Wilton Manors Elementary

IB World School



IB Transdisciplinary Themes

Six transdisciplinary themes of global significance provide the framework for exploration and study:

Who We Are - An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Where We Are in Place and Time - An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations, and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

How We Express Ourselves - An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend, and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

How the World Works - An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

How We Organize Ourselves - An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Sharing the Planet - An inquiry into the rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Teachers are guided by these six transdisciplinary themes as they design units of inquiry that both transcend and articulate conventional subject boundaries.

IB Transdisciplinary Skills


As students construct meaning and understanding, they must also acquire and apply a variety of skills.  Subject area skills such as literacy and numeracy are essential for inquiry, however, students will also need to master a range of skills beyond what we normally refer to as basic skills.  These skills are relevant to subject areas, but also transcend them in order to support all of a learner’s lives within and beyond the classroom.

Within their learning throughout the programme, students acquire and apply a set of transdisciplinary skills.  These skills are associated with many educational 21st Century Skills lists. 

The following 5 sets of skills are identified by IB as valuable:

Thinking skills:  acquisition of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, dialectical thought, metacognition

Social skills:  accepting responsibility, respecting others, cooperating, resolving conflict, group decision-making, adopting a variety of group roles

Communication skills:  listening, speaking, reading, writing viewing, presenting, non-verbal communication

Self-management skills:  gross motor skills, fine motor skills, spatial awareness, organization, time management, safety, healthy lifestyle, codes of behavior, informed choices

Research skills:  formulating questions, observing, planning, collecting data, recording data, organizing data, interpreting data, presenting research findings.