Lisa, you're doing a nice job you have a spicynode? K (Saturday)

Spicy Node was not my friend. Lisa

Hi Gang-
For my research topic, I am investigating the IB school structure within the confines of industrialization of education and the foundations from which it has originated and is practiced. Lisa, I am hoping you are able to articulate the philosophy (from our readings) behind the IB curricula.

I have and will continue to speak with some of you that are currently involved in IB schools. I appreciate your input/anecdotes and would welcome any more thoughts, resources.....basically anything that you think would be useful to provide an overview of how IB is being implemented and how it effects the learning environment.

Thanks in advance!!


IB School Structure and the Impacts on Global Educational Dynamics

Please take a look here for additional information. I hope we will have a good discussion during the presentation and I imagine that is where all the magic will happen, but for some references and background you go.

IB.ORG Link:

IB student profile Wordle:

IB Learner Hexagon

Example of IB Curriculum support:

IB's Learner's Profile

Applying critical pedagogy:

Using philosophies in education to begin discourse:
link to wikibooks:

Start of IB:
Elements of Progrssivism:


Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.

—John Dewey
Think of the word “progress” and what it means. Progress “proclaims the possibility of improving something. Progression means to move forward by a series of related steps, a series of end-in-view rather than utopian leaps into the future” (Gutek, 294). Progressivism’s main source of philosophy is John Dewey’s Pragmatic Experimentalism. “The central concept of John Dewey's view of education was that greater emphasis should be placed on the broadening of intellect and development of problem solving and critical thinking skills, rather than simply on the memorization of lessons”. Progressivism proposes human beings learn from past experiences that are physical and/or mental. We are a part of nature and nature is ever changing; therefore, we must be accustom to the principles of change that parallel the nature of human experience. Reflection can help provide action for the future. Progressivists relate this way of instruction with society, politics, the economy, and education considering ways of improvement along the way. Improvement may resonate reform, in a nonviolent way. Reforms envisioned by Progressivists begin with where we are right now and arise from existing conditions. Dr. Allen affirms in his lecture, “Progressivists say we learn from problem solving and that we put ourselves in a context of problem solving, which is what makes the world go around. We learn how to learn.” Instead of education instigated by the teacher, education is initiated by the student. In the classroom, the teacher acts as a guide. “He/she is never obtrusive, always very democratic, and ever respecting the natural rights of all. He/she employs the psychological approach to the organization of subject matter, remembering that the task of providing motivation is more important than the dispensing of information” (Howick, 39). The children’s self expression is strongly encouraged while recognizing the significance of their individual needs. Critics may argue that “experience” is the key to Progressivism and Pragmatism which does not establish an ultimate reality. “Truth can be made by anyone and proven simply by observing the consequences” (Howick, 41). According to pragmatism, all ideas are relative and nothing is ever permanent, which might also include pragmatism itself. What if those principles are called to question for validity, what might the answer be?


Existentialism gained more awareness after World War II, during a time when people were searching inward and not willing to accept the classification of the institutions of mass society. “In terms of the philosophy of Existentialism, to exist means that a person is actually present in the world and living at a given time in a particular place” (Gutek, 86). Self definition is the result from choices an individual makes being conscious of the world he/she lives in. There are so many possibilities that cannot derive from just pre-existing metaphysical methods. “For Existentialists, the purpose of education is to cultivate in students awareness that they are free agents, responsible for creating their own selves and purposes” (Gutek, 92). Teachers expose the students to various paths to be chosen, but the student must find the answers from within, not strictly from outside sources. The main focus is freedom. A few other Existentialism concepts are as follows: “Human personality, subjective and individual, is the only proper foundation for education. The goals of education must be expressed in terms of awareness, acceptance, personal responsibility, eventual commitment, and affirmation” (Howick, 111). The Existentialist instructor as an initiator must teach the fundamentals but promote the acceptance of freedom to participate in individual activities. The student assumes the position as the selector. He/she makes a decision of what and how much they will learn. If successful, the student will be a free standing personality in society as oppose to a follower or imitator of teachers. “The weaknesses of Existentialism arise from its position of subjectivity, as well as its strengths. For any number of men to agree to one answer would be to create a postulate and reduce every man’s subjectivity” (Howick, 117).

Thoughts and impressions from interviews/discussions:

I spoke with a handful of students from our class that have either gone through and IB system or are now teaching (or both) at an IB school. My impressions from these conversations that overall the experience has been positive both as a student and as an educator. It appears that the curriculum was not too rigorous and there was not a tremendous amount of added pressure or stress to succeed.

Having said that, we have to keep in mind that the folks that are now in this program have succeed in university---those that were able to keep up with the IB program were not part of our sample.

Overall from a student's vantage point it seems the following were applicable to all:
  • The advantage of having an IB diploma was seen as positive
  • The IB diploma helped students "test out" of particular lower division courses
  • It was seen as a practical "college prep" program designed to prepare them for the rigors of university
  • Although the assessments were important they apparently were not traumatically competitive
  • Some schools only offered IB while others offered it as an option
  • Tracking was not viewed as a particular negative

Some impressions from an educator's perspective:
  • The assessment schedule impacts if not dictates the scheduled curriculum
  • The program offers much flexibility for students to test/learn with a multitude of options
  • Some testing differentiation will support student's with special needs

Class Presentation