The International Baccalaureate (IB) opens doors to countless opportunities. Highly respected by prestigious universities and top employers, the IB is an educational curriculum with a difference. What sets it apart from other curriculums offered by schools? Let’s look at what the IB has to offer and explore how it’s utilized in a Shanghai international school.
The IB offers programmes with a difference
The IB curriculum does more than just instruct. The idea is that instead of just learning, students “learn how to learn.” Students are encouraged to take the reigns of their own education; the IB curriculum allows students to develop into inquiring, self-reliant young people, all the while guided by a rigorous curriculum and teachers that are passionate about the material they are teaching.
Students taking an IB programme receive a universally applicable education that goes beyond memorizing facts and figures, which is, unfortunately, the basis for many other curriculums. Instead, students learn critical thinking, nurture their curiosity, and develop skills that allow them to solve complex problems with unique and better-informed perspectives.
Other distinct advantages of the IB curriculum include:
- Students of all ages are encouraged to think critically and challenge assumptions
- The IB has been created independently of any country’s curriculum, instead favoring globally-researched
- educational best practices. Learning is grounded in both local and global contexts
- The IB produces multilingual students
- The IB organization must authorize all institutions that teach an IB programme, guaranteeing the quality of instruction.
The IB develops worldly young people
As the name suggests, the International Baccalaureate takes a world view on learning. Knowledge gained from an IB programme can be applied anywhere that students may find themselves in their educational or working career. This differs from other curriculums, where the courses are not always relevant to students studying away from that curriculum’s country of origin. Even the “international” curriculums offered by organizations such as Oxford and Cambridge are not always suited to internationally-minded students.
By design, the IB is intended to be applicable and advantageous to any student, anywhere in the world. It goes beyond pure academia; IB programmes strive to teach students to recognize the need for respect and understanding of various cultures and perspectives, with the ultimate aim of inspiring the young minds that are the world’s future.
The IB is respected around the globe
The goal of any curriculum is to give students the tools they need to succeed in further study or in their careers. There’s no denying, though, that some curriculums are more desirable than others for some universities or employers. Whereas some institutions may be unfamiliar with location-based curriculums, the IB is recognized worldwide and enjoys a high level of respect among top universities. Read more about how the IB is received by universities.
The IB at an International School
The IB is in high demand globally. Schools offering the IB programmes give their students the best chances of achieving positions in top universities and later entering competitive career fields. The Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) is the first, and currently only, international school that offers all four programmes of the International Baccalaureate in mainland China:
- Primary Years Programme (ages 3–12)
- Middle Years Programme (ages 11–16)
- Diploma Programme (ages 16–19)
- Career-related Programme (ages 16–19)
This gives WISS the unique ability to offer an unbroken curriculum model, allowing their students to reap the greatest rewards from the IB.
This school’s community strives to guide students into becoming balanced, confident, and well-informed citizens. Alongside the various programmes of the IB curriculum, they ensure that their teachers work to inspire young minds and help shape the world’s future, emphasizing the same ethos that they share with the IB. In doing so, this international school manages to maximize the potential of IB programmes, setting up students for future success.
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