Glossary of IB Terms

Here are some Common IB Terms that are used on this website and in IB newsletters and updates.


International Baccalaureate

A non-profit educational foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. IB offers the Diploma Program (DP) for students aged 16 to 19, the Middle Years Program (MYP) for students in the 11-16 age range, and the Primary Years Program (PYP) for students aged 3 to 12 years.


An approach to student learning that involves students in questioning, exploration, research, and critical thinking to take ownership of their learning.

Program of Inquiry (POI)

The program of inquiry serves as a framework for the curriculum and illustrates the major concepts that students will be exploring. It is made up of six units per grade level that help students gain an understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Transdisciplinary Themes

International Baccalaureate has six broad themes. Standards based instruction is embedded into these six themes as they are used as the basis for curriculum development.

  • Sharing the planet
  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works, and
  • How we organize ourselves

Central Idea

The central idea expresses the enduring understanding that all children explore. It is substantial enough to generate in-depth inquiries and promote high level thinking.


Lines of Inquiry

Three to four statements that expand on the central idea to focus student inquiries to allow for a deeper understanding of the central idea.

Concepts (Key and Related)

An organizational framework for the lines of inquiry to support inquiries that are timeless, universal, and transferrable.

 Approaches to Learning

Those capabilities that students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world.  The skills are:

  • Research
  • Self-Management
  • Communication
  • Thinking
  • Social


Students are encouraged to take action as a result of their learning to make a difference in and to the world.