What is the IB Core?

Some time ago the IB replaced the old hexagon approach with the 'Dart board' approach. However for chemists the delocalised benzene ring actually provides a better model to explain the holistic nature of the IB.


The 'dart board' ©  IBO                                                                     A chemist's view of the IB 'hexagon'

The IB core consists of Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay (EE) and Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS). In addition I've also included the Learner Profile in this section as it enshrines the basic aims of the overall IB programme.

It is a requirement of the IB Diploma that all three of the IB core components are included in the programme and the requisite number of hours spent on them.  Students (and perhaps some teachers) may be tempted (wrongly in my view) to put slightly more emphasis on TOK and EE than on CAS (or the Learner Profile) as together TOK and EE  are worth a maximum of three bonus points whereas no points are awarded for CAS.

This section looks separately at the Learner Profile, TOK and the EE. It takes a broad view then focuses on how TOK and the EE both relate specifically to Chemistry with many practical examples to help your students gain the maximum bonus points possible.

Training to be a lifeguard is just one of many ways in which IB students can fulfil their CAS requirement

Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS)

I believe very strongly that CAS is an important component of the IB. Part of the  IB Mission Statement is that it aims to develop caring young people and it also aims to encourage students to become active and compassionate. What is the point of an IB education if it is not to produce students with these qualities? However, unlike TOK and the EE I do not see that CAS can be linked specifically to chemistry (or at least only in a very trivial way). For this reason I have not included a separate section on CAS. This is despite the fact that the whole rationale of the United World College movement where I worked and was actively involved for nearly twenty seven years is to provide service to the community. 

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