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International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum

admin / February 8, 2019

Overview

There are 4 International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, each targeting a different age group. As a whole, the programmes cater to children aged 3–19, and are philosophically aligned and consistent in their approach. This makes the IB programmes a continuum, meaning that students can move seamlessly from one to the other requiring little-to-no readjustment. Schools that offer at least three of the core programmes are referred to as continuum schools.

There are more than 6,00,000 IB students in 2,218 schools over 125 countries. Schools need to get authorization in order to teach IB programmes.

 

The four programmes offered by the IBO are:

  • PYP: The Primary Years Programme is offered to students from Kindergarten (aged 3) to Class 5.

  • MYP: The Middle Years Programme is offered to students from Class 6 to Class 10 and Global Career Counselor

  • DP: The Diploma Programme is at a higher level, which students can take for Classes 11 and 12.

  • CP: The Career-related Programme is meant for students aged 16–19 and leads to further/higher education, apprenticeships, or employment.

 

Philosophy

All IB programmes have the intellectual, personal, emotional, and social skill development of children at their core and equip them to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The programmes encourage both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development. An IB student learns a wide variety of subjects and is encouraged to be extremely creative. The curriculum is known for its holistic approach, as it not only imparts specific knowledge but also develops skills that will help students in learning more.

 

Structure, Marking, & Evaluation

  • In MYP, the subjects are divided into 8 groups. To get an MYP certificate, a student has to take a minimum of 6 subjects from 8 groups.

  • Apart from the subjects, students also have to prepare a personal project and prepare portfolios in two subjects.

  • Each subject has 4 objectives for judging. This helps teachers to check the performance of the student in every aspect of that subject.

  • Every subject’s marks are then converted into grades on the scale of 1 to 7.

  • IB DP is offered as a two years programme equivalent to class 11 and class 12 and consists of two elements viz. Class Requirements and Core. The grading system is 1–7, with 7 being highest.

  • A student can join the IB Diploma Program after completing the grade 10 level qualifications from CBSE, ICSE, or any other State Board .

  • The Diploma program is equivalent to 10+2 level qualification through CBSE.

 

CP: The IBO’s latest programme

 

The Career-related Programme is an international education framework that incorporates the values of the IB into a unique programme addressing the needs of students engaged in career-related education.

The programme leads to further/higher education, apprenticeships or employment. CP was specifically developed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication, and cross-cultural engagement.

 

IB: Pros & Cons

Let us compare the pros and cons of IB in the Indian context.

Advantages:

  • The IB, especially the Diploma Programme, is a challenging programme and fosters outside-the-box thinking.

  • The emphasis is on concepts and individualized research rather than on memorizing facts to get high scores.

  • The Diploma Programme (and now, even the Middle Years Programme) is recognized by the Indian Government, and most universities in the big metros will accept students who have successfully completed the Diploma and have achieved suitable scores.

  • IB is devised to make a student not only learn new things, but also implement them in life.

  • IB is known for its holistic approach and the way it gives students the ability to learn more, and better.

  • Although PYP, MYP, and IBDP form a continuous sequence, each can be offered independently.

  • To enable students to transition from Indian educational boards to the IB, many schools have an initial orientation programme that familiarises them with the requirements of the board.

Disadvantage:

  • In India, most IB schools have exams in May and results in July, which is too late for local colleges. IB schools give out “predicted scores” in March / April, which are not guaranteed for consideration by colleges.

 

Market Edge

Universities and colleges throughout the world benefit from recruiting and admitting students from IB programmes in a range of ways. This is because IB programmes develop the knowledge, skills, and disposition students need to be successful in university careers. The IB curriculum aims to develop the following traits in every student:

  • Time management and a strong sense of self-motivation

  • A keen interest in civic engagement

  • Noteworthy academic ability

  • Strong research and writing skills

  • Critical thinking abilities

  • An international outlook.

In conclusion, IB gives quality assurance by taking several measures to ensure validity and reliability of assessment methods, which cover the range of students’ skills and abilities beyond mere content knowledge.

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