International Baccalaureate (IB)
IB is a non-profit educational foundation. Founded in 1968, the IB program is now in over 3,000 schools in 139 countries. The program aims to help students develop the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The Primary Years IB Program, or PYP, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer.
The IB mission statement
“The International Baccalaureate Organization 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 IBO 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.”
What is the IB program?
IB is not a curriculum, so schools that offer IB still use their district curriculum (such as the DPS Readers and Writers workshop). However, the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) deepens the scope of the DPS curriculum.
The IB PYP:
Focuses on content made relevant to students
Builds on student interest around universal big ideas
Is conceptually based
Emphasizes learning through inquiry
Helps students construct knowledge
Addresses the whole child
Involves students in planning for and assessing their own learning
Is globally relevant
IB is an approach to the existing curriculum that is inquiry based and student-centric. This allows lessons to be devised around a child’s curiosities. Children learn how to ask questions and answer them well, and take ownership over their own learning.
The IB PYP believes that the most effective way for students to learn content specific knowledge is by making connections to big ideas and concepts that are relevant throughout the disciplines. This is called conceptually based, transdisciplinary learning.
The IB PYP takes a thematic approach to learning, integrating multiple subjects. Units are framed around one of the six themes:
Who we are
How we express ourselves
Where we are in place and time
How the world works
Sharing the planet
How we organize ourselves
The IB PY incorporates a learner profile–ten traits that define the IB learner. Students are encouraged to embrace these characteristics and will periodically evaluate themselves on their learner profile.