Fundamental Concepts – the IB approach

In day 1 orientation today, we reviewed the fundamental concepts underlying the IB approach.   These concepts are:  holistic learning, intercultural awareness, and communication.  More on the Middle Years Programme curriculum and fundamental concepts can be found here.  We concluded the session with a reflection – by way of a checklist – on our own teaching practices vis-a-vis these concepts.  It will be helpful to keep these checklists close at hand to remain grounded in these core concepts.    I’m including here some highlights from the each checklist:

Holistic Learning

  • I consider knowledge as an interrelated whole when planning and executing my units of work.
  • I provide students opportunities to apply their learning to real world tasks.
  • I collaborate with other teachers to develop inter-disciplinary units to enrich the learning experience and to allow transfer of skills from one discipline to another.

Intercultural awareness

  • I avoid imposing values that may conflict or be inconsistent with those of cultures or ethnic groups other than my own.
  • When using external resources (media, etc), I insure that they reflect other cultures.
  • I ensure that students get an opportunity to explore and understand deeper concepts of culture.


  • I recognize the fact that all teachers are language teachers.
  • I allow students to express their understanding through multiple forms.
  • I understand that languages play a role in conceptual development.

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