It’s back to school time again, but is your child’s school the best fit for them? If you have a gifted child looking to maximize their education on an international level, you may want to look at an International Baccalaureate ® school. Since it was founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate ® mission has been built on a cornerstone of creating a better world through education. The IB does this by “developing inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
Students from ages 3 to 19 can take part in the four programmes offered for teaching students to think critically and independently as well as how to inquire with care and logic. “The IB prepares students to succeed in a world where facts and fiction merge in the news, and where asking the right questions is a crucial skill that will allow them to flourish long after they’ve left our programmes.” IB curriculum can be found in over 5,000 schools in over 150 countries around the world. This education program crosses numerous languages, cultures and education systems to demonstrate exemplary education on an international level.
The original International Baccalaureate ® Programme created in 1968 focusses on high school aged students. This DP programme aims to teach students critical thinking needed for college and university work. “Research suggests many benefits to choosing the DP. The programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.” One unique aspect of a DP candidate is the required 150 hours of work the student participates in outside of the classroom in creativity, action and service projects. This ensures a well-rounded student that has demonstrated their ability to play sports, express creative arts and make our world a better place through community service. Students are assessed by written exams, oral presentations and projects that are assessed by teachers in schools around the globe.
Students who complete the DP program are not only prepared for college, but are rewarded by colleges and universities for the mastery of the program. Similar to the Advanced Placement program, many colleges and universities give college credit for IB classes taken and may even grant sophomore standing to full diploma candidates. In many cases, students report the IB curriculum is as hard as or even more strenuous as college courses.
Because of the success of the Diploma Programme, IB also branched out to create Primary and Middle Years Programmes. The Primary Years Programme helps students become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. During these early years, it helps to focus on the development of the whole child. The Middle Years Programme creates a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world. Inclusive by design, Middle Years Programme students of all interests and academic abilities can benefit from their participation.
The newest IB Programme, the Career-related Programme helps prepare students for their career path. “21st century life places complex demands on graduates looking for work – so enabling students to become self-confident, skilled and career-ready learners must be an integral part of their education.”
If you feel your child demonstrates exemplary skills in school and you want them to have a truly world-wide education, the International Baccalaureate ® Programme may be the best option for them. Many public, private and parochial schools across the country offer the program. Find a school that offers the IB program here.