Teaching and learning in the IB grows from an understanding of education that celebrates the many ways people work together to construct meaning and make sense of the world. Represented as the interplay between asking (inquiry), doing (action) and thinking (reflection), this constructivist approach leads towards open classrooms where different views and perspectives are valued.
An IB education empowers young people for a lifetime of learning, both independently and in collaboration with others. It prepares a community of learners to engage with complex global challenges through a dynamic educational experience framed by inquiry, action and reflection.
Sustained inquiry frames the written, taught and assessed curriculum at SWA in all IB programmes. IB programmes feature structured inquiry, drawing from established bodies of knowledge and complex problems. In this approach, prior knowledge and experience establish the basis for new learning, and students’ own curiosity, together with careful curriculum design, provide the most effective stimulus for learning that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant.
Principled action, as both a strategy and an outcome, represents the IB’s commitment to teaching and learning through practical, real-world experience. IB learners act at home, as well as in classrooms, schools, communities and the broader world. Action at SWA involves learning by doing, enhancing learning about self and others. IB World Schools value action that encompasses a concern for integrity and honesty, as well as a strong sense of fairness that respects the dignity of individuals and groups. Challenging learning environments (such as the one at SWA) help students to develop the imagination and motivation they require in order to meet their own needs and the needs of others. Principled action means making responsible choices, sometimes including decisions not to act. Individuals, organisations and communities can engage in principled action when they explore the ethical dimensions of personal and global challenges. Action at SWA may involve service learning, advocacy and educating one’s self and others.
Critical reflection is the process by which curiosity and experience can lead to deeper understanding. SWA students will become critically aware of the way they use evidence, methods and conclusions. Reflection also involves being conscious of potential bias and inaccuracy in their own work and in the work of others.
An IB education fosters creativity and imagination. It offers SWA student’s opportunities for considering the nature of human thought and for developing the skills and commitments necessary not only to recall information but also to analyse one’s own thinking and effort in terms of the products and performances that grow from them.
Driven by inquiry, action and reflection, the SWA IB programmes aim to develop a range of skills and dispositions that help students effectively manage and evaluate their own learning. Among these essential approaches to learning are competencies for research, critical and creative thinking, collaboration, communication, managing information and self-assessment.