What is the International Baccalaureate program all about?
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.
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, lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
What is international-mindedness?
IB defines internationally minded people as those who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, work to promote a better and more peaceful world. For children, these people are those who reflect the ten attributes of the Learner Profile: principled, caring, knowledgeable, thinker, open-minded, communicator, inquirer, balanced, risk-taker, and reflective. Students will learn that while they are naturally better at reflecting some of the attributes more than others, it is through developing all of these profile traits that they can learn to become positive and productive citizens.
Our goal is for all TMSE students to exhibit the following learner profile characteristics.
Inquirer—develop their natural curiosity; show independence in learning
Thinker—apply thinking skills critically and creatively; make reasoned ethical choices
Communicator—understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively
Risk-Taker—approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought
Knowledgeable—explore concepts, ideas, and issues that have local and global significance
Principled—act with integrity and honesty; take responsibility for their own actions
Caring—strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others and to the environment
Open-Minded—understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories and those of others
Balanced—understand the importance of intellectual, physical, social, and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being
Reflective—give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience
How will my child's learning be different than that at a non-IB school?
Because the purpose of the IB curriculum goes beyond merely memorizing and reciting facts, the methodology of IB is different as well. IB groups its units into six transdisciplinary themes each year, each of which are used to guide teachers and students to inquiries that go beyond just one subject of teaching. For example, each grade level will spend an entire six weeks under the transdisciplinary theme "Sharing the Planet," where each grade might study such inquiries as peace/conflict resolution, sharing resources, access to equal opportunities, or relationships between communities. Other transdisciplinary themes are How the World Works, Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How We Express Ourselves, and How We Organize Ourselves. In simple terms, IB strives to go beyond the facts to obtain real world understandings of concepts.
Below is more detailed information about each of the themes.
Who we areAn inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human
Where we are in place and time An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationships between the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives
How we express ourselves An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend, and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic
How the world works An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment
How we organize ourselves An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and environment
Sharing the planet An inquiry into the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; of communities and of the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution
*Teachers at TMSE use the Alabama Course of Study/Common Core standards as well as global and intercultural awareness(PYP curriculum) to guide instruction.
How will my child demonstrate learning? How will he/she be assessed?
Students are provided with a variety of opportunities to demonstrate learning. These include but are not limited to: presentations, demonstrations, performance tasks, portfolios, interviews, tests, quizzes, reflection journals, class discussions, and Fifth Grade Exhibition. Teachers assess according to the task given, using tools such as rubrics, checklists, narrative records, and subject-specific criteria.
What is Fifth Grade Exhibition?
Exhibition is an end-of-year project for students in their last year of the IB elementary (PYP) program. It is a collaborative project between students, teacher mentors, and the community in which students are expected to use what they have learned throughout their years at IB to explore and help resolve a real-life problem or issue of their choice. In this way, students learn how to become a positive influence within the global community.