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Tucker High School

Dekalb County Schools

IB Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions


IB Learner ProfileCourse Descriptions

IB Biology HL: Major topics for the first year of this course include statistical analysis, cells, the chemistry of life, nucleic acids and proteins, cellular respiration, photosynthesis, genetics and biotechnology.  Students will construct, analyze, and evaluate hypotheses (including research questions and predictions), scientific methods (including techniques and procedures), and scientific explanations of the biological world. Major topics for year two include plant science, ecology (including options and accompanying objectives) evolution (including options and accompanying objectives), and human health and physiology.  Students will continue to construct, analyze, and evaluate hypotheses (including research questions and predictions), scientific methods (including techniques and procedures), and scientific explanations of the biological world.

IB Chemistry HL: Major topics for this course include:  atomic structure, periodicity, bonding, energetics, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, oxidation and reduction, organic chemistry, measurement techniques, and data processing.  Optional topics include modern analytical chemistry, human biochemistry, chemistry in industry and technology, medicines and drugs, environmental chemistry, and food chemistry.  Students will construct, analyze, and evaluate hypotheses (including research questions and predictions), scientific methods (including techniques and procedures), and scientific explanations of the physical world.  Students are expected to take the IB Chemistry Standard Level examination in May.  Pre-requisites: Honors Chemistry and Math II or higher level math.

IB Literature HL: The two year IB Literature HL course encourages independent, original, critical and clear thinking and promotes respect for a perceptive approach to the understanding and interpretation of literary works. Through the close study of a wide range of literature, this course focuses on the artistry of literature and requires students to reflect critically on their reading. The study of works in translation is especially important in introducing students, through literature, to other cultural perspectives. Students respond to literature through externally graded or moderated oral presentations and oral commentaries, carefully edited analysis papers, and 2 hour essays on both studied and unseen works. Students thus develop and refine their command of language in numerous ways with real world application.

IB French/Spanish SL (Language B): Aims of the course are to develop the student’s ability to communicate accurately and effectively in speech and in writing; to develop the ability to understand and respond to the language demands of transactional and social contacts; to provide the student with a sound linguistic base for further study; and to provide the opportunity for enjoyment, creativity and intellectual stimulation. Class is conducted entirely in French or Spanish. A systematic presentation and review of grammatical structures is built into this course and is applied to the four basic language skills. Students are required to read a variety of texts.  The course focuses on communication and increased proficiency in listening, speaking, reading and writing. A survey of the history, literature and art of France is a part of this course. Multiple opportunities are provided for students to use the language through small group activities and projects.

IB History HL: History of the Americas is the first and regional component for the IB History curriculum. It is primarily a comparative studies course, which provides in-depth analysis of the entire Western Hemisphere. Students must be able to interpret and critically evaluate primary source material, and present clear, well-substantiated arguments. Students complete the external assessment associated with IB History, which requires that students analytically interpret historical events and topics.  This course is designed to provide students with the analytic skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and challenges inherent in understanding the history of the 20th Century. Themes covered include the causes, practices & effects of modern war (World War I, World War II, the Chinese Civil War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict), the rise & fall of single-party states (Italy, Germany, the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba), the Arab-Israeli Conflicts and the Cold War. Students gain the opportunity to engage in the exciting and proven international curriculum while fulfilling Georgia’s high school graduation requirements. Students will sit for three externally-assessed IB History examinations in May of the senior year over content from 11th grade History of the Americas and 12th grade 20th Century Topics.

IB Math Studies SL: Math Studies encourages the growth of math exploration and expertise in students with varied background and abilities. Compulsory topics include Numbers and Algebra, Sets and Logic, Geometry and Trigonometry, Statistics and Probability, Functions, Financial Mathematics, and Introductory Differential Calculus. The internal assessment involves the collection and/or generation of data, and the analysis and evaluation of that data. Projects may take the form of mathematical modeling, investigations, applications, and statistical surveys. This course material is equivalent to a high school pre-calculus course.

IB Psychology SL: One of the Sixth Subject options, IB Psychology focuses on three basic elements of psychology: biological, cognitive, and sociocultural. Students will be expected to be able to explain how cultural, ethical, gender and methodological considerations affect the interpretation of behavior within the context of the three basic areas; students will also demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for experimental design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation. The course will also explore the application of each perspective through an optional area. Internal assessment will be based upon reproduction of a simple experimental study. The external assessment consists of two papers: Paper One includes the three perspectives of psychology and Paper Two is based on the study of one of the optional areas.

IB Visual Arts SL (Fine Arts): One of the Sixth Subject options, IB Visual Arts includes the exploration of art history, aesthetics, art criticism, and art production through personal research. Students study artists, world cultures, styles, media, and techniques of their choice. Students maintain one or more Research Workbooks (RWB) in which they make notes about their research and use critical thinking skills to describe, analyze, interpret and make personal judgments about their own artwork and that of others. From this research, students develop personal projects which involve deciding which goals to achieve, whether they wish to work under the influence of another artist or culture, which media to use, and which techniques, equipment, and supplies are needed. Students produce artwork based on those plans which later will be part of their IB Visual Arts exhibit. An examiner from the International Baccalaureate Organization will come to the exhibit, examine the artwork and the RWBs, and then discuss the experience, the RWBs, and the exhibit with each student.

IB Theory of Knowledge (Core): Theory of Knowledge is a required capstone or summary course for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program, beginning second semester the junior year and finishing the first semester of the senior year. In Theory of Knowledge (or TOK), students learn to compare, synthesize and evaluate the methods of learning acquired in their other IB classes. Students develop critical thinking skills comparing and contrasting Ways of Knowing (Sense Perception, Language, Emotion and Reason) and Areas of Knowledge (Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, The Arts, Ethics, and History). Assessed items include, first, an internally-graded presentation in which students apply Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge to a contemporary issue in a critical fashion.  Second, an externally-graded edited essay about to what extent we know what we think we do, addressing one of six possible prompts provided by IBO. Non-IB students may apply to take this course, space and scheduling constraints permitting.   

Assessment in IB: The other assessment type is the External Assessments or Exams/Papers.  The easiest way to think of the External Assessments is to think of them as the cumulative sit down exams they take at the end of the IB Course.  This is completed yearly at in May and is composed of 2 or 3 different Papers (or exams) and depends on the subject.   

To support and improve student learning at Tucker High School teachers uses diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments. In the International Baccalaureate Programme at THS, assessments are criterion referenced according to specific criteria published by IB. Groups/subjects are provided resources like guides, rubrics, and mark bands that measure and inform student success from previous years to show its strengths and weaknesses. Teachers meet collaboratively as a whole and within content areas to review and update school and classroom policies yearly. In addition to the guidelines provided by IB, teachers differentiate assessments according to the needs of their students so that students with various learning styles are able to be successful within this highly rigorous program.

Purposes of Assessment:

  • To provide consistent and frequent feedback to students about how they are meeting the expectations of state standards
  • To provide consistent and frequent feedback to students about how they are meeting the expectations of IB standards
  • To provide feedback to teachers on student progress
  • To provide feedback to parents through grade progress reporting
  • To provide quality assurance
  • To prepare students for IB Internal Assessment components and the rigors of IB External Assessments and exams

Methods of Assessment:

The Tucker High School IB program implements a variety of assessment strategies to measure student success. Diagnostic methods include tests and assessments which have been developed for each IB course, and assessments developed by individual teachers and content groups (in school or county-wide) are used to measure previously acquired knowledge.

Formative assessments may include: class discussions, field work, essays, projects, investigation workbooks, multimedia presentations, tickets out the door, reflections/journals, etc. Summative presentations similar to those in the IB are: historical investigations, individual oral commentaries, and research papers, among others that are subject specific. A variety of assessment strategies are used to reduce disadvantages, allowing a range of opportunities for students to be successful as displayed in our Special Academic Needs Policy. While these are just a few examples of the types of assessments, they are not limited to just the DP programme. Similar assessments are used in lower grades to prepare students for the IB programme. Teachers collaborate in vertical planning sessions to create assessments appropriate for their student’s achievement level(s). This helps scaffold the students’ skills toward those expected in the programme and within our policies.

How are IB Courses assessed?

The Diploma Program courses each have two types of assessments that are used to determine the final score award in the subject: Internal Assessments and External Assessments.  Internal Assessments (or IA's) are given in the classrooms and are based upon the skills and content of that subject area.  So, for example, in a Language B IB class, one Internal Assessment is an Oral conversation in language.  For a Sciences the IA would be a lab experiment designed and conducted by the student.  For a History class, it would be a history research paper.  Each subject has a unique, and the IA counts toward the final grade award the student will earn for the class from IB.