The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an education program used in private schools around the world. Since 1968, the program has focused on challenging students to achieve academic and personal success. The school’s educators, librarians, and media specialist are all highly trained to effectively teach and facilitate the curriculum according to strict IB standards.
Many wonder if signing their children up for an IB education is the right choice. They want to know what sets an IB diploma apart from a traditional high school graduation. The International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBD) is made up of a number of objectives to better orient learners to set them on a path towards post secondary education and beyond.
The IB Diploma Program sets out the IB diploma requirements and curriculum.
The three core elements the Diploma Program (DP) is based on include:
- the Theory of Knowledge (reflection on the nature and reasoning behind what is known);
- the Extended Essay (an independent, self-directed 4000-word research paper); and
- A project related to creativity, activity, and service and help to both broaden the experience and challenge them to apply accumulated skills and knowledge.
The curriculum is also made up of 6 different subject groups and associated courses:
- Studies in language and literature
- Language acquisition
- Individuals and societies
- The arts
When choosing the right subjects within the DP from the above subject groups, students also have the option to study additional subjects including Psychology, Anthropology, Chemistry, Physics, and more. Because some of these subjects are relatively more difficult, students are allowed to take a maximum of 4 higher level subjects (240 teaching hours), and at least 3 standard level subjects (150 teaching hours), which may differ in scope but is still assessed in the same way (higher level means higher expectations regarding skill, knowledge, and understanding).
Additional Requirements for some IB Schools:
- Required to maintain a 3.0 GPA.
- Required to study a second language over their four years
- Must take a course from each subject area.
When deciding if the program is right for your family, there are a number of IB program pros and cons to consider:
- Smaller classes and schools (more one-on-one time with educators)
- Higher standardized test scores
- Focus on Creativity
- Global Citizens
- University readiness
IB schools can provide some of the best education available, and can set your children on the path to success. This premier education requires schools to meet high benchmarks and output of elite students. In spite of this, the workload can be quite rigorous to ensure they are matching the high standards of an IB diploma. Children and their families that can prepare will be able to thrive in this environment, and be prepared to face challenges of the real world.