An IB education creates teaching and learning communities and opportunities that help students increase their understanding of language and culture, and become more globally engaged. Education for international-mindedness relies on the development of learning environments that value the world as the broadest context for learning. IB World Schools share educational standards and practices for philosophy, organization and curriculum that can create and sustain authentic global learning communities. In school, students learn about the world from the curriculum and from their interactions with other people. Teaching and learning in global contexts supports the IB’s mission “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect”. Using global contexts in planning and teaching helps learners by providing relevance and meaning, which may lead to increased student engagement.
Multilingualism and intercultural understanding
Learning to communicate in a variety of ways in more than one language is fundamental to the development of intercultural understanding in the IB. IB programmes, therefore, support complex, rich, dynamic learning across a range of language domains. All IB programmes mandate that students learn another language.
Intercultural understanding involves recognizing and reflecting on one’s own perspective, as well as the perspectives of others. To increase intercultural understanding, IB programmes foster learning how to appreciate critically many beliefs, values, experiences, forms of expression and ways of knowing. The goal of understanding the world’s rich cultural heritage invites the IB community to explore human commonality, diversity, personal identity and interconnection.
Global engagement represents a commitment to address humanity’s greatest challenges in the classroom and beyond. It can develop from the use of global contexts in inquiry leading to principled action. IB programmes provide for sustained inquiry into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. IB students and teachers are encouraged to engage the world through developmentally appropriate explorations of local and global concerns, including the environment, development, conflicts, rights, and cooperation and governance. Globally engaged people critically consider power and privilege, and recognize that they hold the Earth and its resources in trust for future generations.
The IB aspires to empower people to be active learners who can empathize and pursue lives of purpose and meaning, and who are committed to service. An IB education aims to develop the consciousness, perspectives and competencies necessary for global engagement, as well as the personal values that can lead to principled action and mutual understanding.