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World Studies Overview
World Studies: Subject Specific Guidance
An EE in world studies gives students the opportunity to undertake an interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance.
“Interdisciplinary” in this context refers to research that draws on the methods, concepts and theories of two Diploma Programme subjects. It is strongly recommended that students are undertaking a course of study in at least one of the subjects chosen for their essay.
“Contemporary” in this context refers to events that took place during the student’s lifetime.
Students are required to
identify an issue of global importance
identify a local manifestation of the issue of global importance
develop a clear rationale for taking an interdisciplinary approach and use the conceptual framework and vocabulary of two Diploma Programme subjects.
This provides an opportunity for students to conduct independent interdisciplinary research (not necessarily primary research) that draws on Diploma Programme subjects and integrates them to produce a coherent and insightful analysis of the global issue they choose to investigate.
It should be noted that law and education are not Diploma Programme subjects.
World studies EEs are registered in one of six areas of study: these are not the same as the Diploma Programme subjects. They are:
Conflict, peace and security
Culture, language and identity
Environmental and/or economic sustainability
Equality and inequality
Health and development
Science, technology and society.
The interdisciplinary essay is designed to provide students with the opportunity to:
engage in, and pursue, a systematic process of research appropriate to the topic—a process that is informed by knowledge, concepts, theories, perspectives and methods from two chosen subjects
develop research and communication skills—including the ability to communicate with readers who have a background in more than one subject or discipline
develop the skills of creative and critical thinking—particularly those skills involved in integrating concepts, theories, perspectives, findings or examples from different subjects to develop new insights or understandings
experience the excitement of intellectual discovery—including insights into how different subjects complement or challenge one another when used to address the same topic or issue.
Furthermore, in line with the IB’s mission, the world studies EE seeks to advance students’ emerging global consciousness. This comprises:
a sensitivity to local phenomena as manifestations of broader developments on the planet
the capacity to think in flexible and informed ways in understanding issues of global significance
a developing perception of the student’s own identity (self) as a global actor and member of humanity, capable of making a positive contribution to the world
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