International Baccalaureate - Guided by a Mission

April 21, 2016

The IB is more than its educational programs. At our heart we are motivated by a mission to create a better world through education. We value our hard earned reputation for quality, for high standards and for pedagogical leadership. We achieve our goals by working with partners and by actively involving our stakeholders, particularly teachers.

We promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to a sense of cultural and national identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21st century. All of this is captured in our mission statement:

The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

The four IB programs require study across a broad range of subjects. Drawing on content from educational cultures across the world, encouraging learning across disciplines and providing students with opportunities for individual and collaborative planning and research:

The Primary Years Program (PYP), for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.

The Middle Years Program (MYP), for students aged 11 to 16, provides a framework of academic challenge that encourages students to embrace and understand the connections between subjects and the world around them, and to become critical and reflective thinkers.

The Diploma Program (DP), for students aged 16 to 19, is an academically challenging and balanced program of education with internal assessment and final examinations that prepares students for success at university and life beyond.

The IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC), is a new qualification that increases access to an IB education and is specifically designed to provide a flexible learning framework tailored by the school to meet the needs of students. The IBCC incorporates the educational principles, vision and learner profile of the IB into a unique offering that specifically addresses the needs of students who wish to engage in career-related education. This new qualification is designed to provide a “value added” educational offering to schools that already offer the IB Diploma Program and are also delivering career-related courses to their students.

The IB aims to teach children to:

  • explore what it is to learn
  • ask challenging and thoughtful questions
  • develop a sense of identity and culture
  • develop the ability to communicate with people from different countries and cultures

At the heart of all the programs is the IB learner profile, which is the IB mission statement translated into a set of learning outcomes for the 21st century. The learner profile provides a long-term vision of education that sets of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose. IB learners strive to be:

  • inquirers
  • knowledgeable
  • thinkers
  • communicators
  • principled
  • open-minded
  • caring
  • risk-takers
  • balanced
  • reflective

Where we work:

The IB works with 3,317 schools in 141 countries and territories offering the four IB programs to approximately 1,000,000 students.

In the Americas (IBA) region the IB supports over 2,662 schools offering more than 3,214 programs. The largest concentration of IB World Schools in the IBA region can be found in United States with over 1,680 schools, Canada with over 355 schools and Ecuador where there are over 240 IB World Schools offering one or more IB programs.

The regular, ongoing and rigorous evaluations of authorized IB schools are part of IB’s commitment to keeping high quality, consistent academic standards around the world.

IB World Schools are critical in making the mission and values of the IB come alive in classrooms and communities. The IB provides ongoing support to IB World Schools in curriculum development, student assessment and pedagogical leadership.

We continue to be committed to supporting the ongoing development of a worldwide professional learning community in the form of regional face-to-face workshops and resource-rich online environments for IB teachers.

What is so special about IB programs?

  • IB programs are recognized around the world and ensure an increased adaptability and mobility for IB students.
  • The curriculum and pedagogy of IB programs focus on international perspectives of learning and teaching, while insisting that students fully explore their home culture and language.
  • IB programs encourage a positive attitude to learning by challenging students to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness and participate actively in their communities
  • IB World Schools must undergo an exhaustive authorization process in order to offer one or more of the programs, which includes a study of the school’s resources and commitment to the IB mission and philosophy.
  • Many students graduating from the Diploma Program find that it enhances their opportunities at tertiary institutions. The IB works closely with universities around the world to gain recognition for IB programs.
  • The core components of IB programs encourage students to participate in creative and service-oriented activities, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of reflection on a personal and academic level.

The following article was posted on Newsweek and highlights St. Mary’s IB Programme. You can read the original article here: http://www.newsweek.com/insights/best-usas-ib-accredited-schools-2016