Have you heard of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program? This educational program is often shortened to the IB. The International Baccalaureate is studied by students around the world and is a valuable learning resource for young people.
There are many advantages associated with the International Baccalaureate, and some disadvantages to weigh up, too. Find out more about the International Baccalaureate and whether it is a good fit for your students.
What Is An International Baccalaureate Diploma Program?
In the International Baccalaureate program, students split their work into six different courses, with three of these courses taken at the standard level and three courses taken at the higher level. Students pick a subject from each of the course groups numbered one to five, and then they choose a sixth course from group six, or from any of the groups one to five. The learning in the International Baccalaureate is arranged to be able to give students a deep knowledge and breadth of education, focusing across the different groups of study.
Group one is literature, or a language study in the mother tongue. Group two is a foreign language. Group three is a subject from the study of society and individuals, for example business management, psychology, history, or the environment. Group four is science. Group five is math or computing. Group six is the arts, including music and theatre.
The assessment and the core of the International Baccalaureate is made up of an extended essay which is chosen and researched by the student, and which numbers 4,000 words. Theory of Knowledge is a way of assessing that the student is able to pay critical attention to different forms of knowledge such as emotion, language, reason, and perception, as well as different types of knowledge like artistic, and historical. The extra-curricular activity Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) allows students to complete real tasks outside of the classroom. This helps students shape their personalities, and develop new skills within their community.
Advantages of the International Baccalaureate:
The International Baccalaureate has long been considered a sound and effective preparation for further study in the US and for working life. Students report being able to deal more effectively with study at university after following the program, as it equips them more soundly for further study than other high school programs. The International Baccalaureate often turns out students who are better rounded, more confident, and more experienced.
Studies show that students completing the International Baccalaureate attain significantly more first class degrees and upper second class degrees in the UK. International Baccalaureate students are more likely to be enrolled in the top universities. And they were more likely to be employed with graduate employers at a better rate of pay than students completing other educational programs.
As the name suggests, the International Baccalaureate is designed to be taken by students across the world. This makes it particularly suitable for students who may move countries during their studies, as the IB is recognized by many educational institutions globally. Students get a better, broader view of the world through the program as they are taught about working and living in a global economy.
Completing the International Baccalaureate gives students a number of transferable skills which are looked on favorably by employers. These are skills like time management, problem solving, communication, and independent working.
The International Baccalaureate is a rigorous program that gives students many skills in learning to deal with a full workload, which will automatically serve them well when they go to college.
Children are given the opportunity to develop skills over a broad range of subjects that are otherwise dropped when continuing with another educational program. They continue to get exposure to all parts of the academic stream, and can develop skills in foreign languages while focusing on other areas. The inclusion of the extra input of the creativity, activity, service (CAS) component also ensures that students benefit from a holistic education.
Disadvantages of the International Baccalaureate:
The International Baccalaureate program is not cheap to run, which means that few schools and institutions run it. It is most often included as an option at paid private schools, which may put it outside the reach of many families.
The fact that there is less choice in schools where the IB program is offered also means that parents may not find a school close to them that allows their students to study the International Baccalaureate. Many of the International Baccalaureate schools are not centrally located or are only located within major cities.