IB Learner Profile
The IB Learner Profile is a set of ten attributes which all members of the IB community - students, teachers and leaders - should be encouraged to develop. They represent a broad range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond intellectual development and academic success.The IB Learner Profile is based on a holistic understanding of education, where the whole child/student is the whole point.
What's the connection between the IB Mission and IB Learner Profile?
The IB says that the Learner Profile is the IB mission in action. The IB strap line is 'Educating for a better world'. This goes to the heart of the IB Mission of "creating a better world throygh education". But how do IB World Schools do this? The IB would say that they do this by nurturing and living out the attributes of the IB Learner Profile.
The IB describes the Learner Profile as “the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes" for the 21st century. The attributes and accompanying descriptors define the type of learner the IB hopes to develop through its programmes. The IB provides the rationale for this selection of attributes when it says "The attributes describe the kind of people - parents, students, educators - who will be needed to help make a better and more peaceful world" (IB, 2012, The IB learner profile in review, available to IB authorized schools on the IB OCC).
The IB Learner Profile is for all members of an IB World School community: students, teachers, leaders, governors and parents. Note how each attribute starts with the word 'WE' signaling the importance the IB gives to the fact that these attributes are not just for students but for all members of the school community: administrators, pedagogical leaders, teaching staff, counselor's etc. When she was Chair of the IB Council of Foundation Monique Seefried explained it thus: " It is called a learner profile rather than a student profile since the best method of teaching is by example and we therefore expect IB teachers as well as administrators to model it to students and their parents, thereby representing our mission statement in action. (Seefried, M., The IB, educating hearts and minds to meet the challenges of today's world, IBO, 2008)
The Learner Profile is a helpful tool for whole school reflection and analysis. Reflection on the Learner Profile can be used as part of the preparation for authorization, or as part of a schools’ self-study leading to the five year evaluation. School governors, school leaders and administrators, pedagogical leaders and individual teachers can use the Learner Profile as a framework to review how the school philosophy, culture, structures, systems and curriculum enable students, and the adults who implement the programmes, to develop into the learner described in the profile. The IB Programme standards and practices (2014) place the learner profile in a central position both in terms of IB philosophy and for teaching and learning in IB World Schools. Explicit reference to the Learner Profile is made in standards A4, C1.9, C2.11 and C3.16.
In the following pages we will inquire into the following questions:
- How do we make the IB Learner Profile our own? Can we add attributes?
- How do we embed these attributes in all that we do? How have other schools done this?
- Where is the IB Learner Profile lived out in our school?
- How relevant are the IB Learner Profile attributes in 'the real world'? How are the attributes of the Learner Profile exemplified in the lives of others in the world?
- How does the IB Learner Profile link to our approach to learning?
- What would a staff and a school leader profile look like and how can we use these when recruiting staff?