Comparison between IB Philosophy and Confucian Educational Thoughts

SI, Chung Mou

International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2019; Issue No. 6; p.85 - 111

Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.

In recent decades, the International Baccalaureate (IB) has developed rapidly around the world and is well-received by the academia and parents. On the other hand, what are the similarities and differences between Chinese traditional educational thoughts represented by Confucius and the globally flourishing IB teaching philosophy? This issue is noteworthy in this increasingly globalized modern society. This article makes a contrast between the IB Learner Profile, namely inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective, and the philosophy in the Analects of Confucius. After a comparative analysis, it is discovered that the ten IB Learner Profile attributes share a lot in common with the philosophy in the Analects of Confucius. IB values ‘independent inquiry’ and ‘international-mindedness’, nurturing students to ‘create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’; and Confucius chose what is good and held fast to it - he travelled around the world with the hope of fulfilling his talents to realize his political ambition. This spirit of ‘striving for the impossible’ and the concept of ‘assuming the responsibility of the world’ coincide with the IB teaching philosophy. As for Confucius’s emphases on rites and customs as well as social order, with an ultimate vision for cosmopolitanism, track with IB’s advocacy for world peace.

IB Learner Profile Confucius teaching philosophy educational thoughts


2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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