Art in an international curriculum such as IB or A Level focuses not only on the finished product but on the thinking that went into the construction of that product. As an example, if a student wants to do a painting of a traditional subject such as a still life, he or she would spend a few weeks researching and exploring ideas before developing possible solutions. The student would set up a still life and photograph it and draw it from several different directions. He/she would then experiment with a range of media, for example, acrylic paint, watercolour, crayon etc to find which media works best for them and communicates the feeling that they want. They would then research the work of artists that have painted the still life and evaluate their techniques and composition. They are looking at the work of an artist not from an historical perspective but purely from the point of how an appreciation of that artist’s work can help them in the development of their own work. Once the student has decided on the composition, the style, the media and approach they begin their work. In both IB and A Level the final work might be worth about 50% of the mark and the rest of the mark comes from the research and development work.
There are two major aspects that separate IB from A Level. IB requires the students to look at artists from different times and places and to make comparisons of their work as all subjects in IB need to have an international perspective. For IB, whilst the work is being developed, the student would record that development though sketches and photographs and reflect of the progress they are making. IB students will have a final exhibition and interview where they will explain their work, why they did it, how they did it and what they think of it. During this interview they must show that they have a good grasp of art language and analytical skills.
This grasp of art language, for A Level is displayed through the development of a 3500 word essay. The students will choose a topic of their own interest, for example, “The Influence of Andy Warhol on Chinese Art”. The student will research this topic, write it up and experiment with some of the media and styles explored in the essay. The essay must show a good command of art language as well as analytical skills and a personal opinion.
When it comes to subject matter and techniques, both IB and A Level are fairly open and encourage students to try things such as; painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, fashion design, graphic design and any combinations of these. A Level assessment is devided into four units, two in each year. These are like four separate blocks of work that could but need not relate to one another. Whereas for IB the work is incremental in development with one topic or task building on another to develop a two year cohesive body of work that is viewed and assessed as a whole and not as individual works.
国际课程中心的IB和A Level 美术教学不仅仅局限于作品本身，还包括创作过程中的思想和思维。例如，如果一个学生想画一个传统物体比如说静物，他或她要在拿出可行方案前花费数周去研究、构思。该学生可能会把静物摆放妥当后拍照，然后从各个角度描绘。他或她继而可能尝试各种介质，比如丙烯酸漆、水彩、蜡笔等，以找出哪些介质最适合他们，能传达他们想要的感觉。最后，他们会搜索画过这样静物的艺术家的作品，评析他们的手法和构图。他们对一副名作的赏析并不是从历史的视角，而是纯粹从如何通过对该幅作品的分析来帮助提升自己的作品出发。一旦学生定下了构图、风格、介质和方法，他们才开始创作。在IB 和A Level里，最终作品的分数可能只占总成绩的50%，其余的分数要看前期的研究和优化过程。
IB 在两个方面与A Level有显著不同。IB要求学生在不同的时代背景和不同的地域环境下对比分析艺术家们的作品，因为IB的所有学科都需要培养学生的国际视野. 对于IB来说, 在优化作品的过程中,学生需要通过素描和摄影来记录这个过程，还要反思他们所取得的进步。IB学生必须进行一次最终作品展示，考官会当场面试他们：为什么要这样做，这是怎么做出来的，你们从中思考了些什么。在面试中，他们必须表现出良好的艺术领悟和分析技巧。
在A Level 美术中，对艺术语言的领悟是通过完成一个3500字的论文来呈现的。学生可根据自己的兴趣来选择题目，例如，《安迪·沃霍尔对中国艺术的影响》。学生需要充分研究这个题目，认真写作，亲自尝试论文中提到的介质和风格。这篇论文必须要呈现对艺术语言的驾驭能力，还有分析技巧和一定的个人观点。
当涉及到题材和技巧， IB和A Level都是相当开放的，鼓励学生尝试诸如绘画、素描、雕塑、摄影、版画、服装设计、平面设计以及它们的任何组合。A Level 的考核分为四个部分，每年两次。就像一项工作的四个部分，可以但并不必须相互关联。对IB来说，这项工作就需要是在一个题目的基础上进行另一个题目的优化，最后形成一个完整而连续的作品，而不是若干独立的作品。
Geoffrey Harley,人大附中国际课程中心A level和IB美术老师，IB拓展论文的导师之一。澳大利亚人。获得格里菲斯大学艺术专业硕士学位。Harley老师对学生要求十分严格，教学风格却幽默活泼，他组织的摄影俱乐部、绘画摄影大赛深受ICC学生的喜爱，在ICC掀起了学习绘画、摄影的高潮。