IB (International Baccalaureate) Program
Learn more about the mission of the IB program. What is IB? How can IB help my child to grow as a learner and citizen of this world? What are some ways I can get involved with the IB program to help improve the school and continue promote Morris Brandon and IB in the greater community? Read the LETTER from Sam DeCarlo, the newly-appointed International Baccalaureate (IB) Specialist at Morris Brandon.
WHAT IS IB?
IB is a non-profit educational foundation founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968. Schools must be authorized, by the IB Organization to offer any of the IB educational programs. Morris Brandon was designated as an IB school in 2007 after a rigorous four year process. Our school curriculum meets the stringent IB standards as well as Georgia Performance Standards.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT IB PYP?
An International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program school strives to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INTENTIONALLY MINDED?
It is a thoughtful, critical perspective that applies to who we are and what we do. It includes how we communicate, our political awareness, cultural understanding, celebrating diversity, global awareness of global issues, and a reflection on how knowledge is constructed and applied. An internationally minded person demonstrates the attributes of the “IB Learner Profile.”
The IB Learner Profile represents 10 attributes. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national, and global communities.
As IB Learners, we strive to be:
- Inquirers – We nurture out curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn how to learn and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
- Knowledgeable – We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.
- Thinkers – We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.
- Communicators – We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
- Principled – We act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.
- Open-Minded – We critically appreciate our own cultures and personal histories, as well as the values and traditions of others. We seek and evaluate a range of points of view, and we are willing to grow from the experience.
- Caring – We show empathy, compassion, and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.
- Risk-Takers – We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
- Balanced – We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives – intellectual, physical, emotional – to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.
- Reflective – We thoughtfully consider the world and our own ideas and experience. We work to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development.
WHAT IS IN THE CURRICULUM?
The aim of PYP is to create a transdisciplinary curriculum that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant to the learners.
Transdisciplinary simply describes a discipline that is interconnected and can be applied across all subjects and applied to real life. A transdisciplinary concept stretches across math, science, English, geography and ties it all together; it is not isolated to one subject.
Within these disciplines, learners construct meaning through three interrelated components following three open-ended questions: What do want to learn? How best will we learn? How will we know what we have learned?
This is not a linear curriculum model that ends with an assessment. Rather, it’s a process that is more finely tuned, whereby all three components are woven together throughout.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO LEARN?
With the IB PYP, we are committed to structured inquiry as the vehicle for learning. Six transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for exploration and construction of knowledge. Teachers and students are guided by these transdisciplinary themes – as they design units of inquiry for exploration and study. Through this process, students develop an understanding of important concepts, acquire essential skills and knowledge, develop particular attitudes and learn to take socially responsible action.
Six IB Themes
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
The process is a balance between five Essential Elements which are as follows:
- Knowledge: What do we want students to know about?
- Concepts: What do we want students to understand?
- Skills: What do we want students to be able to do?
- Attitudes: What do we want students to feel, value, and demonstrate?
- Action: How do we want students to act?
As an IB PYP school, we feel “to be truly educated, a student must also make connections across the disciplines, discover ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relate what they learn to life.”
This program encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
*Information obtained from the International Baccalaureate website: www.ibo.org