THE IB LEARNER PROFILE
The IB learner profile is the IB mission statement translated into a set of attributes demonstrated by an internationally minded person. The learner profile provides a long‐ term vision of education. It is a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose towards international‐ mindedness.
Caring – I show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. I have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and our environment.
Balanced – I understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for others and myself.
Principled – I act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of individuals, groups and communities. I take responsibility for my actions and the consequences that accompany them.
A Communicator – I understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of ways. I work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
A Thinker – I exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
A Risk-Taker – I approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies.
Knowledgeable – I explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In doing so, I acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of subject areas.
An Inquirer – I develop my natural curiosity. I acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. I actively enjoy learning
Open-minded – I understand and appreciate my culture and will be open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.
Reflective – I give thoughtful consideration to my learning and experiences. I assess and understand my strengths and limitations in order to support my learning and personal development.
IB PYP OVERVIEW
The IB Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 11, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. The programme:
- Encourages international‐mindedness in IB students.
- Encourages a positive attitude to learning by engaging students in inquiries and developing their awareness of the process of learning so that they become lifelong learners.
- Reflects real life by encouraging learning beyond traditional subjects with meaningful, in‐depth inquiries into real issues.
- Emphasizes, through the learner profile, the development of the whole student – physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
The most significant and distinctive feature of the IB Primary Years Programme is the six trans disciplinary
themes. These themes are about issues that have meaning for, and are important to, all of us. They offer a balance between learning about or through the subject areas and learning beyond them. The six
themes of global significance create a trans disciplinary framework that allows
students to “step up” beyond the confines of learning within subject areas.
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; and 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; and 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; and 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 programme puts great emphasis on learning through these trans disciplinary themes. All students, with the exception of students aged 3 to 5, who engage explicitly with four of the themes each year, address each theme each year. The themes, also importantly, provide the opportunity to incorporate local and global issues into the curriculum.
In addition to the trans disciplinary themes, the traditional subject disciplines retain a role in the IB Primary Years Programme. The specified subjects include languages, mathematics, social studies, arts, science, personal, social and physical education. The overall expectations for each subject area are defined for each year of the programme.
The six trans disciplinary themes help teachers to develop units of inquiry which are in-depth investigations into important ideas that require a high level of involvement on the part of the students. These inquiries are substantial, in‐depth and usually last for several weeks.
For example, in an inquiry about ‘Sharing the planet’, we might look at ‘finite resources and infinite demands’. In order to understand better the central idea that ‘our planet has limited resources that are unevenly distributed and needs to be conserved’ and using water as an example, we would inquire into where water comes from, how different people and countries use water, how much water we use, what happens after we have used it, the distribution of usable water around the world, how human activity has affected the availability of water, and our responsibility for water conservation. To support this inquiry, students would gain knowledge and acquire skills derived from science and social studies. In addition, they would develop trans disciplinary skills such as critical thinking, communication and time management.
Since these ideas are related to the world beyond the school but are also an important part of their lives, the students see the relevance of the content and connect with it in ways that are engaging and challenging. Students who learn in this way begin to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as learners and become actively involved with their learning.
Students discover that a unit of inquiry will involve them in exploration of an important idea, and that the teacher will be supporting their inquiries and collecting evidence of how well they understand that idea. They will expect to be able to work in a variety of ways, including on their own and in groups, to allow them to learn to their best advantage.
Approaches to Learning and Teaching:
What do we want students to be able to do and to feel, value and demonstrate?
Throughout their learning in the Elementary School, students acquire and apply a set of skills which are valuable not only for the learning that goes on within a classroom but also for life outside school. The five sets of trans disciplinary skills we particularly focus upon and seek to develop with our students are thinking, social, communication, self-management and research skills.
Agency and Action:
Agency “enable[s] people to play a part in their self-development, adaptation, and self-renewal with changing times” (Bandura 2001).
PYP students with agency use their own initiative and will and take responsibility and ownership of their learning. They direct their learning with a strong sense of identity and self-belief, and in conjunction with others, thereby building a sense of community and awareness of the opinions, values and needs of others. Students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning. Action can be a demonstration of a sense of responsibility and respect for themselves, others and the environment.
- What will you do to apply what you’ve learnt at school?
- How are you going to plan your action?
- How do you know that your action is successful?
- How do you make sure that your action is sustainable?
- Purposeful fund-raising, initiated by students or modelled by adults
- Finding resources for their own study independently
- Saving energy practises at home
- Environmentally friendly actions of saving water, papers, etc to contribute to reducing the effect of environmental problems
- Involving in community service: educating other people, promoting positive actions, etc
- Creating or producing a work/project based on the experience they learnt at school
- Showing positive attitudes toward differences; respect, tolerance and appreciating others
- More responsible and independent in doing projects