What is the IB Learner Profile?
David Secomb, PYP Coordinator

The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers four frameworks of international education - the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP) the Career-related Programme (CP) and the Diploma Programme (DP). These form a powerful continuum of learning that aims to develop in students the capacity to help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect¹. We at the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) are proud to offer our students the entire IB continuum.

The common lens through which this is achieved across the four programmes is the IB Learner Profile. It is the continual refinement and demonstration of the ten IB Learner Profile attributes that encourages students to become internationally minded and to personify the IB mission statement. The Learner Profile forms what the IB describes as a ‘personal set of values and code of ethics’¹. These qualities are regularly recognised in the students of ISZL.

The Learner Profile doesn’t stop at the students. It is also exemplified by the faculty and staff at ISZL. It is evident in ways that they collaborate, model and share their own learning and teaching practice. It is the Learner Profile that informs everything that the teachers plan for and they are constantly asking themselves how the attributes are manifested in their classrooms and disciplines. What does the Learner Profile look like in Music? In Science? In Physical Education?

It is at this point that cauliflowers become relevant. The interesting thing about cauliflowers is that each floret looks exactly like the entire flower. This concept, referred to as a fractal, can be applied to a broad range of themes. The key understanding with fractals is that they exhibit a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. The same applies to our work with the Learner Profile. The students are working on exhibiting the attributes of the Learner Profile in their classrooms. The teachers are working on displaying the attributes in their respective schools. School Leaders are working on the same attributes in their roles, as are the office and support staff. The final part of the school community is the parent body. Our challenge at ISZL, in order to continue the pattern, is to recognise and display the Learner Profile amongst the wider community. We ask you to talk about it with your children and friends, think about what it means to you as an individual, and, most importantly, model and recognise these attributes amongst your families. The message is the same at all levels, it is just the scale that changes.

With the continued support and collaboration between all members of the ISZL community we will see your children further grow to be ‘active, compassionate and life-long learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right’².


To learn more about ISZL's curriculum, please visit the Learning at ISZL page.

First page of the PDF file: IB-learner-profile-en
  1. IBO (2008) Towards a continuum of international education. Cardiff, United Kingdom
  2. IBO, (2009) Making the PYP Happen. Cardiff, United Kingdom
  • Curriculum
  • International Baccalaureate
  • Learner Profile

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