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Introduction to Concept-Based Teaching in the DP Sciences

The latest Science Guides (Biology, Chemistry and Physics, First Assessment 2025) have more clearly and explicitly outlined concept-based teaching to the IB Diploma Sciences. Each guide specifies the concepts that should be taught and applied.
Identifying concepts and making them more explicit throughout the curriculum meets the IB goal of making learning more holistic in nature. By expanding the requirements within each subject from knowledge and skills, to knowledge, skills and application, the artificial topic barriers that can appear in syllabi and textbooks can be broken down to more real-world use of the content.
Concept-based learning has been identified as developing the following benefits:
  • Deeper thinking skills
  • Networked knowledge
  • Intercultural understanding
  • Motivation
  • Language fluency
Concept-based teaching is therefore not an additional add-on to the syllabus but a structural part of the course that should be constantly utilised.
This guide aims to explore these concepts in more depth and provides practical examples of how each concept can be applied within teaching and learning.