Student perceptions of successful preparation for IBDP: implications for developing 21st century skills
Lane, Jennie Farber
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This dissertation used comparative case study methodology to investigate student perceptions of how they were prepared for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The study focused on students in grades 9 and 10 from three different cases. One case involved students who were prepared through the Turkish national curriculum, a second through the International General Certificate of Secondary Education and the third with the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s Middle Years Programme. Questionnaires and focus group interviews were used to gain student insights about how each approach developed their learning strategies and affected their dispositions. Students were also asked about their critical thinking skills. Further understanding of students’ critical thinking skills was learned by examining samples of their work. These particular attributes were investigated because of their relevance to 21st century skills that are needed for a sustainable future. The study revealed that students from all three cases had positive perceptions of their learning experiences in grades 9 and 10. They especially credited their language classes with providing them opportunities to think independently and creatively. Students emphasized the importance of developing their communication skills in addition to critical thinking. Students from the national programme and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education indicated they felt more confident preparing for exams. The International Baccalaureate Organisation’s Middle Years Programme provided students with more opportunities for research and to think independently. Implications for improving preparation for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme are provided based on students’ insights. In addition to preparing students for a rigorous upper high school programme, developing 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and communication, will better ensure they will be able to contribute to a sustainable future.
21st Century Skills
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme