Educating for Care: A Case Study on Care in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Global Politics Course

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With a climate crisis at hand, intense political polarization, and cases of genocide occurring, critical consideration of how best to care for others and the environment could play an important role in curriculum design and implementation. Employing Noddings’ (2013) notion of an ethic of care, this case study investigates the role care could play in the formal and enacted curriculum in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP). In order to effectively bind the investigation, the two-year IB Global Politics course was chosen to investigate these phenomena. The IB’s mission is to develop caring young people (IB, 2019). However, given the standardized assessments employed by the IB, there is a tension between enacting care and the organization’s focus on rigorous assessment (van Oord, 2013). Considering the formative role education plays in the lives of students and the many environmental and humanitarian injustices that need to be addressed, a reparative approach to curriculum development is not a question of preference but rather raises real moral dilemmas in how to best teach students to care for others. In order to address this moral dilemma, a normative case study approach (Levinson, 2015) has been adopted to consider these issues in the context of the Global Politics course. This research explores first how care is conceptualized and enacted by Global Politics teachers and then suggests various ways in which Global Politics educators and curriculum developers can design the course with care at the forefront of curricular considerations. To accomplish this, a survey was completed by 129 IB Global Politics teachers. From the teachers who completed the survey, a diverse set of 10 teachers were interviewed. Drawing on insights from research data and several care ethicists, several possibilities exist for how educators could place care at the forefront of curricular considerations. These possibilities include modification to current IB assessments, prioritizing the use of story, working with universities to reconsider the current meritocratic model for entrance to their institutions, and, based on the work of Tronto (2013), a care-based analytical framework that teachers and students could employ as they inquire into political issues.
Ethic of Care, Normative Case Study, International Baccalaureate, Global Politics, Compassion Education, Written Curriculum
Hull, B. (2023). Educating for care: a case study on care in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Global Politics course (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from