The IB commitment to international education starts with a belief that the only way to appreciate someone else’s culture is first to be confident in your own.
The international-mindedness that permeates our programmes is about more than simply learning a second language. For example, in biology, students might learn about the typhoid bacteria but also its impact on life expectancy in a developing country. Students learning about the history of their town or region might look at the broader context, of history and the effects of certain global events, and how these impact on their local environment.
The IB and its programmes are unique in many ways. We are a not-for-profit organization, which means that there are no shareholders and any surplus income is reinvested in our work. We are independent of political and commercial interests. We operate in 143 countries, frequently working alongside national educational systems. Most schools, for example, offer the DP alongside other courses whereas the PYP and MYP are flexible enough to incorporate national curriculum requirements.
Like the world it seeks to improve through education, the IB never stands still. Our programmes and curricula evolve and undergo regular review to ensure we are delivering the best possible education for IB students. Our vision is constantly sharpened by research, both our own and that of other respected academic bodies.
Innovative and creative educators from many different cultures play a critical role in the development of each programme. The programmes represent good practice from around the world, and the curriculum review process involves practising teachers, examiners and education experts.
We are flexible enough to be able to respond to new research and pedagogical studies and engage with expert analysis where appropriate. For example, the IB Career-Related Certificate, our newest qualification, is designed to provide a flexible learning framework to meet the needs of students and the local community as well as the world beyond. We are also committed to extending access to an IB education by exploring the ability to offer DP courses online to students who otherwise may not be able to experience an IB education.
IB programs are challenging.
Universities and future employers recognize the depth and breadth of the rigorous work undertaken by IB students. As a result there are many literate scientists, numerate artists, and sociologists able to communicate in more than one language among IB graduates. In spite of this breadth, the depth of subject study is not sacrificed. Universities also welcome the creativity, action and service (CAS) requirement, alongside the 4,000 word extended essay component in the DP that demands research, analysis and in-depth study to prepare students for work at university level.
Research by and with universities in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States has demonstrated that IB students are well prepared for university. Almost 2,000 of the best universities around the world list their IB admission policies on our web site at www.ibo.org.
Of course results are important, and we are proud of our programmes and of our students, but the IB experience is much more than that: it’s not just a way to learn, it’s a way of life.
Profile of a Foss IB student
Shelondra Harris was looking for a challenging academic program. She found that and more in the IB program at Henry Foss High School. The Foss International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a challenging and internationally accepted college-prep curriculum. The state Superintendent of Public Instruction identified Henry Foss as one of Tacoma's 12 innovative schools.