History of the International Baccalaureate Program
International Baccalaureate began as a non-profit educational foundation in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968. According to the website for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the foundation was originally created to provide students with a truly international education, through a common set of pre-college curriculum and examinations. The first IB programs were primarily found in private schools overseas, but eventually grew to encompass public schools as well.
As the IB program continues to gain a foothold in high schools across the globe, more colleges and universities are beginning to look at IB as a high-quality means of preparing students for the rigors of higher education.
The IB Curriculum
- Language and Literature
- Language Acquisition
- Individuals and Societies
- Experimental Sciences
- Mathematics and Computer Science
- The Arts
- The Extended Essay – Involves an in-depth study of one of the six subject areas. According to the website for Prince George’s County Public Schools, this essay must be 4,000 words and encompasses independent research that is externally assessed.
- Theory of Knowledge – Because IB delves into how students acquire knowledge, this component explores the concepts of knowledge within the six main areas of study. For example, students might apply science or the arts to a specific event in history that they are studying.
- Creativity, Action, Service – This component involves a minimum of 150 service hours over a period of two years within the local community. Service might involve a variety of activities that give students real-life experience outside the classroom environment.
- Rigorous academic preparation in core subjects for serious students who want to be challenged
- Higher acceptance rates by prestigious colleges and universities across the globe
- College credit and advanced placement into some college classes
- The knowledge to solve large problems with a global point of view
- The accumulation of lifetime learning skills that will take students into all aspects of life
- Inquirers – IB learners cultivate their natural curiosity by developing skills that allow them to conduct research and delve into complex subjects.
- Knowledgeable – IB students explore concepts and issues that have global significance, in order to understand them through a broad range of disciplines.
- Thinkers – IB learners take the reins in exploring complex subjects and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
- Communicators – IB students learn how to take information and ideas and express them clearly and creatively through a variety of communication modes.
- Principled – IB participants act with integrity and honesty, and they possess a strong sense of justice.
- Open-Minded – IB learners understand their own culture and are comfortable exploring other points of view, cultures and traditions of others.
- Caring – IB students show empathy and compassion to others, and they personally commit to acts of service that make the world a better place for other people.
- Risk-Takers – IB learners are not afraid to approach unfamiliar situations or subjects, and they are prepared to confidently support their own opinions and beliefs.
- Balanced – IB participants understand the importance of balancing the physical, emotional and intellectual components of their lives.
- Reflective – IB learners know how to reflect on their own learning and experience, to support future learning and development.