Weaving Curriculum Connections in International Baccalaureate (IB) Schools

Allan Walker, Moosung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we discuss how school leaders address challenges when implementing innovative international education curricula, namely International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Specifically, we frame challenges in curriculum implementation of and transition between IB programs from a “disconnection” perspective. We have often noticed when innovative programs are parceled together without preparation and thrust at great speed at schools, they become disconnected. The hasty implementation of multiple IB programs simultaneously at a school also causes disconnection. Drawing on extensive interview data from principals, mid-level leaders, and teachers in five IB schools adopting multiple IB programs in Asia, we detail curriculum disconnection facing IB schools and how school leaders, including teacher leaders, address such challenges by weaving various disconnected points, namely instrumental, intellectual, cultural, professional, and communicative disconnections. Based on findings from the multisite case study, we argue that school leaders in the case of IB schools adopt a range of leadership strategies to weave disconnection points. We reframe the leadership strategies as two aspects of distributed leadership: distributed instructional leadership and teacher leadership. In conclusion, we suggest that a central facet for successful leadership of IB schools that adopt multiple IB programs is about finding, focusing, and facilitating ways to address disconnections in curriculum implementation of and transition between different IB programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-485
Number of pages18
JournalPeabody Journal of Education
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2018


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