IB DP Curriculum
The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP) curriculum is made up of the DP core and six subject groups.
The DP core aims to broaden students' educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills. The three core elements are Theory of Knowledge (TOK), the Extended Essay (EE), and Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS).
The six subject groups are Studies in Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and The Arts. Students can choose to opt out of Group Six and add an additional subject from Group Three or Four.
Vanguard High School's DP Offerings:
GROUP ONE: LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
GROUP TWO: LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
Spanish & French (Class of 2027 and beyond)
GROUP THREE: INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETIES
History of the Americas
GROUP FOUR: SCIENCES
GROUP FIVE: MATHEMATICS
Applications and Interpretations
Analysis and Approaches
GROUP SIX: THE ARTS
- Theory of knowledge (TOK) - The TOK course plays a special role in the DP by providing an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature, scope, and limitations of knowledge and the process of knowing. In this way, the main focus of TOK is not on students acquiring new knowledge but on helping students to reflect on, and put into perspective, what they already know. TOK underpins the helps to unite the subjects that students encounter in the rest of their DP studies. It engages students in explicit reflection on how knowledge is arrived at in different disciplines and areas of knowledge, on what these areas have in common, and the differences between them. TOK challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subject and ideological biases, and to develop a personal mode of thought based on analysis of evidence expressed in rational argument. The key element in the IBO’s educational philosophy, Theory of Knowledge seeks to develop a coherent approach to learning which transcends and unifies the academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives.
- TOK Subject Brief
- Extended Essay (EE) - The EE is a compulsory, externally assessed piece of independent research into a topic chosen by the students and presented as a formal piece of academic writing. The EE is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery, and creativity while engaging students in personal research. This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of up to 4,000 words in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned, coherent, and appropriate manner. This element offers IB Diploma candidates the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and acquaints students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected in a university.
- EE Subject Brief
- Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) - The CAS element is at the heart of the DP. With its holistic approach, CAS is designed to strengthen and extend students' personal and interpersonal learning. This requirement takes seriously the importance of life outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to the academic self-absorptions some may feel within a demanding school program. Participation in experiences that are creative, active, and service-minded encourages young people to share their energies and talents while developing awareness, concern and ability to work cooperatively with others. The goal of educating the whole person and fostering a more compassionate citizenry comes alive in an immediate way when students reach beyond themselves and their books.
- CAS Subject Brief