Teaching and Learning in the ΙΒ


Teaching and learning in the IB empowers students to engage with complex global challenges through a dynamic educational experience framed by inquiry, action and reflection. 


Sustained inquiry frames the written, taught and assessed curriculum in IB programmes.  IB programmes feature structured inquiry, drawing from established bodies of knowledge and complex problems.  In this approach, prior knowledge and experience establish the basis for new learning, and students’ own curiosity, together with careful curriculum design, provide the most effective stimulus for learning that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant.

Principled action, as both a strategy and an outcome, represents the IB’s commitment to teaching and learning through practical, real-world experience.  IB learners act at home, as well as in classrooms, schools, communities and the broader world.  Action involves learning by doing, enhancing learning about self and others. Action that encompasses a concern for integrity and honesty, as well as a strong sense of fairness that respects the dignity of individuals and groups is valued. Individuals, organizations and communities can engage in principled action when they explore the ethical dimensions of personal and global challenges.  Action in IB programmes may involve service learning, advocacy and educating one’s self and others.

Critical reflection is the process by which curiosity and experience can lead to deeper understanding.  Learners must become critically aware of the way they use evidence, methods and conclusions.  Reflection also involves being conscious of potential bias and inaccuracy in their own work and in the work of others.

An IB education fosters creativity and imagination. It offers students opportunities for considering the nature of human thought and for developing the skills and commitments necessary not only to recall information but also to analyse one’s own thinking and effort in terms of the products and performances that grow from them.

Driven by inquiry, action and reflection, IB programmes aim to develop a range of skills and dispositions that help students effectively manage and evaluate their own learning. Among these essential approaches to learning are competencies for research, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, managing information and self-assessment.