CP studies

Study on employability skills in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and Career-related Programme curricula (2020)

Michaela Horvathova

Center for Curriculum Redesign

Facing the challenges of the 21st century requires deliberate effort to cultivate the competencies that students need to respond to the demands of the labour market. This study explores how fit-for-purpose the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) are for teaching the skills that will prepare graduates for future employment and a rapidly-changing world. The primary components of the study included a literature review to identify global workforce trends as well as the skills workers need to adapt, and a curriculum mapping analysis to identify the extent to which key employability skills are covered in DP and CP curriculum documents. The literature review indicated that an increased number of occupations in the future will involve competencies such as complex problem-solving and creative thinking. The curriculum content mapping of CP and DP documents demonstrated that there are some competencies that are well integrated in the existing intended curricula and others that are not represented as fully. The top four competencies identified in the curriculum documents included communication, ethics, mindfulness and critical thinking, while the bottom four were growth mindset, curiosity, courage and resilience. Innovative pedagogies and changes in teaching practice will be an important component in developing key competencies in students.

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Study of International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) school readiness for, and perceptions of, on-screen examinations (2018)

Jessica N Jacovidis, Kristine L Chadwick, Erin Fukuda, Jandee Todd and Michael Thier

This study aimed to identify the perceptions, potential challenges and implementation needs of International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools as they plan for the transition to on-screen examinations in the Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP). The researchers employed a mixed-methods design, including individual and group interviews, observations and a survey of DP and CP school heads and coordinators (n = 2,748). School personnel perceived a number of possible benefits of transitioning to on-screen assessments, such as offering students a 21st-century approach to assessment, quicker and higher-quality feedback, and administrative convenience. Some of the concerns that schools cited included logistical, technical and/or support issues. Although survey respondents overall were somewhat positive about on-screen examinations, receptivity ratings varied by school status, language and programme. School heads and coordinators stressed the importance of sufficient lead time to prepare for the transition, as well as technical support and clear communication from the IB.

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Career-related experiences and the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (2017)

Phil Rutherford

Undertaken in the final two years of secondary school, “career-related experiences” enable students to make more informed decisions about their future, and to identify which pathway best suits their career aspirations. This study involved two components: a global survey of schools offering the CP, and a literature review of career-related experiences of senior secondary students in select countries (Australia, India, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States). In the survey, teachers identified some challenges, including a shortage of time in the school calendar, insufficient guidance and a lack of employers either capable or willing to provide career-related experiences for students. Nevertheless, respondents were overwhelmingly in support of career-related experiences as an essential element of the CP curriculum and believed that students enjoyed enhanced learning outcomes and made career decisions with greater confidence through participation in these experiences. The literature review highlighted the importance of schools developing close relationships with local employers to understand the needs of the local job market and to facilitate career-related experiences for students. Effective career-related experiences help students to develop skills and competencies, which increase the likelihood that they will graduate seamlessly to the labour market or be well-prepared for further education.

Research summary