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The countdown has begun to our 50th birthday: Ways to get involved

Five decades ago in 1968

Inspired by a spirit of hope in the post-World War era, the IB pioneered a movement for international education. Our founders saw a need for an international approach to education, which would bring young people together with the skills, values and knowledge necessary to build a more peaceful future.

2018 marks a truly significant milestone in our history

We’re celebrating 50 years of IB education and a worldwide community with a shared vision to foster open minds for all primary and secondary students, aged 3-19.

Our community is full of remarkable people

These people make the IB mission come to life both inside and outside the classroom every day. We will shine a light on our community during our 50th year by sharing the wonderful stories of our schools, educators, students and alumni, and what they do to make an IB education so unique and valuable.

Looking to the future

In a world where we face an unprecedented pace of change, the IB’s mission to create a better world through education is more meaningful than ever. Let’s take the opportunity to celebrate our history, to celebrate what is unique about an IB education, and to embrace the future – what does the future of IB programmes and international education look like? Here are some ways to get involved.

Celebrate with us! Here are some ways to get involved

Click on each of the tabs further below to learn more.

  1. IB educators: Let’s tell the world about our inspiring educators – share an inspiring educator story
  2. IB students: Showcase your students’ artwork – what will the IB learner profile look like in the next 50 years?
  3. TOK: theory of knowledge (TOK) is so unique to the IB – tell your TOK tale
  4. Events: Network and collaborate – Attend a global conference in Singapore, San Diego, or Vienna

Visit, share, celebrate

Visit the 50th anniversary website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@iborganization) to stay involved throughout 2018, and use #IB50 to share your inspiring stories.

Click on each of the tabs below to learn more

How IB educators innovate and inspire

Renee McCarthy Woodcroft College Australia Winner Aria Music Teacher of the Year Award

Let’s tell the world about the IB teachers who inspire students and innovate in their classrooms in ways that have been pivotal within your school community. We want to hear from you! The innovation of IB educators is the reason that the IB is a truly international continuum of education.

IB educators have the tools and flexibility to do more than just teach a course; they ignite passion and curiosity, and teach in a way that is best suited for them and their students. They are part of what makes an IB education so purposeful and challenging. Every day they demonstrate attributes of the IB learner profile and help to nurture these attributes in students.

Teacher training is pretty unique at the IB. A global network of teaching professionals not only work to co-create and develop the IB curriculums but also develop, train and support fellow IB educators, in a highly effective and unique system of constant learning, development and sharing of new and best practice. We want to celebrate their success and share their stories throughout 2018. Stories will be considered for sharing on one or more of our communications channels like the blog, the IB Stories area of the 50th website, our social media channels, our newsletters, and more.

Tell us about the teachers, librarians, counsellors and other educators who inspire you

Student artwork: the IB learner profile in pictures

Artwork by DP student Iona Keeley, the Red Maid’s School, Bristol, UK

The IB learner profi­le represents 10 attributes that are central to how IB learners develop and grow as individuals. They are valued by IB World Schools and describe 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.

For our 50th anniversary, we would like to celebrate this important part of the IB learning experience. And how IB students are constantly encouraged to think independently and creatively.

Students, what do these attributes mean to you? How would you depict these through an artistic work? Which learner profile attribute will be the most important in the next 50 years?

Your work should illustrate how one of the 10 learner profile attributes could be reflected in the next 50 years. Will it change? Will they be just as important as they are now? Consider how necessary these attributes will be in the next 50 years. Choose just one attribute and show us visually how you think it will be represented.

Please send digital versions of your artwork—find specifications further below—complete with your full name, school, country and Instagram username (if you have one), to [email protected] with a short explanation (100 words) of why you have chosen this attribute and the way it is represented visually.

Submissions received by 30 January 2018 will be prioritized, but we welcome submissions throughout our anniversary year.

Submitted art may be shared across our social media channels, print, website, magazine, newsletters and blog.

Submit your artwork

Additional information:

  • Submissions must be a digital version of an original piece of artwork by an IB student
  • We are open to receiving digital versions—or photos— of paintings, drawings, graphic designs, computer-generated images, etc.
  • Minimum 300dpi

Through the IB learner profile, IB students are encouraged to become

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Principled
  • Open minded
  • Caring
  • Risk-Takers
  • Balanced
  • Reflective

Find out more about the IB learner profile

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].

Submit your artwork

How do you know what you know? Tell us, what is theory of knowledge (TOK)?

How do we know what we know? What is theory of knowledge (TOK)?

This unique aspect of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) is often considered an element of learning that no other educational systems offer. Theory of knowledge (TOK) challenges students to question their knowledge. How do you know what you know? Many graduates tell us that this area of their learning continues to influence them and their thinking as they have moved forward to the next stages of their lives.

Students and alumni we want to hear from you

How has TOK has made you a better learner and how it will continue to impact your development as you move through life beyond the Diploma Programme?

To get involved, join us on social media by sharing your response including both #IB50 and @iborganization. We will be looking for the best responses to feature as part our 50th anniversary exploration of TOK. You can also write to us directly.

Here are some TOK perspectives we’ve heard on our blog, to help get you thinking about your own experience:

What is TOK?

It was a whole world of experiences that I wasn’t expecting…that was 1991 and I remember feeling very consciously, like I was being talked to like an adult, thinking like an adult. It was an open forum and our ideas were valued…it opened my life up to a world of thinkers.– Marie-Louise Brown, Anglo-European School, UK

A forum to build confidence and learn to express ideas

I would never have dreamed of speaking up in a theory of knowledge (TOK) class and telling everyone what I thought. But with great teachers and mentors, I’ve been encouraged to go beyond what I thought I could. And I am not only a better student because of it, I’m a better person.– Kristin Waites, Garland High School, US

Universities seek out students who can think in this way

Theory of knowledge (TOK) provides exactly the kind of experience, education, preparation that colleges are looking for…this wasn’t just the kind of learning you’d get out of a textbook – it’s something that colleges are looking for: to see that you’ve been challenged. – Brian Spittle, DePaul University, US  

TOK inspired my interest in city planning and urban design

“An assignment in my TOK course, which asked us to consider how a career dealt with a knowledge issue, inspired my initial interest in city planning and urban design. Understanding how areas of knowledge pursue the “truth” through ways of knowing helped me immensely in a host of university courses.” – Brian Vaughn, alumni from Spruce Creek High School, Florida, USA

An opportunity for self-reflection an exploration

Theory of Knowledge was a sledgehammer that made the first crack in the looking glass of my own self-reflection…serving as a forum for honest conversations about race, gender, and global inequities.Kimberly Rightor, H. H. Dow High School, US

This way of thinking connects directly to many careers

…the importance of the whys and hows…these questions form the core of the IB ethos and also serve as the beginning point for any architectural design pursuit: Why do we build, and how should we go about it?….the whys and the hows sit at the center of any architectural design pursuit.Sofia Singler, Jyväskylän Lyseon Lukio, Finland

Methods for filtering information

“During theory of knowledge (TOK) and economics classes at St. Stephen’s School, I developed methods of filtering information, learned how to analyse situations, break them down to uncover core messages and connect ideas to practical solutions.” – Oliver Page, alumni from St. Stephen’s School, Rome, Italy

Are you planning IB 50th anniversary events?

Tell us about your events! Post the details in the comments section below and share details using #IB50.

IB conferences and events in 2018

We’ll be adding more to this list throughout the year.

February |  African Education Festival, Ghana

March |  IB World Heads Conference, Singapore 

March |  IB Global Conference, Singapore

July  |  IB Global Conference, San Diego

July/August  |  World Student Conferences in Rotterdam, Hong Kong and Washington DC 

October | IB Global Conference, Vienna, Austria Details coming soon. Until then, enjoy our fun wrap-up video from the 2017 conference and see what people said last week at our conference in The Hague – Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

Enjoy clapping along to this …