An international curriculum such as the International Baccalaureate Program is very important in the globalized world in which we live today. The interconnected destiny of the people on this planet make it an absolute imperative that we can communicate cross-culturally, collaborate with others on projects, think critically, and solve problems cooperatively.
The IB Learner Profile
“The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”
IB Teacher Profile
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. However, while the IB Learner Profile is clearly defined, an IB Teacher Profile, as such, does not currently exist.
The purpose of this post is to attempt to match the IB Learner Profile with a set of defining characteristics for an IB Teacher Profile. What kind of characteristics should a competent IB teacher have? What does an IB teacher need to strive to become, and once there, continually improve upon?
The Way Forward
The approach will be to try to articulate the corresponding teacher attribute(s) needed to achieve the aims of the IB Learner Profile. That means an initial look at the IB Learner Profile, followed by a proposed IB Teacher profile that mirrors, as much as possible within the limits of reason, the IB Learner Profile.
In future posts I’ll reflect on how well this articulated / proposed IB Teacher Profile describes me personally, which serves me as a professional development tool as to how to improve as a teacher.
In a later post, we’ll take a critical look at the advantages and disadvantages of the International Baccalaureate program. That means we will be doing a kind of analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the IB.
We will be taking a broad view from the viewpoint of the different stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, society in general on both a national and international scale.
To finish, we will draw our conclusions from what we have learned. If we have been thorough, and impartial, there is no doubt that the exercise of reflection, inquiry, investigation, research, dialogue and discussion will prove to be a useful artifact, not only for me personally, but for others like me, in search of excellence.
To conclude this initial blog post, I disclose that my interest in this topic is one of personal self-development.
How do I get better as a teacher, after eleven (11) years of teaching? How do I improve on what I’m doing, become a better teacher, better today than yesterday, better this year than last year, better after ten (10) years of teaching than I was ten years before?
If I can arrive at an articulate understanding of the ideal learner versus the ideal teacher, match them up side by side, and then strive to consistently live up to that ideal, then it will be of immense personal value to me.
However, it goes without saying that the obvious beneficiary of all this is the student who learns, more often than not, with me, as we both try to reach the upper limits of our true potential.
Excellence, that is what we seek, and to seek it, we must dare to confront our present selves, and then overcome whatever we find ourselves faced with…