IB School Leadership: IB Mission

IB Mission

At the heart of the IB philosophy is a bold mission statement. As an IB World School you are asked to align your school mission statement with that of the IB Mission Statement.

As an IB Diploma Programme Coordinator you have to ensure that you can provide evidence of implementation against the IB standards and practices. This page highlights those practices which refer to mission, provide you with a presentation that you can use with key stakeholder groups and workshop activities that you can use in staff training.

Key issues

As Diploma Programme Coordinator you need to ensure that the school collects evidence against the following IB standards and practices.

  • How your school's published statements of mission and philosophy align with the IB - i.e. in prospectus, on website. Whilst it is not essential that you use the same words key concepts need to be present. (Standard A1)
  • How you promote international-mindedness and all attributes of the IB learner profile across the whole school community. (Standard A4)
  • How you participate in the IB world community - e.g. links with other schools, attendance at professional development and regional conferences, classroom links. (Standard A8)
  • How you ensure that your Head of School and your own personal pedagogical leadership aligns with the philosophy of the IB. (Standard B3)




Comments on the PPT

1. Title page

2. Mission Statement

A mission tells you what your job is. It says what you do. The IB is clear about what its schools are doing.

3. Focused on creating a better and more peaceful world

The IB is energized by its mission statement to make the world a better and more peaceful place. It is a compelling mission which challenges the whole purpose of schools.

4. How? By developing the person (in the round)

An IB education develops the whole person. In the paper International Baccalaureate Learner Profile: Literature Review Dr. Kate Bullock groups the ten attributes into four related themes that address the IB emphasis on developing the whole person: intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth.

  • Intellectual: “knowledgeable”, “thinkers” and “reflective”.
  • Personal: “inquirers” and “principled”.
  • Emotional: “caring”, “risk-takers” and “balanced”.
  • Social: “communicators” and “open-minded”.

5. Intellectual attributes

These attributes acknowledge a constructivist view of learning which is, in the words of Jerome Bruner “participatory, proactive, communal, collaborative and given over to the construction, rather than the reception, of meanings". These three learner attributes emphasize the dynamic and developmental nature of learning

6. Personal attributes

This theme explores the meta-cognitive notions of responsibility for, and awareness of, one’s own learning.

  • Inquirers develop their natural curiosity. Inquiry is central to the IN approach to teaching.
  • In being principled they act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities.

7. Emotional attributes

The IB approaches to learning calls these the affective skills. These personal qualities and emotional skills are crucial for academic and personal capability.

  • From an IB perspective being 'caring' includes a personal commitment to service, and acting to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
  • 'Balance' refers to the importance of an IB World School educating the person ‘in the round’, holistically - the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others. It is also about linking with others.

8. Social attributes

This theme recognizes the importance of the collaborative nature of learning and the contribution of the whole community where learning takes place. It explores the importance of considering and evaluating multiple perspectives.

9. International Mindedness

If the mission of the IB is to create a better and more peaceful world the way this is done is through developing young people who are internationally minded. In fact the ten attributes of the Learner Profile together describe what it means to be internationally minded.

Whilst there is no one agreed definition of what international mindedness is the IB uses three key ideas. Internationally minded is about being multilingual, having intercultural understanding and being globally engaged. These key ideas are expressed in the IB mission statement where it says: "“… aims to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect… These programmes encourage students across the world to … understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”

10. Challenging and rigorous curriculum

One of the key reasons why schools choose the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is because it is recognized and respected by the world’s leading universities.  This provides students with the passport to universities across the world.

The IB recognition resource and document library has testimonials from universities working with DP students. The IB research pages look in detail at the performance of DP students, including comparisons with other students.

Template documents

Mission is action - template to collate evidence

Activities to use with staff

Activity: What is special about the IB?

In this activity you are preparing material to populate a presentation to a stakeholder group (Governors, Parents, Students, Staff) on what is special about the IB. You will be accessing two IB documents: the IB Mission Statement and an IB position paper 'What is an IB education?' (IB, 2017).

  • Carefully look at the IB Mission Statement and deconstruct in groups. What are the key messages? Which words in the IB mission statement stand out? Why? Lead a staff discussion about their choice and what they believe their words mean. You may then like to have a mock balloon debate along the following lines: if you could only preserve one word/phrase of the mission statement which would it be and how do you justify your choice?
  • Try and answer the question 'Why do we educate?' from an IB standpoint. What do you think the IB wants children to be like when they are adults?

Activity: Collage on IB Mission

  • Display the following phrases and quotes on the wall for all to see.
  • Individually select a phrase or quote that speaks to you.
  • In table groups inform the people on your table where the phrase or quote is to be found and then explain how the phrase or quote exemplifies the IB Mission.
  • In plenary use the ideas that have arisen from the discussion to pictorially articulate the IB Mission.

The phrases and quotes

  • Think globally, act locally
  • Intercultural understanding
  • People with their differences can also be right
  • Lifelong learners
  • Challenging programmes
  • Rigorous assessment
  • Educating for a better world


All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.