The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Program In Trinidad & Tobago
By Giselle Carr
Issue 7 Spring 2011
While traveling in the Caribbean over the holidays, I had the great fortune to run into a high school friend who now teaches Art at The International School of Port of Spain, the first authorized International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Program World School in Trinidad & Tobago. The IB Primary Years Program is an innovative education model designed to engage students and prepare them to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning, or to foster a “community of learners”.
Education for a Better World: The International Baccalaureate Program
Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing.
Designed for children ages 3 to 12,the program focuses on the holistic development of the child as an inquirer, both inside and outside the classroom. The most distinctive feature of the program is the written, taught and assessed curricula, broken down into six transdisciplinary themes of global significance:
• Who we are
• Where we are in place and time
• How we express ourselves
• How the world works
• How we organize ourselves
• Sharing the planet
Teachers design units of inquiry that both transcend and articulate conventional subject boundaries. The six themes are centered on the subject areas of language, social studies, mathematics, arts, science and personal / social / physical education.
Another significant aspect of the framework is the Five Essential Elements component – concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and action. Students are given the opportunity to:
• gain knowledge that is relevant and of global significance
• develop an understanding of concepts, which allows them to make connections throughout their learning
• acquire transdisciplinary and disciplinary skills
• develop attitudes that will lead to international-mindedness
• take action as a consequence of their learning
The IB Primary Years Programme model illustrates how the global themes, traditional subject areas and actionable elements have been designed into one integrative experience for a child, in order to help create the leaders of tomorrow.