Critical thinking in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme: An international, multisite evaluation (2022)

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Joshua A. McGrane, Samantha-Kaye Johnston, Mireia Vendrell Morancho, & Therese N. Hopfenbeck – Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment, University of Oxford

Postsecondary outcomes thumbThis study investigated differences in critical thinking skills of grade 9 and 10 students enrolled in either the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) or the national curriculum in Australia, England and Norway. The study examined the relationship between participation in the MYP and students’ levels of critical thinking, using an established critical thinking assessment. Additionally, the study identified features of the MYP framework that may support critical thinking development and explored how MYP students and teachers encounter, experience and develop critical thinking. Researchers found a range of benefits of implementing the MYP for the teaching and assessment of critical thinking. Additionally, across each of the three locations, MYP students, teachers and coordinators perceived that participating in the MYP confers an advantage in critical thinking. This perception was supported by the results of the quantitative analysis, which indicated that MYP students had higher levels of critical thinking skills compared to their non-MYP counterparts. Overall, this study provides encouraging evidence that the MYP contributes to students’ critical thinking skills by embracing evidence-based, student-centred pedagogical approaches.


Research summary (PDF 2.6 MB)

Full report (PDF 1.9 MB)