International Baccalaureate (IB) is a non-profit education foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. IB programs help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.
IB Mission Statement
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.
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What Makes an IB Education Rigorous?
A word that is often mentioned in discussions about education today is “rigor”. This word can have many different interpretations by parents, teachers, students, policy-makers and the general public.
Our definition of rigor is in alignment with the philosophy of IB as we apply research-based best practices in international education that successfully prepare students for the challenges of the world they graduate into. The following practices guide instructional planning and delivery.
Rigor in the classroom is established by:
- Involving students actively in their own learning
- Engaging students with rich, relevant content
- High level questioning (by adults and students)
- Providing opportunities for students to express voice and choice
- Emphasis on depth of learning, not just coverage
- Focusing on the quality of student work rather than on the quantity
- Challenging all students to use critical thinking skills (such as analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information and making inferences, considering multiple perspectives of an issue, defending a position and reflecting on their learning)
- Using ongoing assessment to identify students’ current level of understanding and adjust instruction to meet individual needs
- Empowering students to apply what they learned through self-initiated action in the community
The following practices are often falsely described as being indicators of rigor. Rigor is not:
- Assigning students a greater quantity of work than normally expected
- Teaching all students the same way
- Lecturing and drilling students as the primary means of instruction
- Filling an empty vessel with knowledge
- Based on test results alone