The International Baccalaureate (IB) program is a strong framework of school curriculum offering an approach to teaching and learning which is a departure from the traditional school curriculums. With an emphasis on unique students’ personal development along with academic achievements, IB taught in over 40,000 schools across the world. The USP of IB is its non allegiance to any particular country, which makes it more acceptable across geographies and particularly ideal for students who change or intend to change countries. So an Australian family moving to Asia, can expect similar education for the children and therefore an easier transition whilst moving to a completely new culture.
The IB programmes are offered through the entire schooling starting from the Primary Years Programme (for age 3-12 years), Middle Years Programme (age 11-16 years) and IB Diploma (for age 16-19 years). There is also the IB Career –related programme catering to specific career related education/ apprenticeship).
The IB Middle Year Programme is a 5 year programme comprising of eight subject groups:
The curriculum includes a minimum of 50 hours of teaching time for each of the above subjects every year. In the last couple of years, the subject list is restricted to six which are chosen by the students as per their aptitude. With an inclination towards the subjects of their liking, MYP prepares students for greater indepth studies at the Diploma level for their chosen subjects. A long term project (community based project towards the end of the MYP) and inter disciplinary learning (learning two subjects cohesively) is also a part of the curriculum. These are crucial aspects of the IB MYP. The inter disciplinary approach is a great way to understand different subjects and their relation with each other. Young learners are highly receptive and the secondary school is the perfect time to engage them in connecting different subjects. The MYP project on the other hand aims for students to demonstrate what they have learnt and what they want to learn in future. Creating solutions, making decisions, communication and planning are all qualities that can be well tested through hands on projects.
Though the IB MYP is a 5 year programme, it is not surprising to see some IB authorized world schools adopting a more concise 2, 3 or 4 year programmes as the IB allows such flexibility. The Canadian International School, Singapore, for example has a 4 year IB MYP through grade 7 to 10. The school offers all 3 IB programmes through Primary to Diploma level. The IB MYP prepares students during the secondary school years for the much more rigorous IB Diploma through grades 11-12. Making practical connections between different learnings and relatinf learning to the real world is encouraged at the school through its teaching aids and philosophies.
IB world schools are often considered a departure from the mainstream, however with rapid developments in the global trade, politics and family dynamics, IB serves as an ideal curriculum to raise creative thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. Flexible and more fluid course contents that are adapted by schools all over the world along with strong emphasis on each child’s unique aptitude grants IB the well earned reputation and universal acceptance.
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