How are Inquiry-Based Lessons Delivered in IB Schools?
Best IB Schools in Gurgaon
In the past one decade, some of the best schools in Gurgaon and Delhi have adopted the globally recognized International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes to provide their students the education that suits the needs of our changing world.
After the pre-nursery class where teachers use play-way methods to teach the new learners, the academic sections of an IB school are:
Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students in 3 to 10 years’ age group (Nursery to Grade 5)
Cambridge Lower Secondary curriculum for students in 11 to 14 years’ age group (Grade 6 to Grade 8)
Cambridge IGCSE curriculum for students in 14 to 16 years’ age group (Grade 9 and Grade 10)
IB Diploma Programme for students in 17 to 19 years’ age group (Grade 11 and Grade 12)
As the first key curriculum framework for IB schools, the PYP aims to develop the intellectual, emotional and physical potential of each child, in a secure and stimulating environment.
A driving force behind the programme is its philosophy of global mindedness. In its mission statement, the IB strives to nurture children while helping them understand that they are international citizens who must get prepared to make changes for a better world.
In this integrated course, the subject areas of language, maths, science, social studies, computers, arts and physical education are taught via IB trans-disciplinary themes so that children can make connections between the subjects. This facilitates more effective learning.
With a differentiated approach for teaching and learning students also learn to make connections between their school life, the life at home and life in the world at large. Such connections also contribute to the development of the attitudes that reflect international mindedness.
One of the aspects that differentiate the IB PYP from academic courses followed for the same age group under several other boards of education is its emphasis on the inquiry-based approach for teaching and learning.
Inquiry-based methods are underpinned by individual understandings, knowledge and interests. They enable children to delve deeper into concepts and develop critical thinking skills while learning something new.
The units of inquiry are developed under the trans-disciplinary themes and help students to understand different concepts more effectively, with details such as:
Students of an IB school in NCR may be learning online or in the usual classrooms, setting the scene of inquiry requires igniting curiosity. It triggers students’ background knowledge and builds wonder. This is where student-led inquiries start.
In delivering the lessons based on inquiry, teachers too have a special role. They need to:
Proactively teach effective skills that help students to develop higher levels of thinking and ask more of open-ended questions.
Help students build questions that can change the direction of an inquiry.
Challenge them to ask big questions that perplex and cannot be answered easily
Also help them develop questions that can have multiple answers or solutions.
Each teacher at an IB school has to consistently ensure that the learning within their classroom is engaging, significant and relevant. A PYP classroom does not involve any time-filling worksheets. Teachers are facilitators and not the ‘distributors’ of knowledge.
Another interesting facet of a PYP classroom is that all learning outcomes are transparent and can be accessed by the entire learning community including students, their parents and other teachers. The programme builds learning in ways that are differentiated and also specific to the needs of each learner within a class.
Teachers of IB schools also work collaboratively with their colleagues and the IB community to reflect, review and revise the programme contents for making constant improvements in it.
Author bio - The Gurgaon based campus of Amity Global School enrolled its first batch of students in 2008 and has been helping young scholars imbibe the virtues of education year after year. A tailored approach to academics, sports and extra-curricular activities is the hallmark of the institution.