Thanks to Jane for passing on this valuable article by George Walker hosted on the IB Positions Papers blog. You can access the direct link to the article by clicking the image below.
This position paper addresses the long-standing criticism that the International Baccalaureate (IB) is too closely associated with Western values and, despite its title, does not enable students to see the world from a truly international perspective. Considering evidence from different authorities, it analyses the IB learner profile and asks how appropriate it is for the cultures of East Asia. The paper concludes that the learner profile does indeed reflect the strong Western humanist foundations of the IB, but accepts that the organization’s successful growth (not least in its Asia-
Pacific region) makes sudden change unlikely and undesirable. Instead, it recommends that the learner profile be reviewed regularly and used as a focus for internal debate on this issue. It also proposes that some limited regional variation be encouraged in order gradually to seize “the great opportunity for the creation of new thought by a new combination of truths” (Tagore 1961: 222).