programme of inquiry and by reflecting on their learning, PYP students develop knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and the attributes of the IB Learner profile.
Learning in the PYP provides many formal and informal opportunities for students to demonstrate how they have developed and applied their knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills and learner profile attributes through the inquiries they undertake. The PYP exhibition is a notable example of these opportunities.
In the PYP exhibition, students demonstrate their understanding of an issue or opportunity they have chosen to explore. They undertake their investigation both individually and with their peers, together with the guidance of a mentor. Through the exhibition, students demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their learning—and their capacity to take action—as they are actively engaged in planning, presenting and assessing learning.
The exhibition is a powerful demonstration of student agency, as well as the agency of the community that has nurtured them through their years in the PYP. The learning community participates in the exhibition, supporting and celebrating the development of internationally minded students who make a positive difference in their lives and the lives of others.
ASSESSMENT IN THE IB DIPLOMA PROGRAMME
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Programme (DP) courses.
For over 50 years, the International Baccalaureate (IB) has been the leader in international education and in providing high-quality and rigorous assessments to students in nearly 160 countries. The IB’s unique assessment model ensures a high level of validity and reliability that has resulted in consistent IB diploma pass rates with no grade inflation over time.
Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, 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 programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement. The highest total that a Diploma Programme 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 rigour and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.
Assessment and exams in the DP.
IB AND UNIVERSITIES (UNIVERSITY RECOGNITION)
The International Baccalaureate® (IB), and the Diploma Programme (DP) in particular, enjoys a high level of respect and recognition among the world’s higher education institutions. For students, success in the IB often results in advanced standing, course credit, scholarships, and other admissions related benefits at many universities.
The IB works with the higher education community to ensure IB students get the recognition they have earned, as well as to examine and further develop our programmes to make sure we continue to offer the best preparation for university studies and life beyond.