International-mindedness is a multifaceted concept that captures a way of thinking, being and acting characterized by an openness to the world and a recognition of our deep interconnectedness to others. It is at the centre of both the culture and curriculum in IB World Schools—it is the hub that connects the different elements of an IB education.

International-mindedness recognizes similarities and affirms differences between communities, peoples and nations. Knowledge and understanding of similarity allows for the construction of common foundations; recognition and affirmation of difference encourages a celebration and valuing of diversity.

Fostering international-mindedness relies on teaching and learning that values the world as the broadest context for learning, and that is underpinned by a focus on global engagement. Global engagement represents a commitment to address humanity’s greatest challenges in the classroom and beyond. IB students and teachers are therefore encouraged to explore local and global issues, including developmentally appropriate aspects of issues relating to the environment, development, conflict, rights and cooperation.

International-mindedness involves open-minded inquiry into diverse perspectives, critical appreciation of multiple points of view and a desire for positive action. It “implies the capacity to learn, the motivation to act and the courage to disagree” (Walker 2011).

This section offers additional guidance and support relating to this central concept of international-mindedness.

  • Part 1 focuses on exploring the relationship and connections between international-mindedness and the IB learner profile
  • Part 2 introduces a “portraiture” approach as a possible way to foster deeper and more nuanced conversations about international-mindedness within your school.
  • Part 3 focuses on how international-mindedness manifests in practice, and on sharing examples from IB World Schools across the globe.