Since its inception in 1968, an International Baccalaureate (IB) education has proven to be highly effective in preparing students for success both inside and outside the academic environment.
While a multitude of influential factors—including rigorous academics and the development of critical thinking and research skills—contribute to this success, one of the most powerful factors is, unquestionably, the IB Learner Profile.
Very simply, the IB Learner Profile is the vision which IB schools aim to have each student become. The Learner Profile is comprised of a series of individual attributes which, when properly taught and developed, provide students with the tools they need to flourish academically and socially both now and well into the future.
The ten attributes which make-up the IB Learner Profile are:
Each attribute has been identified by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) due to its importance and relevance to all cultures, its academic significance, and its ability to help shape a more peaceful and understanding world.
It is also crucial to note that the attributes are the driving force which ultimately is responsible for attaining the IB goal of developing internationally-minded students. The philosophy of IB is that students who truly understand and live these attributes, naturally become internationally-minded regardless of where it is they live in the world. Thus, while traditional educational practices—such as posting flags and the teaching about foods and festivals—are important in contributing to an international mood and environment, they are superficial when compared to the depth which is developed through the Learner Profile.
In every IB school, the Learner Profile is developed in different ways. At St. Jude of the Lake, the Learner Profile is prominently posted throughout the school and in all classrooms. In addition, each six-week unit of inquiry contains 2-3 specific Learner Profile attributes that are an integral focus of the unit. During each unit and at all grade levels, teachers will stress the importance of the focused attributes by: consistently using them in regular classroom discussions; identifying and discussing situations where the attributes are occurring; asking students to share experiences that relate to the attributes; and, modeling them through their own actions.
In addition, as evidence of the importance to which St. Jude of the Lake places on the development of the Learner Profile, parents receive a Learner Profile progress report from teachers at the conclusion of each six-week unit. This report assesses the progression of students through the Learner Profile attributes that were the focus of each respective unit. Copies of these reports are then included and saved with student portfolios.
Finally, as part of our Christian faith and commitment to Catholic education, St. Jude is now highlighting a Learner Profile attribute on a monthly and school-wide basis that supports one of the fruits or gifts of the Holy Spirit. For example, this fall, while teaching about the Holy Spirit’s gift of self-control, we also highlighted the Learner Profile attribute, “reflective.” Teachers then stressed to students how being a reflective person helps us develop self-control. The same took place in November, while teaching about the Holy Spirit’s gift of generosity and the Learner Profile attribute, “caring.” The connection was made by demonstrating how caring people are more generous people.
The Learner Profile is another wonderful example of what a great fit IB is for St. Jude of the Lake School!