Jeff Thompson Research Award winners' studies

The Jeff Thompson Award is a competitive grant that supports IB practitioners, graduate students and early-career university professionals in conducting research related to IB programmes. Below, you will find a list of all completed Jeff Thompson Award studies.

A professional learning model supporting implementation of ATLs in IB schools in Japan

This study explores how teachers in ten different IB candidate/authorized (Article 1) schools in Japan engaged with ATL as they attempted to integrate the framework into their teaching.

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An inquiry into a school-based curriculum approach called ‘Free Learning’

This report presents findings from a case study, conducted in 2018 and 2019, that focused on the investigation of ‘Free Learning’, a novel curriculum approach developed by an international school in Hong Kong. The case study examined the role of the teacher and student learning in Free Learning, the extent to which Free Learning has an effect on both, and how the student-teacher relationship is reconsidered. 

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Confronting histories and the learner profile

Confronting histories and the learner profile investigated the ways students in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) History classrooms learn with histories of trauma, injustice, and violence. Teachers and students of IBDP History were interviewed, canvassing a range of perspectives of learning with confronting topics and eliciting insights into the potential of these topics to support the development (or activation) of a range of learner profile attributes.

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The impact of IB leadership workshops on aspiring or experienced leaders

The IB has developed a series of workshops which are focused on providing support for aspiring and experienced leaders. The purpose of this research was to investigate if leaders who attended the workshops were impacted by the concepts and ideas within. In addition, feedback on the most impactful resources or activities was sought. 

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How children in a PYP international school understand international-mindedness

This report shares the findings of a doctoral study (Joslin-Callahan, 2018) investigating how children in a Primary Years Programme (PYP) international school understand international-mindedness (IM), the goal of International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes. 

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Teacher conceptualizations and enactments of international-mindedness in Primary Years Programmes in Australian and Singaporean IB World Schools

The aim of the study was to understand how international-mindedness (IM) is conceived by teachers and how they seek to integrate IM into their lessons. The study highlights both the situatedness of learning and the power of the learner profile (LP) to provide a structure for the development of IM.

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Who am I as an internationally minded thinker, community leader and researcher?

The purpose of this study was to learn how students and teachers conceptualize the IB Diploma Programme Core (TOK, CAS and the EE), and how connections are made between these elements.

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Patterns in text authorship and teachers’ diversification efforts: International-mindedness in US-based Diploma Programme English A Literature classes

This study had two aims: to establish demographic patterns in the authorship of texts taught in US-based DP English A Literature courses, and to explore factors that influence teachers’ curricular choices/abilities to diversify their curriculum. 

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The enduring impact of creativity, activity, service in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme: The alumni study

This study examined the lasting influence on International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) students who had participated in the experience-based core element of creativity, activity, service (CAS).

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The development of international-mindedness through the DP core components

This study investigates how the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) core components—creativity, activity, service (CAS), theory of knowledge (TOK), and extended essay (EE)—foster three pillars of international-mindedness: multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement. 

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Different countries, different approaches to teaching and learning?

This study examined the way teachers use differentiated instruction in IB Diploma Programme (DP) classrooms in Hong Kong and Australia. 

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Educating children with autism spectrum disorder within the Primary Years Programme framework: The Latin American perspective

This study explores the education of young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) within the framework of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). The researcher concluded that due to the extensive range of teaching styles and strategies which may be implemented within the context of the PYP, this model can support the education of young children with autism.

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Contextual interpretations of international mindedness in International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme students

The purpose of this study was to examine contextual interpretations of international mindedness by International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) students in a national school and an international school in the Czech Republic. Findings revealed the experience of international mindedness can be characterized by the development of an intercultural identity, the ability to take alternate perspectives and the capacity to resolve disconnection from important people in their lives. 

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Virtual environments for learning Mathematics in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP)

The research analyzes a suggested model for teaching geometry which incorporates virtual resources, integrating Van Hiele's theory of geometry teaching, as suggested for the teaching of mathematics within the Middle Years Programme (MYP). This includes the TPACK model, which integrates disciplinary knowledge of pedagogy and disciplinary knowledge of technology with pedagogical knowledge of technology. 

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Seeking the forest for the trees: The Primary Years Programme exhibition and global citizenship education

The purpose of this research was to determine the depth and scope of Global Citizenship Education through the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme exhibition. The small-scale qualitative study describes how a fifth-grade cohort and teachers at the International School of Azerbaijan uncover Global Citizenship Education in situ. 

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What does it mean to ‘take action’ in the PYP exhibition? An inquiry into the experiences of three Latin American schools

This study explores understandings of ‘action’ as well as pedagogical processes leading to action, the implications of taking action and the impact of student action as part of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition in three IB schools in Latin America. 

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Collaboration within intercultural professional learning communities: A case study

This qualitative collective case study examined how teachers with diverse backgrounds overcome the normal and intensified challenges to collaboration encountered in what I call an intercultural PLC context, comprised of teachers of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds, educational and teaching experiences, and proficiencies with English at a private, international school in China.

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Student voice and the international curriculum: Connections, contexts and spaces

This study explores the significance of student voice in two international curricula, the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP). 

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Teaching and learning argumentation in the Primary Years Programme (PYP)

Given the importance of enhancing the acquisition and development of discursive argumentation activity in orality and literacy from the early years of schooling, in this paper we propose some theoretical and pedagogical considerations aimed at encouraging the teaching of argumentation from a reflective and progressive perspective of discursive argumentation practices.

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International education: Stakeholder values and perceptions

This study investigates the perspectives of international education held by stakeholders of international schools. The extent to which stakeholders valued international education was sought and how well the implementation of education matched their expectations was examined. 

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An Investigation of IB Learner Profile Attributes in post IB diploma students

This qualitative case study used a questionnaire with thirty alumni from one international school situated in France and a smaller number of follow up interviews to elicit retrospective views about the IB Diploma Programme (DP) experience. It investigates whether past DP students display the attitudes and dispositions related to the IB construct of international mindedness and whether this has been manifest in their post school trajectories. 

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Improving the reflection process: A multi-case study of CAS implementation in six DP schools

The Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) program is a required experiential learning element of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum. This study examined the ways in which reflection within the CAS component was implemented at six DP schools in Turkey. 

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The applicability and impact of using the IB learner profiles as a framework for discussing bulling in the MYP: Lessons from a practice-based research project

The aim of this paper is to present the results of a small-scale research project conducted in a Swedish IB International School with Middle Years Programme (MYP) students. This research used an experimental design to examine the applicability and impact of using the IB’s Learner Profile (LP) as a structure for modulating a program on discussing and preventing bullying in the MYP. 

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Reading comprehension development in the English B lesson

This study uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to explore teaching practices with regard to teaching reading comprehension development in the English B lessons from eighteen out of the twenty-three schools where English B is taught in Buenos Aires and Gran Buenos Aires. 

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The perceptions of PYP teachers on factors influencing their development as PYP educators

The purpose of this research project was to investigate which professional development opportunities teachers working with the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) found most influential, and to what extent their views and practices had changed over time. 

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The relationship of MYP teachers’ beliefs and practice to the IB learner profile

In this qualitative case study, this researcher seeks to explore what Middle Years Programme (MYP) teachers believe about the IB learner profile traits and how their beliefs translate into practice. The case is defined as five middle school teachers in one private middle school in Dallas, Texas, implementing the Middle Years Programme in the spring of 2014. 

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The coordination of the Middle Years Programme in smaller international schools

The purpose of this study was to investigate key strategies for coordinators implementing the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in smaller international schools. The study used four exploratory interviews and one case study to gain insight into the experiences of MYP coordinators working in international schools of 100 students or less in Norway. 

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Developing formative assessment strategies in the Primary Years Programme

The aim of this research was to identify and implement key formative assessment strategies that will improve students’ learning within the Primary Years Programme (PYP). This was achieved through action research on developing and implementing formative assessment strategies in a PYP school in Hong Kong.

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The perception and practice of Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme for students, teachers and schools

This study investigated students, school and staff perceptions of the CAS programme being offered in ten schools across Europe. School types varied and represented different Diploma Programme school styles, including public and private schools, boarding and day schools. 

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Dilemmas and challenges in IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) implementation: A case study of Swedish MYP schools and the impact of Swedish school laws

This study provides an exploration into the dilemmas and challenges experienced when implementing and developing the IB Middle Years Programme within schools. It examines two schools within the Swedish school system: one an international school in name, classified as a public school, and the other a ‘friskola’ or an independent school.

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The impact of U.S. educational policy on the implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme: A case study of an urban, low-income public School

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to collaborate with veteran teachers in an urban, high-minority, low-income public school to study how they navigate the challenges of NCLB requirements while teaching in an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP).

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Writing to enhance learning and inform teaching in mathematics

This action research reports on the introduction of journaling in mathematics with a cohort of year 6 students (10-year and 11-year olds) engaged in their final year of the Primary Years Programme (PYP), within a large International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Hong Kong. The project, carried out during the 2011-2012 academic year, sought to respond to the question: Does journal writing in mathematics support students to articulate their thinking and develop their conceptual understandings, while also serving to better inform teachers in order to guide planning?

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Evaluation of learner profile attributes and competencies in South Australian International Baccalaureate (IB MYP) Students

This study explores the extent to which students participating in the IB programme in target South Australian schools demonstrated the characteristics articulated in the IB learner profile (LP) and the skills reflected in the approaches to learning (ATL) component of the IB curriculum framework. 

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Distributed Leadership and Social Networks in the School-Based Development of the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme in a Venezuelan K-12

Two theoretical frameworks, distributed leadership and social networks, have emerged in the educational research literature that present school leadership for change and innovation in terms of actions and emphasize the importance of social interactions for their enactment. This study draws upon these theories to describe and understand leadership in action during the school-based design and implementation of the MYP as well as the social networks underlying their enactment.

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The Impact of the PYP Indigenous Bunuba/Walmajarri Unit of Inquiry Within the Transdisciplinary Theme ‘How Do We Express Ourselves’  

This project investigated the impact on students of programs such as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Indigenous Bunuba/Walmajarri Unit of Inquiry within the trans-disciplinary theme ‘How we express ourselves’ and with the central idea of ‘we discover more when we reflect upon other ways of knowing’ through the Research Question: How effective are programs such as the Wesley College Year 4 PYP Bunuba/Walmajarri unit in terms of changing understandings of Indigenous ways of knowing by non-Indigenous students?

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A Tale of Two Cities: Chinese teachers vs. Western Teachers on Pedagogic Behaviours in an IB World School in China

The purpose of this study is to investigate any differences existing in pedagogic behaviours between Chinese teachers (CTs) and non-Chinese teachers (NCTs) in and outside the English and Science (English-medium) classrooms in an International Baccalaureate (IB) context in mainland China. It also explores potential cultural influences, students’ perspectives and issues arising from any differences in pedagogic behaviours.

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Perspectives of Criteria Based Assessment in the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme

This study examined how the implementation of IB’s Middle Years Programme criteria referenced assessment model has affected the overall understanding, articulation and achievement of program learning objectives in two MYP schools. The goal was to explore perspectives in the implementation of the MYP’s assessment model in order to better understand the challenges, difficulties and successes that educators face in its implementation.

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Language Teaching Strategies and Techniques Used to Support Students Learning in a Language other than Their Mother Tongue

This executive summary aims to raise awareness of this issue and describes and presents the findings of an investigation into the Language Teaching Strategies and Techniques used by Primary Year Practitioners (PYP) when implementing the Programme of Inquiry conducted in 2010.

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Is the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Effective at Delivering the International Baccalaureate Mission Statement?

The aim of this study is to examine if the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is effective at delivering the IB mission statement? Literature is reviewed to explore the aims of international education and how curricula and school systems can influence the development of values within students. 

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The perceptions of the use of inquiry based methods in the Chinese language classroom in IBO Primary Years Programme schools in the Asia Pacific region

This research project investigated how the pedagogical approach of inquiry was transferred into Chinese as an additional language classrooms in Primary Years Programme schools in the Asia Pacific region. The goal was to explore perceptions and practices of Chinese language teachers to better understand the successes and challenges of using inquiry based approaches. 

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