IB Group 3 subjects
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The Group 3 (or Individuals and societies) subjects of the IB Diploma Programme consist of nine courses offered at both the Standard level (SL) and Higher level (HL): Business and management, Economics, Geography, History, Information technology in a global society (ITGS), Philosophy, Psychology, Social and cultural anthropology, and World religions (SL only). There is also a transdisciplinary course, Environmental systems and societies (SL only), that satisfies Diploma requirements for Groups 3 and 4, and a pilot course for Global politics that is currently offered at schools participating in the pilot program.
History SL & HL
The IB Diploma Programme History course generally focuses on the political history of the 20th century, but has since expanded to give the option of studying medieval and early modern history. At Standard Level, this is the only historical topic taught. The course is divided into options[which?], so the students may pick which they prefer; but in practice the topics to be studied are decided by the teacher.
Paper One of the examination focuses on the use of sources as historical evidence. Students will choose to answer questions in this paper relating to one of the following three 'Prescribed Subjects':
- Peacemaking, peacekeeping—international relations 1918–36
- The Arab-Israeli conflict 1945-79
- Communism in Crisis - China post-1976 and Eastern Europe/The Soviet Union until 1989
Paper Two of the examination is essay based. Students are presented with six topic areas, and in each of these they are presented with five possible essay questions. Students only have to answer two questions in total, but they cannot be from within the same topic area. The six topic areas are as follows:
- Causes, practices and effects of wars
- Democratic states—challenges and responses
- Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states
- Nationalist and independence movements in Africa and Asia and post-1945 Central and Eastern European states
- The Cold War
Paper three of the examination is only taken by students taking Higher level History. This paper is based on the history of a specific region (Regional Option) over a hundred years, the exam is also essay based with students selecting questions from a list on their region of choice. The region chosen is usually the one in which the school is located. The available regions are the following:
Economics SL & HL
The syllabus of the Economics course is divided into five sections – introductory economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics, and development economics – all of which receive approximately equal weight. All sections must be studied by all candidates, and questions of all will be posed in examinations. The Diploma programme Economics course is noted for focusing more on development than any other economics course at a pre-university level, and this is all part of the IB programmes' international perspective.
The final exams consist of three papers for HL and two for SL. Paper 1 has consisted of multiple choice questions but has now been changed to answering one question from microeconomics and one question from macroeconomics, Paper 2 involves answering two data response questions, one from international economics and the other from development economics and Paper 3 involves calculations (only HL is required to do this paper). Internal assessment includes three commentaries of current news items involving the use of economic concepts and terminology. The time allowed for each exam is a strict limit of 90 minutes each for Paper 1 and Paper 2 (both SL and HL) and 1 hour for Paper 3 (HL only).
Psychology SL & HL
The focus of this course is the systematic study of behavior and mental process. The program studies three main perspectives as influences on human behavior: the biological, the cognitive and the sociocultural. It includes the examination of optional topics that include health psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, sports psychology and psychology of human relationships. Finally all students have to carry out their own experimental study as an internal assessment. Students at higher level study two options whereas standard level students study only one.
Each of the perspectives should be explored using the following four compulsory topics:
- development and cultural contexts
The aims of the psychology course at HL and at SL are to:
- interpret and/or conduct psychological research to apply the resulting knowledge for the benefit of human beings
- ensure that ethical practices and responsibilities are implemented in psychological inquiry
- develop an understanding of the biological, social and cultural influences on human behaviour
- develop an understanding of different theoretical processes that are used to interpret behaviour, and to be aware of how these processes lead to the construction and evaluation of psychological theories
- develop an awareness of how applications of psychology in everyday life are derived from psychological theories
- develop an appreciation of the eclectic nature of psychology
- understand and/or use diverse methods of psychological inquiry.
First, students must choose an experiment to replicate. When conducting the experiment, the IB demands that certain ethical guidelines be followed. After the experiment has been completed, a written report must be produced detailing the experiment. The students are required to The external assessment, which is administered in May or November; the second year of the course is specially focused to the development of this assessment where the students are introduced to a variety of studies and the student is expected to draw connections between them. The test is divided into two parts, which are referred to as "papers". Using the internal and external assessment, IB calculates a grade value of one through seven.
Philosophy SL & HL
|This section requires expansion. (February 2012)|
Philosophy is offered both as a standard and higher level Group 3 subject. It consists of both internal assignment (philosophical approach to an essay on current topic) and 2 (3 on higher level) externally assessed exam papers on core and optional topics.
Information technology in a global society (ITGS) SL & HL
The IB offers both a SL and a HL Information Technology in a Global Society (ITGS) course. One stated aim of this course is to “develop an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of new technologies as methods of expanding our knowledge of the world at the local and global level”. ITGS is not a classical computer course where students learn to use different application software or programming; rather, it is a course that attempts to integrate social and ethical issues related to an IT system with different areas of impact.
Requirements for SL (for first exams in 2007):
- External assessment: 2 exam papers (3 hours), counts 70% of the final mark
- Internal assessment: one project composed of a product, report and log book
Requirements for HL (for first exams in 2007):
- External assessment: 3 exam papers (4 hours), counts 80% of the final mark
- Internal assessment: 3 portfolio essays (800–1000 words) and one extension to a portfolio (800–1000 words)
Practical computer work is conducted while researching for the project at Standard Level. As of exams starting in 2012 both HL and Sl students will take the Project. At the Higher Level students create a portfolio of analysed articles one of which is extended to include first hand research of the topic.
Geography SL & HL
IB Geography involves the investigation of human relationships with the environment. The common core unit comprises: population, resources and development.
Topics include: population distribution, fertility, mortality, the geography of disease, population structure and change, migration, the relationship between population and resources, population policies, resource production and consumption, the geography of food, food production and consumption, food trade, food aid, measuring development, issues in 'developed' and 'developing' countries, sustainable development.
Both Standard level and Higher level students follow the core unit plus a number of options. Standard level students choose any two from the following units.
Higher level students must choose four options with at least one from section A and one from section B.
- Arid Environments and their Management
- Drainage Basins and their Management
- Coasts and their Management
- Lithospheric Processes and Hazards
- Climatic Hazards
- Geographical Regions
- Industrial Change
- Topographic Mapping
Internal assessment is in the form of a 1500 word research assignment or fieldwork project for standard level students or a 2500 word fieldwork project for higher level students.
External assessment is made up of two exam papers. Paper 1 covers topics from the core unit and is 1 hour 30 minutes long. Paper two examines the option units. Standard level students sit a paper 1 hour 30 minutes in length in which they should answer two questions. Higher level students must answer four questions in 2 hours 30 minutes.
In some cases, Standard level subjects can be studied in one year, as opposed to the two years for Higher level subjects. This gives students more study time in their final year of school, as well as the option to spend more hours on their higher level subjects. All anticipated subjects are studied at standard level.
- "Diploma Programme curriculum: Group 3, Individuals and Societies". ibo.org. Retrieved 30 Nov 2013.
- "Diploma Programme curriculum". ibo.org. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- IB History
- "Diploma Psychology Curriculum". ibo.org. Retrieved 13 mar 2013.
- IB Psychology Internal Assessment, August 2002
- "Diploma Psychology Outline". ibo.org. Retrieved 13 mar 2013.
- Pamoja Education Courses
- International Baccalaureate Organisation
- Diploma Programme, World Religions draft subject guide, first examinations 2011. International Baccalaureate Organization. (2009).
- IBHistory.net - Site dedicated to IB History
- IB Psych Revision Blog 2011 Syllabus
- www.geographyjim.org – MYP and IB Diploma Geography
- www.geographyalltheway.com – Online Geography Resources
- ibstudy.editthis.info The IB Study wiki
- IB Geography Website www.geography.uden.pl
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