By: Amrita Kundu
Introduction to International Baccalaureate
Want to get a detailed understanding of the International Baccalaureate programme and curriculum? You've come to the right place. In this article, we have collated all the information you need to know about this programme. So read on!
What is the International Baccalaureate?
IB or the International Baccalaureate is an educational qualification offered by the International Education Foundation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The organisation was founded in 1968 by the name of International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). The name was changed subsequently in 2007 to International Baccalaureate (IB). Hence currently, IB relates to the organisation, the programmes offered by it and the diploma or certificate awarded by it.
What are the programmes offered by IB?
Currently, IB offers 4 educational programmes:
IB Primary Years Programme - for students aged 3 to 12 years.
IB Middle Years Programme - for students aged 11 to 16 years.
IB Diploma Programme - for students aged 16 to 19 years
IB Career-related Programme - for students aged 16 to 19 years
The purpose of the programmes is to develop knowledgeable and caring individuals highly motivated to succeed. The programmes incorporate an intercultural friendship which harnesses mutual respect and tolerance.
Who can offer these programmes?
Any school can offer the above-mentioned programmes, however, they have to be certified by the organisation. The programmes can adapt to the national curricula. Each IB authorised school is an IB World School and a part of a global ecosystem of schools.
Why is it different?
Several factors make IB a great curriculum to follow. The curriculum motivates students to think and analyse situations independent of external influence. It teaches them to focus on quality. Students get the local as well as a global context of world events. The programmes focus on personal achievement challenging the knowledge of students and motivating them to do better.
The IB programmes have been developed after thorough research across the IB global community. This brings in a global viewpoint to the syllabi helping students to study in any country across the world.
Students are taught various learning techniques throughout the programmes. Students are encouraged to take up challenging learning responsibilities and experiment with different approaches. By posing challenging questions, the programme trains students to think critically and develop critical research skills which turn out beneficial in the long run.
The programmes also focus on community building helping students to become global citizens.
IB Primary Years Programme
Currently, the curriculum is taught in over 109 countries, this programme is specially designed for children aged between 3 years to 12 years. It sets the learning pathway for a student and helps the student pursue a lifelong journey in learning. The programme is defined as ‘inquiry-led transdisciplinary framework' where students are trained to think for themselves and learn by exploring. It incorporates real-life contexts to keep the qualification relevant. The curriculum trains students in 5 distinct elements - knowledge, skills, concepts, attitudes and actions which lays the basis for a future international education. Students learn to collaborate with fellow students and teachers to make the learning experience fulfilling. The curriculum has been designed keeping the entire community along with the parents at the forefront.
IB Middle Years Programme
Suitable for children aged 11-16 years, this challenging curriculum enables a student to connect theory with reality. It is a 5-year long programme which prepares students to move onto the IB Diploma or IB Career-related programme in future.
The curriculum comprises of 8 subject groups which are tailor-made for the age-group. Each subject entails a minimum teaching time of 50 hours. The last 2 years provides flexibility to students to choose subject groups as per their personal life goals. Students of all kind of aptitude can benefit from this course.
IB Diploma Programme
This programme is tailor-made for students aged 16-19 years and paves the pathway to a university education or employment. Students gain an in-depth understanding of each subject which helps them flourish intellectually, emotionally and ethically.
Students have to study 6 subject groups which are DP Core, Theory of Knowledge, Creativity, Activity, Service and Extended Essay. Students have to undertake independent research and get involved with community service during this tenure.
IB Career-related Programme
This programme is also aged for students aged between 16-19 years. It presents a unique framework through which students get a focussed career-related education. Students get ready for internship or employment after completion of this course.
During this programme, students study 2 courses - 1 core course and 1 career-related course. The core course, in turn, includes 4 components. These academically rigorous courses offer a strong theoretical foundation along with a practical overview. This programme develops skills and competencies ideal for pursuing career goals.
IB is one of the most popular curricula followed worldwide. Through efficient governance, the courses are kept relevant for the maximum benefit of students.