The International Baccalaureate (IB), a global leader in international education, hosted the IB Global Conference in Adelaide, Australia, from 18 to 21 March 2023 for over 1.100 participants from 34 countries. The conference theme, “Education for an inclusive future“, navigated around the evolving educational landscape and the required critical conversations that challenge us to be more open and forward-thinking in our approach to Learning and teaching.
As a part of the programme, participants had the opportunity to learn from education experts, share their own experiences and engage with the IB community, colleagues and exhibitors worldwide. Among the features, the conference held an extensive line-up of inspirational speakers, staff and peer-to-peer breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Participants also had the chance to attend over 95 insightful sessions, to gain fresh perspectives on teaching practice and updates about the IB programmes.
During the opening speech ceremony, the Chair of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Board of Governors, Dr Helen Drennen, said:
The world is rapidly changing. If our teaching and learning practices are to prepare students for the world in which they will live, our knowledge and understanding must deepen, and our educational practice expand.
The sessions focused on four strands:
•Educational technology and innovation – the importance of combining technological tools and resources with educational practice to facilitate Learning.
•Inclusive education and well-being – a whole-school approach to education that promotes inclusion, equitable quality education and access to all students.
•Learning and teaching – competencies and strategies needed to facilitate lifelong Learning.
•Leadership – advanced content for education leaders.
The Director General of the IB, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, set the stage for conversations with educators from all over the globe, enhancing new and broadened perspectives that benefit access to education, holistic pedagogy and the adoption of technologies.
While closing the speech, Olli-Pekka Heinonen added:
The best way to have good academic outcomes is to stop overemphasizing educational outcomes and to concentrate on holistic student development and growth.
Among the various activities that took place during the three days of the conference, a diverse line-up of influential keynote speakers shared their invaluable insights and experience with students and educators that will redefine the future of education.
During the first day of the conference, Dr Helen Street, co-founder of Positive Schools and the creator of Contextual Well-being, introduced the philosophy and framework of Contextual Well-being, a systemic approach to developing well-being in schools, and shared tips on how to support it best.
Dr Helen Street mentioned:
It is time we stop trying to ‘teach happiness’ in our schools and instead develop contexts that better support belonging and engagement for all. WellbeingWellbeing needs to be nurtured in spaces between us if it is to be found within us. When I see a child who feels accepted, valued and connected within their life contexts, I see a child who is well.
Teaching academically driven diverse learners in inclusive schools
Dr Jane Jarvis, Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), shared during her session on the second day of the conference how her understanding of inclusive practice in classrooms and schools has developed over time through experience and research, and what are her thoughts to effectively teach academically driven diverse learners.
She commented that if we educate young people for an inclusive future, we must ensure they experience inclusive learning experiences within inclusive schools. As educators, this means knowing exactly what ‘inclusive’ looks like at the classroom, school and system levels.
Teaching for tomorrow: how to future-proof our schools, students and educational systems
Michael McQueen, multi-award winning speaker, trend forecaster and bestselling author, helped conclude the conference with a compelling session where audiences discovered some capability values that will equip students for the future that lies ahead, key paradigms changes educators will need to remain relevant in turbulent times and strategies for making innovation and agility part of the DNA in education.
The DP offers world-class courses that meet or exceed international standards.
A recent series of in-depth studies to assess the level of alignment between the Diploma Programme (DP) and upper secondary education in several countries, including Australia (Victoria), provided substantial evidence that DP courses can readily be implemented within a variety of national contexts and represent rigorous curricula designed to support a significant breadth of LearningLearning.
Global Youth Action Fund announcement
The IB supports student development and growth by creating and offering opportunities. One of them is the Global Youth Action Fund, an initiative that will award grants for youth-led projects that aim to impact their communities and nurture future leaders and change makers. The applications to participate in the grant, open to all youth aged 12 to 19, will be open in May, and grant awardees will receive mentorship and connection with social entrepreneurship leaders and other students’ awardees.
IB Global Conference Toronto 2023
The next IB Global Conference will occur in Toronto, Canada, from 27 to 30 July 2023 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Participants will have access to more than 100 sessions, network with peers, learn tangible skills for the classroom and gain insight into the IB.
Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) pioneered an international education movement. The platform offers four high-quality, challenging educational programmes to students aged 3-19. It gives students distinct advantages by providing strong foundations, critical thinking skills, and proficiency for solving complex problems while encouraging diversity, curiosity, and a healthy appetite for Learning and excellence. In a world where asking the right questions is as important as discovering answers, the IB champions critical thinking and flexibility in the study by crossing disciplinary, cultural and national boundaries. Supported by world-class educators and coordinators, the IB currently engages with more than 2.3 million students in over 5,600 schools across 159 countries.