International Mindedness

How best do we prepare our students to live in a highly interconnected and rapidly changing world?

One way in which the IB addresses this is in aiming to develop in each person international-mindedness in a global context. Being an IB World School is to recognize the importance of the world as the broadest context for learning.

International-mindedness lies at the very heart of the IB Mission which aims to develop young people "who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect ...who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right." International-mindedness is referenced throughout the IB Standards and Practices, the checklist for both IB authorization and five year evaluation.

The development of international-mindedness in a school is an ongoing process involving the whole learning community.

Professional Inquiry

Our professional inquiry will explore the following questions:

  • What is meant by international-mindedness? 
  • How is international-mindedness nurtured and developed?
  • How are local and global issues addressed through all the IB programmes?

Key documents

The IB have commissioned a number of research and position papers into international mindedness. Due to copyright protection I cannot provide you with a direct link to them. However, if you copy and paste the following information into a search engine you will easily access them.

  • Promoting International Mindedness in Our Schools, Davy, I., IB, 2005.

  • Research summary: Conceptualizing and assessing international-mindedness (IM): An exploratory study,Paloma Castro, Ulla Lundgren and Jane Woodin, 2013, IB. 

  • 21st century international mindedness: An exploratory study of its conceptualisation and assessment Michael Singh & Jing Qi, IB, (2013).

  • Teacher thinking on developing informed and engaged students for a globally connected world, Merry M Merryfield, Tami Augustine, Moonsun Choi, Jason Harshman and Melinda McClimans, IB (2012).

  • Learning stories and global engagement pieces on the IB Online Curriculum Centre. Your IB Coordinator will be able to access these in the list of general IB publications.

Research and Case Studies

The International Mindedness Journey: School Practices for Developing and Assessing International Mindedness Across the IB Continuum, Elisabeth Barratt Hacking, Chloe Blackmore, Kate Bullock, Tristan Bunnell, Michael Donnelly, Sue Martin Department of Education, University of Bath August 2016, is a research study aimed at systematically examining how IB programme schools conceptualise, develop, assess and evaluate IM, and to understand related challenges and problems. It uses nine case studies from IB schools. It concludes: “While the study captured many ‘fuzzy’ definitions of IM, it found that stakeholder conceptions converged on three philosophies. First, IM is relational in that it is about reaching out to how we perceive and interact with others from diverse cultures. It then becomes intra-personal or reaches in to better understand ourselves with respect to different others. Above all, IM is a process or a journey and that this process is more important than any fixed definition. Useful and noteworthy practices in schools were also collected, and presented as vignettes. These were found in leadership practices, Professional Development opportunities, the IB curriculum, extra-curricular events and activities, the hidden curriculum and relationships with the community. A cross analysis suggested that the Case Study Schools saw little benefit in the summative assessment of IM, but most recognised that internal formative assessment was helpful in understanding and developing IM. Formative assessment was considered to be constructive for students, teachers and schools.” It can be accessed HERE.

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