Curriculum Alignment between the IB DP and National Systems: Switzerland
Citation:Faas, D. and Friesenhahn, I., Curriculum Alignment between the IB DP and National Systems: Switzerland, Dublin: Trinity College Dublin, 2014
Final Report Switzerland_CAP_revised November 2014 (Faas).pdf (Published (author's copy) - Peer Reviewed) 800.9Kb
With IB programmes available across the world in diverse educational landscapes, alignment with national educational standards is important. This project aims to provide an empirical analysis of the alignment between IB standards with the Gymnasien in two cantons in Switzerland. More specifically, the report examines (a) the ways in which the IB DP written curriculum align with national standards in selected regions in Switzerland with regard to content, cognitive demand, and philosophical underpinnings, and (b) how the intended non‐scholastic attributes (if any) of international mindedness, civic‐mindedness, citizenship, engagement, and motivation compare among IB DP and Swiss curriculum documentation.The report focuses on the Diploma Programme for students in the 16 to 19 age range in IB schools which corresponds toYears10-13 in Switzerland (years 1-4 of the Swiss Gymnasium). The regions which have been selected for the study are Geneva and Zurich, the former located in the French speaking part and the latter in the German speaking part of the country. These regions are linguistically and culturally different and internationally important with many IB schools in the area.The study compares and contrasts mathematics, spanish, geography, history as well as biology. This design covers four of the six curriculum areas in the IB schools. The analysis compares content, cognitive demand and philosophical underpinnings considering also regional and national political contexts. There are several key findings: First, unlike in the social sciences and humanities (notably history and Spanish), there is a high-level of alignment between the IB DP curriculum and the curriculum of both cantons in the natural sciences (biology and mathematics). Second, there is little variation in the natural sciences between the two cantons which may have to do with the fact that social science subjects such as history are more exposed to reflecting political ideologies and identities of the canton.There is very limited alignment between the IB DP Spanish language curriculum and both Swiss cantonal curricula, which focus more strongly on the technical learning process than on the intercultural competences. Fourth,curricula in Switzerland emerge to a greater extent from local and national roots compared to the more international and global approach in IB DP schools. This is evident in several subjects, e.g. in geography Swiss and Alpine geography is taught and in history European history and national ideologies are part of the curriculum.
Type of material:Report
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