The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is an educational programme for students aged 16 to 19. The IB foundation is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. There are nearly four educational programmes that are being offered by the IB curriculum and these include:
- The IB Primary Years Programme (students aged 3 to 12)
- The IB Middle Years Programme (students aged 11 to 16)
- The IB Diploma Programme and the IB Career-related Programme (students aged 16 to 19)
Leading universities and institutions across the globe recognise and respect IB programmes. When IB curriculum is imparted by schools, students get in-depth knowledge of subjects and they get the ability to grow ethically, physically, intellectually and emotionally. The programme allows students to explore the nature of knowledge via its theory of knowledge course. Moreover, students get the option of studying traditional academic subjects and at least two languages.
Pros and Cons of Studying in IB curriculum –
The IB is one such curriculum, for which students need to carefully contemplate beforehand, the impact that the chosen programme would have on their future study and career aspirations. This is because there are institutions that revere the IB curriculum, whereas there are others that don’t.
The pros of studying in IB curriculum are as follows –
The IB curriculum allows students to explore a broad range of subjects as compared to other curriculums. There are many courses that IB provides, which include global politics, film, psychology, philosophy and computer science. These kind of subjects are seldom offered by subject lists of other schools.
Many of the world’s leading universities recognise IB programmes, that helps students studying this curriculum to stand out from others. However, it needs to be kept in mind that UK universities do not place much importance to the IB curriculum as compared to universities in US, which highly recognise this curriculum.
The main aim of the IB curriculum is to transform students into adults who are socially conscious and will contribute to the society even after their education gets completed. The IB curriculum gets students involved in outdoor activities through its Creative, Action, Service component (CAS). By placing importance on social and emotional development, students generate the ability of developing a balanced approach to their studies.
By teaching intial tertiary education level skills and techniques of learning, the IB diploma programme provides the perfect foundation for students who want to get into universities. Fundamental skills of university style essay and report writing as well as researching skills are instilled into the students during the period of their study in this curriculum. This helps students in generating good habits of self-study and time management.
The cons of studying in IB curriculum include –
Lack of flexibility
Regardless of the vast number of subject choices being made available, there still exists a lack of flexibility on part of the IB curriculum mainly because of the obligatory breadth of study that is required by it. With a six subject allowance that is spread across six different categories, the IB is an immensely rigid curriculum for students.
Length of study
The IB mode of studying requires students to be ‘long distance learners’, where there needs to be a consistency in the academic performance throughout the duration of study of the curriculum. Students have to remember the basic concepts that are taught at the beginning of the year just like the advanced concepts at the end of the year. This ultimately increases the length of study.
In addition to the routine assignments and coursework of the six compulsory subjects, the IB curriculum requires students to get themselves involved in writing essays, making presentations and projects for EE (Extended Essay), TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) which are the three core components of IB. This makes IB all the more, a highly demanding and heavy content oriented curriculum.
By taking into account the pros and cons that come with IB, parents and students should make an informed decision about choosing this curriculum. Schools providing this complex curriculum, must take steps like adopting the best school management software for ensuring easy handling of the academic activities relating to it.