Education for sustainability: Students lead the way

This paper examines the origins and evolution of sustainability education (SE) before outlining one expression of contemporary good practice in SE in a school context, including the ways in which schools can assess progress towards sustainability. Commonalities between the IB learner profile and good practice in SE are identified and questions for self-reflection are posed. The paper concludes with the examination of a case study of an IB World School that is embracing a student-led, whole-school approach to sustainability.

About IB position papers

IB Position Papers are IB commissioned works by recognized experts in the field on topics of interest to the IB community.

The papers represent the opinions of the authors commissioned to write them, and while they may generally align with IB philosophies, they do not necessarily represent the official positions or policies of the organization.

They are meant to serve as a resource for, and to create discussion among, IB practitioners

Concept-based teaching and learning

This paper examines the characteristics of concept-based curriculum and instruction models and identifies the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes as a three-dimensional, concept-based model. A discussion of the benefits of concept-based instruction supports the majority of attributes in the IB learner profile. Concept-based instruction requires an understanding of synergistic thinking, transfer of knowledge and social construction of knowledge. This paper addresses these areas and discusses them in the context of the required IB pedagogy. It concludes with a review of the challenges in implementing a concept-based model and a summary of the rewards.


Upload EN: Concept-based teaching and learning

Upload FR: L’enseignement et l’apprentissage reposant sur des concepts

Upload SP: Enseñanza y aprendizaje basados en conceptos

Concurrency of learning in the IB Diploma Programme and Middle Years Programme

This paper explores the concept of concurrency in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) where it
has been always part of the fundamental concept of holistic learning, though with increasing
practical explicitness, and in the IB Diploma Programme (DP) where it has been an essential
element in the philosophical conception of the programme from the earliest days.

Download: Concurrency of learning in the IB Diploma Programme and Middle Years Programme [PDF].

Holistic education: An interpretation for teachers in the IB programmes

There have been claims that holistic education reflects the education of the whole child but little clarity is offered to explain what this means, and in a field of education that is somewhat diverse, it is not surprising that there is confusion over what holistic education represents.

The purpose of this paper is to bring some clarity to what is meant by holistic education and to outline the characteristics and outcomes associated with it. This lack of clarity is an obstacle for teachers, parents and students alike and has the potential to obscure the advantages that this educational approach offers. Furthermore, such clarity would facilitate a comparison with other educational initiatives and allow curriculum designers to test their claims about whether they are delivering a programme of holistic education.

Download: Holistic education: An interpretation for teachers in the IB programmes [PDF]

East is East and West is West

Considering evidence from different authorities, East is East and West is West analyses the IB learner profile and asks how appropriate it is for the cultures of East Asia.

The paper concludes that the learner profile does indeed reflect the strong Western humanist foundations of the IB, but accepts that the organization’s successful growth (not least in its Asia-Pacific region) makes sudden change unlikely and undesirable.

Instead, it recommends that the learner profile be reviewed regularly and used as a focus for
internal debate on this issue.

Download: East is East and West is West [PDF]

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