Group 3: Individuals and Societies
• Business Management HL/SL
• Economics HL/SL
• History HL/SL
• Philosophy HL/SL
• Psychology HL/SL
• Environmental Systems and Societies SL*
*The course Environmental Systems and Societies may count either as a Group 3 or as a Group 4 subject.
The aim of the course is to impart on students a holistic understanding of the role of business in the world today, and help them master the necessary tools, concepts & frameworks that will allow them to address complex business issues and make strategic decisions for action. Cultivating personal judgment and creative thinking in students is one of the ultimate goals of the course. It is important that the students learn to go beyond formulas and concepts, and learn to integrate the knowledge acquired from the different topics, in order to form their own judgment and strengthen their unique way of thinking.
The course will be structured around fiveTopics (described below in the Syllabus section), which represent all the different and complementary aspects that make up and enable business activity. Using the textbook as a starting point, the course integrates selected readings from books and current affairs articles from business press. Special focus is given to the discussion and analysis of case studies, as a way to highlight real-life business issues and build solid analysis and decision-making abilities.
The Business Management course is well suited for students wishing to pursue further studies in Business, and in particular in marketing, management, HR, finance, or accounting.
Business Management and prior learning
The course syllabus is developed assuming no prior knowledge of Business Management. As such, there are no prerequisites for this course.
The course is designed to prepare the students to successfully go through a 2 level assessment process:
External Assessment, comprising of 2 written papers (case-based exams) worth 75% in total.
Internal Assessment, comprising of a Written Commentary (SL), or Research Project (HL), worth 25% of the final grade
Business Management Syllabus
The syllabus consists of 5 topics that are covered in the 2-year period for both SL and HL.
Business Organization & Environment
Accounts & Finance
The central problem of Economics, the allocation of scarce resources, is relevant to both the developed and the underdeveloped world. IB students deal with this problem from different perspectives (microeconomics, macroeconomics, international economics). Furthermore, much emphasis is placed on the issue of development in the belief that the study of Economics is part of the solution to this problem.
Among the challenges common to all societies is the search for acceptable levels of economic well-being. Individuals, firms and governments must constantly make choices about the allocation of scarce resources. How are such choices made and on what basis are their consequences to be analysed? The questions of ‘What?’, ‘How’, and ‘For whom?’ are central to the field of economics. The first two questions are closely linked to the problems of sustainable development, the environment and the impact of technology; the third, to the issue of income distribution at all levels.
The aims of the economics programme are to develop in the candidate:
Disciplined skills of economic reasoning.
An ability to apply the tools of economic analysis to past and contemporary situations and data, and to explain the finding clearly.
An understanding of how individuals, organisations, societies and regions organise themselves in the pursuit of economic objectives
An ability to evaluate economic theories, concepts situations and data in a way which rational and unbiased.
International perspectives which feature a respect for and understanding of the interdependence and diversity of economic realities in which individuals, organisations and societies function.
It provides pupils with the precise knowledge of the basic tools of economic reasoning, offering an understanding of contemporary economic problems while encouraging pupils to employ economic analysis in different contexts. It is sometimes necessary to examine in detail certain relatively complicated theories.
1. Standard Level Students
Written Paper 1 (extended response): 40% of the final grade, 50 marks
Written Paper 2 (data response): 40% of the final grade, 40 marks
Portfolio of 3 commentaries: 20% of the final grade
2. High Level Students
Written Paper 1 (extended response): 30% of the final grade, 50 marks
Written Paper 2 (data response): 30% of the final grade, 40 marks
Written Paper 3 (HL extension topics): 20% of the final grade, 50 marks
Portfolio of 3 commentaries: 20% of the final grade
Psychology can be defined as the systematic study of human behaviour and experience. The IB Psychology course is addressed to students of diverse academic interests as it stands between the human and the natural sciences. This heterogeneity makes the course challenging and students are exposed from early on and learn to respect alternative viewpoints. They realize that the investigation of human behaviour is not a straightforward task with definite answers, fostering tolerance of ambiguity and uncertainty.
The primary aim of the course is to enable students to synthesize. This will be accomplished through the in depth investigation of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural nature of behaviour. Several topics will be addressed including the nature of intelligence, criminal behaviour, the formation of stereotypes, and approaches to therapy. The advantages and limitations of scientific methodology will be tackled, giving students the skills to evaluate research. Furthermore, the ethical concerns relating research with humans and humans will be extensively studied.
For those students taking Psychology Higher Level, the options are an opportunity to compare and evaluate different psychological explanations of more specialized areas, such as abnormal, developmental, and sport psychology.
From early on in the course, students will be rigorously trained to meet the IBO assessment criteria and at the same time cultivate skills essential for a lifetime. This will be accomplished gradually through weekly homework and practice tests, exercising their knowledge and building their time-keeping skills. Students will be taught to respond to Short Answer Questions (Section A of Paper 1 and Paper 3) and Long Essay Questions (Section B of Paper 1 and Paper 2).
As far as the internal assessment is concerned, students will be encouraged to approach it as a chance to pursue their personal interests and get graded on it. The criteria will be provided to them, so that they can improve themselves where needed.
History is a subject which obviously develops a student's knowledge of the events of the past, but also their analytical skills and ability to present balanced, reasoned arguments. In many ways the study of history has been compared to the profession of law. Like the historian, the lawyer or judge looks for and gathers pieces of information which are then used in the construction of convincing arguments.
More specifically, and for the purposes of the History IB Programme at Ionios School, students involve themselves in an in-depth study of "Route Two", that is, the following areas:
a) Internationals relations, 1918-38;
b) single-party states and dictatorships, namely, Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's USSR and Mao's China;
c) Causes, practices and effects of the first and second world wars;
d) the interwar period and diplomacy (with attention on the League of Nations); and
e) the Cold War.
20th century world history—prescribed subjects (one to be studied)
1. Peacemaking, peacekeeping—international relations 1918–36
2. The Arab–Israeli conflict 1945–79
3. Communism in crisis 1976–89
SL and HL
20th century world history - topics (two to be studied)
1. Causes, practices and effects of wars
2. Democratic states - challenges and responses
3. Origins and development of authoritarian and single-party states
4. Nationalist and independence movements in Africa and Asia and post-1945 Central and Eastern European states
5. The Cold War
SL and HL
Higher Level options (one to be studied)
1. Aspects of the history of Africa
2. Aspects of the history of the Americas
3. Aspects of the history of Asia and Oceania
4. Aspects of the history of Europe and the Middle East
All students, both standard and higher level, are obliged to write an Internal Assessment on a subject chosen by themselves and approved by the instructor.
The emphasis of the course, both at Standard and High level, is on ‘doing philosophy’, that is on actively engaging students on philosophical activity, in order to enable them to develop an inquiring and intellectually curious way of thinking. The course will provide the students with the necessary tools to formulate arguments in a sound and purposeful way, to make reasoned judgments and to evaluate highly complex and multifaceted issues. In ‘doing philosophy’, the students will examine critically their own experiences and their ideological and cultural perspectives and they will be able to apply their philosophical knowledge and skills to the world around them.
Philosophy at the IB consists of a systematic critical inquiry into profound, fascinating and challenging questions, such as ‘What is it to be human?’, ‘Do we have free will?’, or ‘What do we mean when we say something is right or wrong?’ These abstract questions arise out of our everyday experiences, and philosophical tools such as critical thinking, careful analysis, and construction of arguments provide the means of addressing them. In that context, the students will have the opportunity to engage with some of the world’s most interesting and influential thinkers and to develop their skills through the study of philosophical themes and the close reading of a philosophical text. In all, the primary aim of the course is to challenge the students to develop their own philosophical voice and to grow into independent thinkers.
With regards to the assessments of the Philosophy course, there are four objectives against which students are graded: knowledge and understanding, application and analysis, synthesis and evaluation and use of appropriate philosophical language. The Core Theme for both SL and HL is ‘Being Human’ and this is the compulsory theme of the subject; it includes concepts such as Human Nature, Identity, Mind and Body. Furthermore, there are seven Optional Themes (SL studies one theme and HL two) such as Ethics, Aesthetics and Political Philosophy, and the close study of a prescribed primary philosophical text. For HL students, there is the requirement to explore the nature of philosophical activity, which means that the students will have the opportunity to engage in a deeper exploration of the nature, function, meaning and methodology of philosophy. Finally, SL and HL students will produce a philosophical analysis of a non-philosophical stimulus in the form of an essay, which will be assessed internally.