IB Learner Profile school guide provides the foundation for getting started with the IB Learner Profile, helping teachers to understand and use the principles of the profile in their classrooms.
What is the IB Learner Profile?
The IB Learner Profiles define a broad range of skills and abilities on top of academic success for learners at different stages of their education, including academic programmes for Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme, Career-related Programme.
The learner profile helps schools to understand their students’ needs, strengths and weaknesses in order to provide them with an appropriate holistic learning environment. It also provides a framework for assessing student progress throughout their International Baccalaureate programme.
What are the components of the IB learner profile and how do they relate to each other? The learner profile comprises three key components:
- A set of personal characteristics that describe the learner’s personality. These include self-awareness, motivation, resilience, curiosity, creativity, independence, responsibility, adaptability, perseverance and social awareness.
- The learner’s cognitive abilities, which include reading comprehension, critical thinking, problem-solving, logical reasoning, verbal communication skills and visualisation.
- The learners’ knowledge, skills and conceptual understanding across a range of disciplines, which include the ability to apply concepts, analyse information, synthesise ideas, decide, work independently, communicate effectively and reflect upon what has been learned.
An IB learner profile shows a commitment to support all the school community members to respect themselves, respect people around them and give respect to the rest of the world. IB programmes are dedicated to students' personal development for the IB learner profile.
What are the attributes of the IB learner profile?
The IB learner profile intends to develop students who are:
Knowledgeable: They explore issues, ideas and concepts, that have global and local significance.They learn concepts and gain an in-depth understanding of different fields by engaging in activities that help them understand these concepts. They are informed about the world around them.
Knowledgeable students read books on topics being taught at school. They ask questions and make connections between the known and unknown. Parents and teachers can instil knowledgeable behaviour in the children in the following ways.
- By applying, acquiring and sharing knowledge;
- By looking at unique perspectives;
- By asking questions to deepen understanding;
- By considering each factor involved;
- By considering failure a part of learning;
- By encouraging students to listen to the news, read newspapers and become familiar with current events.
Students as Inquirers
Inquirers: These students develop their innate curiosity. They learn research skills and demonstrate independence in learning. Their love for learning will be fostered throughout their lives.
Inquirers do not perceive themselves as experts, they like being a learner. In most cases, when children question parents or teachers, they immediately provide an answer. The better way is to say something like 'Good question! How could we learn about it?' And inquire together.
A child’s curiosity, creativity and thinking skills are improved when children use a variety of resources and carry out small, simple activities and experiments to investigate any topic, from making a circuit to seeing how it is impossible to create a circle with only straight sticks. The main objective of improving skills of inquiry in children is to develop them into independent and lifelong learners.
Advancing Curriculum Learning and Communication Skills
Communicators: They express and understand information and ideas creatively and confidently in a range of modes of communication skills and in more than one language. They work willingly and effectively in collaboration with others.
Having good listening skills is an important characteristic of effective communicators. Active listening enables students to express empathy and gain new insights, perspectives and ideas. Teachers and parents can develop students who are communicators by:
- Talking about children's daily activities;
- Exploring other modes of communication along with speaking;
- Actively listening to the children when they talk;
- Talking about children's books and reading together.
- Talking about the TV shows and videos and watching them together.
- Asking questions to explain what a child is saying.
Promoting active learners and thinkers
Thinkers: They think critically and creatively when approaching problems, and they're able to identify complex issues and make responsible actions.
Parents and teachers can build creative thinking skills in a child by encouraging him/her to solve problems independently. To develop critical thinking skills, parents and teachers may ask open-ended questions and discuss real-life problems with the children. It is also suggested to ask a child questions when they are working on a problem.
Developing open-minded students
Open-minded: They appreciate and respect others' cultural backgrounds and traditions, and are open to others' views and perspectives. They're open to new ideas and willing to learn from their experiences.
Open-minded students understand that everyone is different. They listen to many possibilities and consider the points of view of others before finalising a decision. They celebrate people's uniqueness and individual differences. Parents and teachers may:
- Encourage students to try new ways, new foods, new activities and new games.
- Expose children to different festivals, traditions and celebrations and present children in a non-judgmental manner.
- Motivate children to listen to others when others speak.
- Introduce literature about different cultures. It must be ensured that the literature is appropriate and appropriately reflects the culture.
- Introduce learners to other global issues, countries, and cultures.
Building positive school cultures with principled learners
Principled: They take responsibility for their acts and the learning outcomes that accompany them. They exhibit honesty and integrity, with an emphasis on a strong sense of fairness and justice for the rights of people, community, and group.
An extraordinary feature of principles is that, unlike procedures and concepts ,principles are discovered, not invented. Principles are the only type of content that depicts "truth" in any substantial way. Facts are mostly either false or true, and they are details, not generalities. As compared to principles, facts are trivial. A procedure may either create the desired goal (or output) or not. But procedures lack the details of how things work, and procedures can be changed and still create the desired goals. In most cases, there are more than one different procedures to achieve the same goal.
On the other hand, principles give us an understanding of the surrounding world, within us, and among us; an awareness of how things work and why they occur specifically. Hence, principles are considered among the most important type of content to include in teaching. It is helpful for teachers to learn how to implement the principles in unfamiliar situations.
Encouraging reflective learners
Reflective: They show thoughtful consideration for their experience and classroom efforts. They know themselves well enough to understand their weaknesses and strengths and use them to improve their own skills and knowledge.
Reflective students have 3 essential characteristics. They:
- Reflect and
Reflective students know what they are not good at and what they’re good at. They try to make necessary changes where ever they can. They perceive their weaknesses and strengths constructively. Parents and teachers can help students to become reflective learners by:
- Encouraging students to maintain a journal;
- Asking learners to record a 1-second video every day;
- Make students spend some time reviewing their class progress reports.
- Reviewing the goals that learners could set for the next term.
- Making a list of particular actions that students can take to accomplish these goals.
Embracing emotional learning
Balanced: They understand how important is balance of emotions, physicality and intellect is for their and others well-being.
Balanced students know the significance of physical, intellectual, and emotional balance to gain well-being for themselves and others around them.
These students achieve healthy school-life balance by exercising and eating a balanced range of foods. They know the importance of maintaining a balance between the mental and physical features of their bodies. They spend time engaging in many different activities.
Fostering caring learning environments
Caring: These students show respect, compassion and empathy towards the feelings and needs of others. They are dedicated to being in service and bring about a positive change in the world and it others' lives.
Across different grade levels and throughout the school year, these students show their caring behaviour in many of their transdisciplinary units. Care can be integrated into the students' inquiries in various areas such as housing, garbage, money, migration, health and more. Teachers and parents can play their role in making children more caring by:
- Modelling the caring behaviour they would want to see in the children.
- Being an active listener, using kind words, and helping others.
- Encouraging students to read books that demonstrate kindness and caring behaviour.
- Helping students to reduce, reuse and recycle.
- Emphasizing social skills such as sharing with siblings saying thank you and please, and understanding when others may be having a difficult time.
- Brainstorming ways children can get involved in the welfare of the community such as donating clothes, food, or toys and sending cards to the residents of a nursing home.
Encouraging intellectual risk-taking
Risk-takers: They show the courage to deal with uncertainty and unfamiliar situations and have an independent spirit to explore innovative strategies, new ideas and roles. They are articulate and brave in defending their beliefs.
Young children are natural risk-takers. They are curious. They love to discover and want to explore how the world works. As they grow older, they may quickly stop themselves from taking a risk because they understand that there is a likelihood that they might fail. According to the rules of risk taking, the more the children avoid taking risks, the more difficult it will become for them to accept any challenges in the future.
Teachers and parents need to provide children with opportunities to be risk-takers. The goal should be to make children feel confident and comfortable while trying something new, even if they have to face failure in the end. In real life, most students reveal that when they take a risk, they are successful.
Monitoring Learner Profiles
Creating accurate assessments of the wider development of children is always going to be a difficult task. We created the learning skills profile that helps schools understand the development of the wider capabilities of their students. The framework enables classroom teachers to acknowledge when children have advanced their learning skills. Each of the competencies can be regarded as both an outcome and a mechanism for creating lifelong learners.
These badges have been used to communicate with parents when children have made progress in any given area. The simple statements enable school communities to discuss the outcomes of children with greater confidence. Classroom tasks are filled with assessment opportunities for these essential skills, we use the term 'learning to become...'. In terms of how they are incorporated into daily school life, we follow the simple formula.
We are learning about: [e.g. Healthy eating]
We are learning to become: [e.g. Critical thinkers and excellent communicators]
Many schools around the world have already carefully embedded IB Learner profile into everyday practice. If your school is considering how to take the first step look at how the schools have incorporated the profile:
- International School of Texas
- IB World School
- Xi'an High-Tech International School
- Beijing BISS International School
- Seisen International School
Getting started with the Learner IB Profile
The main aim of the IB programme is to develop globally minded 21st century students who acknowledge their shared guardianship of our planet Earth and common humanity, helping them to become responsible citizens.
The IB Learner Profiles define the above human capacities and skills on top of academic success for learners who study at an international level.
An IB Learner profile is dedicated to supporting all the school community members to respect themselves, respect others around them and give careful consideration to the rest of the world.