IB Attitude: Integrity

May 25th, 2017

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) balances the acquisition of knowledge and skills, the development of conceptual understanding, the formation of attitudes and the capacity to take responsible action.

The IB Attributes include caring, balanced, risk-taker, open-minded, communicator, inquirer, knowledgeable, principled, reflective and thinker.  These IB-PYP Attitudes include appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect, and tolerance.

In the IB, integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong principles.” Integrity is knowing the difference between right and wrong and choosing to do the right thing, even when it is difficult.

It can be difficult for students (and adults) to understand why we should do the right thing, because it is the right thing to do.  At Annunciation, we strive to be principled.  We value academic integrity (honesty) and social integrity (principled behavior).  We encourage students (and adults) to be upstanders and to act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. We take responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

Here is some research compiled by the Educational Testing Services

  • In past decades, it was the struggling student who was more likely to cheat. Today, more above-average students are cheating as pressure mounts to be accepted to competitive colleges.
  • Students who cheat feel justified in their behavior and unfairly disadvantaged if they approach their studies with integrity.
  • Many students feel that their academic dishonesty will not have any effect on their future
  • Middle school students feel increased pressure to be dishonest because there is more emphasis on grades.
  • Nationally, 2/3 of middle schoolers reported cheating on tests and 9/10 report copying someone else’s homework.
  • Cheating peaks in high school when 75 percent of students admit to some sort of academic misconduct.

As parents, how can we help our children to see and practice integrity?

  1. Intentionally infuse integrity into your family’s culture.
    • Develop and consistently use a vocabulary that includes these concepts
    • Responsibility
    • Respect
    • Fairness
    • Trustworthiness
    • Honesty
  2. Respond appropriately when cheating or dishonesty occurs.
  3. To help internalize learning, ensure that your child reflects on and gleans meaning from their behavior. Listen and show respect for their thinking, and then restate your expectations that dishonesty is never acceptable.
  4. Use quotes, literature and movies to ignite meaningful conversations.
  5. Help students believe in themselves. Students who stand up for principles in which they believe have high degrees of self-efficacy.  To foster this, adults can model:
    • Abiding to a clear set of values and acting in ways that support those values
    • A commitment to sharing time and talents
    • Being open-minded and caring
    • Ability to overcome obstacles and show that success is possible

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have.” 

― Abraham Lincoln

Sources: Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Edutopia, Educational Testing Services

Anne LaLonde Laux
International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator
Enrichment Teacher & Coordinator