Even though the International Baccalaureate (IB) agenda does not lay down a specific programme for critical thinking and creativity, which is an exclusive arena for the educator, they do created objectives which are quite useful and instructive…
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The objectives of the (IB) programme that relate to the development of creative and critical skills are as follows (Chalmers 1989, 34): (1) to provide students with the opportunities to develop the aesthetic, imaginative and creative faculties; and (2) to encourage the pursuit of quality, through training, individual experiment and persistent endeavour. The social and educational programme of the IB is summed up in the two abovementioned objectives. Pedagogical and practical goals are clear in the IB’s common phrases such as ‘informed participants in local and world affairs’, ‘lifelong learners’, and ‘critical thinkers’ (Chalmers 1989). However, the actual objective of the IB has not been attained until learners become creative and critical thinkers. As stated by the mission statement of IB (Phillips & Pound 2003, 47): Through comprehensive and balanced curricula coupled with challenging assessments, the International Baccalaureate Organisation aims to assist schools in their endeavours to develop the individual talents of young people and teach them to relate the experience of the classroom to the realities of the world outside. Beyond intellectual rigour and high academic standards, strong emphasis is placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship, to the end that IB students may become critical and compassionate thinkers, lifelong learners and informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life. The attainment of these above stated goals will be determined only by the learners’ lifelong performance in the outside world, that is after they finish and leave school. IB is motivated by ideology; it boldly aspires to cultivate particular thoughts and actions. According to Mattern (1991 as cited in Phillip & Pound 2003, 67), “A sense of values is needed to inform [the students’] studies and their life purposes as well. Without it, they may be clever, knowledgeable, even wondrously creative, but they will never become citizens of the world nor give it their gifts as should those who have known a true international education.” IB has accepted this challenge. Relevance of the Topic The International Baccalaureate programme has been criticised by some scholars, such as Bailey and Karp (2003), for relying greatly on the judgments and views of students or parents about the advantages of programme involvement. Nevertheless, of the investigations that have connected IB curriculum participation to results aside from academic performance, IB programme involvement seems to be advantageous. Amuedo-Dorantes and colleagues (2004), for example, discovered a substantial negative relationship between cigarette use and IB programme participation. Nevertheless, the connections between substance abuse and IB programme participation did not show significance statistically. Therefore, it is important to further explore the influence IB programme involvement may have on learners, specifically on teaching methods and learning approaches that promote the development of critical thinking and creative skills. One of the believed advantages of the IB curriculum is that exceptional and talented students have the chance to learn and work well with other learners, who have the same motivations and capabilities, giving exceptional and talented students the chance to feel recognised and to foster encouraging sense of self that develop from building and maintaining social relationships
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