Friday, 16 November 2012

Rounding the hexagon - new International Bachalaureate Diploma model

The International Baccalaureate Organization has announced new models in today's publication: "Launch of new programme models - November 2012".
It was just a year ago when I heard about the new direction that the IB Diploma programme would be taking. The then new curriculum director of the IB, Andy Atkinson, presented these ideas at the IB Heads Conference in Singapore. The "Approaches to Teaching and Learning" would signify a prescribed pedagogy, making the subject areas much more about conceptual understanding than content.
I linked these ideas up with my subject area (mathematics) and with Conrad Wolfram's TED ideas in a post shortly after the conference. Here are my notes about the direction that the IB is going, written at that time.
Gone is the old familiar hexagon - the new model is now circular, part of what the IB calls the "IB Continuum" (not sure about this concept - the career related certificate, the fourth IB programme, is hardly consecutive, more concurrent, hardly continuum).

This is the IBO's explanation about the new models:
These have been created to illustrate the coherence across the four IB programmes and highlight each programme’s unique elements. The design is no longer hexagonal but circular, illustrating the alignment of structure and terminology across all four programmes and a seamless, holistic and integrated continuum of education for children aged 3-19 years old.
The new models continue to be built around the learner profile, with an underpinning theme of international-mindedness. Approaches to teaching and learning are now embedded within all four programmes, which are further aligned by each one culminating in a learning experience.
The new IB Diploma Programme Model:

© International Baccalaureate Organization 2002, 2007, 2011

The Middle Years (MYP), Primary Years (PYP) and Diploma Programmes (DP) now aline in concepts and the "Approaches to Learning and Approaches to Teaching", written in the innermost circle, makes clear the directed pedagogy aspect. Experimental Sciences is now just Sciences.
The IB Learner Profile and "International-mindedness" feature prominently in the diagram, as does the watermark of the world - "indicating that much learning for the DP takes place in the global context".
There are challenges ahead. I hope that this now circular peg will fit as neatly into its hexagonal hole - and that the currency of the IB diploma is enhanced and not reduced.

1 comment:

George Hobson said...

But where are A levels going? In the opposite direction to the IB.
Michael Gove thinks that TOUGH EXAMS AND LEARNING BY ROTE ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS (quoted in The Guardian):

"Learning facts by rote should be a central part of the school experience, the education secretary, Michael Gove, will argue on Wednesday in a speech which praises traditional exams to the extent of arguing they helped spur the US civil rights struggle.

"In the address, titled In Praise of Tests, Gove describes the ideological underpinning to his planned shakeup of GCSEs and A-levels, a philosophy which will further delight educational traditionalists but is likely to prompt criticisms that he is seeking a return to the teaching styles of the 1940s and 50s.

"Competitive, difficult exams for which pupils must prepare by memorising large amounts of facts and concepts will promote motivation, solidify knowledge and guarantee standards, Gove is to tell the Independent Academies Association, a trade body for academy schools."