Curriculum development in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (2014)

Sandra Leaton Gray, David Scott and Euan Auld—Institute of Education, University of London

This report examines the development and revision of curriculum in countries, regions and jurisdictions around the world. In addition, it provides examples to inform the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) own curriculum development. The researchers identified thirteen countries and jurisdictions that would serve as productive locations for learning in relation to curriculum development and reform: Finland; Massachusetts, USA; Scotland; Ontario, Canada; Netherlands; Mexico; Germany; England; Chile; Singapore; New Zealand; Victoria, Australia; and Queensland, Australia. The first phase of the study included the collection of information about the characteristics of curriculum reform in these sites. In the second phase, the researchers investigated the characteristics of the IB’s curriculum development in relation to the selected sites. The study suggests that, in the six locations, reform processes are generally ad hoc and initiated by governments to address particular problems. In contrast, the IB employs a defined and structured seven-year curriculum review process. The authors, however, caution against review guidelines that are overly complex and detailed, which may result in a form of “guideline exhaustion”.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf