IB Myths Unmasked

Five Myths about the International Baccalaureate
David Michel, Head of School,
White Rock Christian Academy
October 2016

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) has been in existence for almost 50 years, and is well-respected in developing educational programmes for students from Kindergarten to senior school graduation.  However, there are many misunderstandings about IB that have influenced opinions regarding its appropriateness for all learners.  While “IB has a hard-earned reputation for high standards of teaching, pedagogical leadership and student achievement”[1] some believe these attributes are not applicable for all learners or some kinds of schools.  This article will address five myths about IB, and hopefully, will provide the reader with a better understanding of this exceptional program.

Myth #1: IB is just a university prep program
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is beneficial for students going to university, and also provides preparation for students attending all post-secondary institutions. More important are the lifelong benefits to IB including marketable job skills, career opportunities, flexible thinking skills, adaptability and informed citizenship. Furthermore, this myth is perpetrated by those who are not familiar with other IB programmes such as the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students aged 3 to 11, and the Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students aged 12 to 16. IB is one of most effective programs in preparing students for the 21st Century. Extensive research has identified the following essential 21st century skills for today’s students : collaboration and teamwork, creativity and imagination, critical thinking and problem solving. These skills are all addressed in all IB programmes supporting students and teachers starting in Kindergarten.

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[1] http://www.ibo.org/about-the-ib/




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