IB Transdisciplinary Themes

Students in grades Primer (K) 4 learn about themselves and their world through six IB organizing themes. These transdisciplinary themes revolve around the following topics:

Who we are

An inquiry into the nature of self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health; human relationships, including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where we are in place and time

An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How we express ourselves

An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend, and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the world works

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and the environment.

How we organize ourselves

An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

In addition to these transdisciplinary units, students also continue to learn in traditional ways, for example, by practicing math and reading skills and memorizing spelling words.

By blending IB inquiry methods and traditional skills learning in the classroom, the Lower School feeds the natural curiosity of children, helps to develop their innate talents, and prepares them with the skills they will need as they move into the higher grades.