Case studies of learner profile implementation and impact in the United States (2014)

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Shelley H Billig, Linda Fredericks, Lyn Swackhamer and Emma Espel—RMC Research Corporation

This study examined the implementation and impact of the learner profile in different types of schools offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in the United States. Specifically, the study compared the ways in which the attributes influence curriculum, assessment, school policy, school culture and non-academic activities in three traditional public schools, an international school and a faith-based school. This mixed-methods study utilized in-depth case studies and included a combination of focus groups, interviews and surveys. Students and educators tended to interpret the attributes similarly, although teachers expressed greater familiarity with the learner profile than students. Administrators and teachers at all sites thought that having the learner profile as part of the Diploma Programme fostered positive results, particularly in helping students to develop critical thinking, expand knowledge of global issues and explore new ideas. With the exception of the attribute “open-minded”, there were few variations in implementation of the attributes across sites.

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