International Baccalaureate Education in District 11
IB's Mission and Philosophy
At the centre of an International Baccalaureate (IB) education are students aged 3 to 19 with unique learning styles, strengths and challenges. The IB focuses on each student as a whole person. Thus, IB programmes address not only cognitive development but social, emotional and physical well-being. The aim is to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people with adaptable skills to tackle society’s complex challenges and who will help to make it a better, more peaceful world.
Validating the efficacy of the IB’s four programmes are research and more than 45 years of practical experience. IB programmes emphasize learning how to learn and teaching students to value learning as an essential, integral part of their everyday lives. The IB promotes the development of schools that:
- inspire students to ask questions, pursue personal aspirations, set challenging goals and develop the persistence to achieve those goals
- develop knowledgeable students who make reasoned ethical judgments and acquire the flexibility, perseverance and confidence they need in order to bring about meaningful change
- encourage healthy relationships, individual and shared responsibility and effective teamwork.
To measure what students have learned and to monitor their progress, IB teachers use a range of assessment strategies including formative assessments that provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to develop their teaching and by students to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and target areas that need improvement. Teachers use summative assessments which are internationally benchmarked for older students, and are criterion referenced. This means students are measured against a set of agreed upon learning outcomes rather than graded on a “bell curve” as in norm-referenced assessments.
The IB's Four Programs
In the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the IB’s youngest students learn about and use knowledge, concepts and skills from a variety of subjects to explore six transdisciplinary themes and begin to develop the attributes of the learner proἀle.
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world and culminates in a personal project. Students who complete the MYP are well prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Programme.
In the final two years of high school, students can choose to enter either:
- the Diploma Programme (DP), a curriculum which emphasiz-es both breadth and depth of knowledge. The DP is made up of six subject groups and a core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and a re-search paper of up to 4,000 words, the extended essay (EE);
- or, the Career-related Programme (CP). The CP is combines two IB diploma courses with school-based, career-related study. It equips students to pursue further education or to enter their chosen career path immediately.