Composition of the programme

The IB DP is embedded in the following scheme:

     

International mindedness

Starting from the outer circle, we see international mindedness as the ultimate aim of the programme which embraces all the other components of the programme.

The curriculum

The next circle towards the centre is the academic curriculum and its structure. IB Diploma Programme students must choose one subject from each of the five groups (1 to 5):

  • 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, while the other subjects are taken at standard level. In addition to disciplinary and interdisciplinary study, the Diploma Programme features three core elements that broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.

The Diploma Programme core

This is the next circle which contains 3 essential elements of the IB DP underlining the programme philosophy.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Approaches to teaching and learning (ATL)

The core of the programme itself. ATL are deliberate strategies, skills and attitudes that permeate the IB teaching and learning environment.

  • ATL supports the IB belief that a large influence on a student’s education is not only what you learn but also how you learn
  • Teaching students how to learn has always been a part of IB teaching, but now the IB is providing more explicit support for teaching these skills
  • Focus on ATL will improve the quality of teaching and learning across the programmes and may result in more engaged teachers and students

What are the IB approaches to learning skills?

  1. Thinking skills
  2. Communications skills
  3. Social skills
  4. Self-management skills
  5. Research skills

The IB approaches to teaching skills are…

  1. based on inquiry
  2. focused on conceptual understanding
  3. developed in local and global contexts
  4. focused on effective teamwork and collaboration
  5. differentiated to meet the needs of all learners
  6. informed by formative and summative assessment

(adopted from www.ibo.org)

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