I.B. Learner Profile

By Sophie Brown, Reporter

Last spring, International Baccalaureate social studies teacher at Cleveland High School, Matthew Sten, had a new idea regarding something called the “I.B. Learner Profile.” Recognizable from posters around the school, the learner profile consists of 10 traits describing the ideal full I.B. diploma candidate. Sten’s idea was to take these traits from just a poster on the wall, to a method for grading his I.B. students.

I.B. is a widely-respected program in schools across the world. This program requires its students to follow an advanced curriculum, only completed through rigorous studying, by an elite class of overachievers. If, at the end of their high school career they meet all requirements, they will receive a full I.B. diploma. I.B. can give students college credit, scholarships, not to mention it looks great on college applications. According to the I.B. website, the program “encourages both personal and academic achievement.” Teachers like Sten are trying to bring the personal side back into the program, by weaving the I.B. traits in with the normal curriculum.

“The I.B. students loved the idea, so they wrote a rubric about how to gauge yourself within the traits. It was important to us that the rubric would be student written. Students from I.B. believe these traits are important,” said Sten.

There are 10 traits in all: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. Each month, students will be nominating their peers who they think exemplifies the traits for that month. The month of November the traits are “caring” and “open-minded.”

“We want students to start to recognize those qualities in each other, as well as for teachers perhaps to nominate certain students in their class that exemplify those characteristics, and each month we hope to recognize a few individuals that are doing those things in their classrooms,” said Jennifer Wiandt, I.B. coordinator at Cleveland.

There were 10 winners this month: Jared Watson, Noah Kemper, Taylor Lewis, Juliana Strickler, and Siana Ramos were chosen for the characteristic “open-minded.” As for “caring,” the winners were Akira Peterson, Lizbeth Ruiz-Canseco, Lizzie Edwards, Niko Hellman, and Paw Klu Htoo.

“I was happy and surprised when I got picked. I think the character traits is a good idea because it makes the traits that we learn about in I.B. come to life,” said Edwards.