The IB partners with leading institutions to foster creativity and curiosity


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Over the past year, the International Baccalaureate (IB) has been collaborating with the Jacobs Foundation (JF), the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment (OUCEA) to undertake research into creativity and curiosity across all IB programmes.

Creativity and curiosity skills are aligned with the IB learner profile attributes such as inquirers, thinkers and communicators. Many educators are talking about the importance of ensuring that all students gain 21st century skills, including the development of creativity and curiosity, during their schooling. In practice, however, educators have expressed uncertainty about how to incorporate these into the curriculum. Overcoming this requires that: 1) skills are defined in a way that is relevant in educational settings, 2) teachers have clear guidance and tools on how to encourage these skills, and 3) schools have a way of recording student achievement in them. 

To address these challenges, the IB and the Jacobs Foundation are undertaking research into creativity and curiosity in the PYP. The IB is extending this work to include the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP)/Career-related Programme (CP) as well. This research comprises two parallel studies and engages IB World Schools across the world.  

The first study is led by ACER, who is developing conceptual frameworks for creativity and curiosity to enable student growth and progress to be evidenced. ACER is also creating a prototype ‘Mastery Transcript’ where students and their teachers can record evidence of students’ creativity and curiosity (and potentially other 21st century skills). This evidence could be generated from a review of a portfolio of work or other materials.

OUCEA is undertaking a parallel study that identifies promising classroom practices to stimulate and encourage creativity and curiosity among students. This study involves analysing videos taken of classroom activities and identifying the practices conducive to helping students develop and express creativity and curiosity.

Empowering IB World Schools to nurture creativity and curiosity at the IB Virtual Conference 2021

This year, the IB will be welcoming educators across the Americas, Africa, Europe and the Middle East to the upcoming IB Virtual Conference 2021 from 18–22 October 2021. This year’s theme, Unlocking the next paradigm, explores how new perspectives, approaches, and attitudes shape the future of learning and teaching.

Prior to the conference, the participants will have the chance to participate in forums and engage with fellow educators, education experts, IB staff and exhibitors during the Come Together phase. In this framework, on Thursday 14 October at 10:00 am CEST, the dedicated forum” Empowering IB World Schools to nurture creativity and curiosity” will explore the latest developments and preliminary findings from the research ACER and OUCEA are conducting. Furthermore, the constructive discourse will focus on the importance of fostering transversal skills, such as creativity and curiosity skills, in the process of learning and the holistic development of learners. The participants can engage and pose questions to the presenters through the Q&A feature.

 The presenters of the forum are:

  • Sarah Richardson & Sladana Krstic (Australian Council for Educational Research, ACER)
  • Therese Hopfenbeck & Juliet Scott-Barrett (Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment, OUCEA)
  • Nicole Bien & Edlyn Chao (International Baccalaureate)
  • Nora Marketos (Jacobs Foundation)