Improve IB DP Success by

Developing a Deep Understanding

Asheesh Misra
Asheesh Misra

From 2014-2017, I managed the Bridging the Equity Gap Project at the IB. This project aimed to address the disparity in participation and performance in the IB's Diploma Programme (DP) between low-income students and their higher-income peers. At the start of this project, scholars at SRI Education examined obstacles for participation in the DP for underrepresented students. The project's consultants and I expected that the main obstacles to student participation in the DP would be traditional honors tracking policies (sorting students) such as entrance requirements and rigorous application processes.

We were surprised to discover that the primary obstacle as reported by students that chose not to participate in the program was the perception of a very heavy workload requiring significant sacrifice. In a survey response one student stated: "The IB program is daunting, even taking one class . . . You hear stories of people not sleeping for a week" (Caspary, Woodworth, Keating, & Sands, 2015).

The project's consultants knew that success in DP courses did not require that students sacrifice their health and sleep. So, why is this perception so prevalent?

Far too often, IB DP course activities, instruction and assessment practices are disconnected from the IB course aims and assessment expectations; thus, creating a perception that rigor means insurmountable amounts of work rather than subject-specific intellectual skill development.

In the Bridging the Equity gap project, we discovered that the best way to overcome this gap was by first developing teachers' understanding of IB assessment outcomes.

Thanks to the leadership of one of our consultants, Tim Kane, we came to realize that this meant starting with a deep dive into understanding how IB DP component results lead to a final DP score.

Tim has developed a dynamic and interactive data tool that allows schools and teachers to (1) understand immediately if a significant gap in classroom practice and IB DP outcomes exists and (2) demystifying IB component results to provides teachers with a deep understanding of how assessment outcomes lead to a DP score. This process empowers schools and teachers to develop classrooms focused on the development of subject-specific skills that lead to success in the IB Diploma Programme.

Tim and I have joined together to organize a community of dedicated IB educators, collectively committed to increasing excellence and equity in advanced education programs. Please join our community of learners to receive a quarterly newsletter dedicated to access, equity and excellence by clicking here.

To learn more about this tool, please feel free to contact me at #IB #IBDP #Education #E2 Please note that we are group of committed and experienced IB World School educators. We are not associated with the IB Organization in any way.

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