IB Diploma Science 2023 Key Changes
IB Diploma Biology
  • Removal of the Options

    The removal of the Options is a main contributor to the reduction in the content of the course. However, teachers will note that some topics from each of the former Options are now included in the main syllabus. Content has been reduced in many other areas too, hopefully leaving students more time to reflect and integrate needed concepts.
  • Guiding Questions

    Guiding Questions are a new feature of the syllabus, given at the start of each sub-topic. The questions are purposefully open-ended, lending themselves to increasingly detailed consideration as the understanding of the topic deepens. These questions may serve as openers for a topic, teasing out students’ prior knowledge, and perhaps helping to suggest a sequence of what will be covered.“
  • Skill Introduction

    Skills in the study of biology’. This is not intended as a topic to be taught in isolation, but is more of a checklist of skills that students must acquire during the course. It replaces the ‘prescribed practicals’, (aka ‘mandatory labs’) of the 2016 curriculum, and clarifies the techniques, technology and mathematical scope that is expected within the course.
  • Linking Questions

    The goal of Linking Questions is to help create enhanced understanding. The content of Linking Questions is often addressed elsewhere in the text as it sometimes encourages a ‘revisiting’ of material and sometimes a preview of upcoming material.
  • Four Main Themes

    In order to enhance conceptual learning, the syllabus content is now presented in four main themes:
    1. Unity and diversity
    2. Form and function 
    3. Interaction and interdependence
    4. Continuity and change
    In addition, the syllabus structure now includes four levels of organisation: Molecules, Cells, Organisms, and Ecosystems.

 Digital Samples

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Join the authors of the new Pearson Biology for the IB Diploma Programme as they talk you through the most important changes to the DP Biology Subject Guide for first assessment in 2025.   They’ll also show you how Pearson’s new print and digital student books, with separate resources for Standard Level and Higher Level Biology, will help make your new journey into the teaching of the biological sciences enjoyable and rewarding. 

About the presenters  

Alan Damon teaches Biology and Theory of Knowledge in Paris at the Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel. He is committed to integrating technology into the classroom and promoting critical thinking skills. 

Randy McGonegal has been teaching for 40 years, the last 28 as an IB Biology instructor. He has consulted on implementing and improving many IB programs in North America and has led over 90 IB workshops. 

William Ward has taught for 41 years, spending 23 of those teaching IB Diploma Biology. He has led over 60 IB Biology workshops and has consulted with many schools in establishing the IB curriculum or in improving IB instruction at existing IB schools.

Oliver Canning teaches IB Chemistry and is the TOK Coordinator at TASIS England. In addition to nine years working in the IB Diploma programme, he has taught chemistry courses in English, American, and Spanish education systems. He is also a Course Leader for the educational charity Amala, which works with displaced youth. He was a contributing author to the upcoming chemistry curriculum as well as developing the accompanying Teacher Support Materials