IB success with the themantic approach 

tdixon Assessment (IB) Leave a Comment

The initial results of changing to a themantic approach are promising.
I want to start by saying that the purpose of this post is for no other reason than to alleviate fears that adopting a themantic/thematic approach for the new IB Psychology course will hinder student success in IB exams. This is a concern that some teachers have expressed to me, and they’re worried that while the approach makes pedagogical sense, they’re worried that students won’t perform well on exams.
I was quietly confident that the themantic approach would pay dividends for my own students, and I’m pleased to say that the results are in to show that this approach does work!
Here are the stats:
  • 25% of IB HL Psychology students around the world achieve a 6 or 7.
  • 30% of my IB HL Psychology students achieved a 6 or 7 last year with the linear approach (28% the year before).
  • 55% of my HL IB Psychology class achieved a 6 or 7 this year (May 2017), having adopted the themantic approach only in the second year. 

Naturally, I’m pleased, as these results were achieved with:

  • no homework (they’re stressed enough as it is)
  • no textbook (as my class were only getting drip-fed the drafts of the book)
  • few revision materials (as I was using mostly new research used for the book)
  • the approach was only adopted in the second year.

The course was also very messy at times, as we were half way between the themantic and linear approach and I was so busy working on the book that I often felt like a loving, yet negligent corporate father, trying to show my kids I love them even though I’m always away on business.

Needless to say, I’m so excited to have my year ones starting in August with a fresh start, fresh course, fresh textbook, complete revision materials (by Xmas), this blog, and all following the themantic approach from day one.
I look forward to hearing success stories from other teachers adopting this approach.

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