Keystone Magazine - Page 24

Interview Q: You have published several articles on the IB, and have much experience working with the IB curriculum, including contributing to the writing of subject guides and assessments and professional development workshops, delivering workshops, and carrying out school authorization and evaluation visits as a consultant, and school visits team leader for the organization. As an expert in IB programmes, can you explain the history behind the IB? How did the IB curriculum, in such a short period of time, become so widely accepted by international schools around the world? A: The first was the Diploma Programme (DP), which emerged in the 1960s. It came out of a group of international schools which began to talk about problems they were facing. These schools had international students who were looking to go back to university in their home countries. The university requirements for entry were all very different depending on the country. So international schools had an issue with what they should teach students in the last two years, in particular, because what they could not do of course was to offer every single national program that a student might need in order to enter university in their home country. These schools talked about offering one programme, which could be used internationally and Gilian Ashworth speaking at the Leadership Team Debut, AmCham recognized by universities around the world. From this need, the IB was born. I think it has become so widely accepted not only because you can do one programme for universities in many different countries, but the IB stresses the need for students to develop international mindedness and critical thinking skills. In the 1960s, many national programs tended to look at knowledge and student’s acquisition of knowledge. Today, the importance of these concepts of international mindedness and critical thinking skills is becoming more recognized and accepted. There is also the reputation that the IB Programme is very rigorous and challenging. And because it is not regulated by a government from any individual country, it has been seen as unbiased and a reliable measure of a student’s knowledge, skills and understanding. Q: We know that the international departments of many Chines