The International Baccalaureate (IB) programme utilises an inquiry-based multi-disciplinary approach and focuses on the teaching of critical-thinking skills. The IB programme is growing at a rapid rate within the United States, with the overall number of IB schools having more than doubled in the last five years. The purpose of the present study was two-fold:
- to specifically focus on classroom instruction and students’ behaviour within Texas IB schools, and
- to highlight the importance of systematic classroom observation as an evaluative method; in particular, the simultaneous use of three observation instruments to illustrate the importance of examining instruction from multiple perspectives.
Overall, the general instructional practices and student behaviours/activities observed were favourable and were higher than those found in similar classrooms in Texas schools. The amount of time that students were observed as being on-task was dramatically higher than the amount of student on-task time measured in other observational studies.
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