International Baccalaureate (IB)
The International Baccalaureate is a not-for-profit international educational foundation. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it has since educated over 1 million students. There are currently 3,521 IB schools, offering a total of 4,377 programs in 144 countries.
The IB offers four educational programmes across the world. Central to the IB is the concept of education as a lifelong process.
IB programmes have a reputation for:
• maintaining high academic standards
• arming students with life skills and preparing them for life in a globalized world
• developing young people who are active, knowledgeable and caring, and prepared for life in a global society
At EAC, we offer IB courses to students in grades 11 and 12, giving them all the resources to successfully earn the Full IB Diploma. Here, we believe that all students are capable of completing rigorous coursework. An overwhelming majority of our students complete all of their coursework in the IB. As we hope to promote inclusivity and access, we do not require that our students demonstrate competency in pre-requisite courses or have a specific course grade before enrolling in IB coursework. Those students designated as ELL or Special Needs are also given access to the rigors of the IB. We believe that with excellent instruction, support and a willingness to try on behalf of the student, all members of the EAC community can maximize their individual potential. That's why we call it IB For All.
The IB Diploma Program
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB DP) seeks to provide a holistic education whereby candidates reflect their roles as responsible and compassionate local community members and global citizens. As with all IB programs the focus is on the development of the whole child within the context of the Learner Profile.
The IB Diploma Program is a demanding pre-university course of study that leads to examinations. It is designed for highly motivated secondary school students in grades 11 and 12. To be awarded the IB Diploma, a student must demonstrate a strong commitment to learning, in terms of mastery of subject content and in the development of skills and attitudes necessary for success at the tertiary level. The IB Diploma is held in high esteem throughout the world and the student who is awarded the IB Diploma gains access to the world’s leading universities. The IB Diploma Program is a comprehensive two-year international curriculum that generally allows students to fulfill the requirements of their national or state education systems. The Diploma Program incorporates the best elements of national systems, without being based on any one.
IB Diploma Program Core Elements
The IB DP Curriculum is represented by the circle with six subject areas supported by the core. Each candidate is required to study one subject from each of the subject areas. A minimum of three subjects must be taken at the Higher Level (HL), allowing for specialization or focus of interest. The remaining courses are taken at the Standard Level (SL). HL courses require 240 instructional hours versus the 150 required by SL courses. HL courses also require additional assessment.
The Extended Essay, a core element of the IB DP, is a 4000-word essay and is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from the list of approved Diploma Program subjects - normally one of the student’s six chosen subjects for the IB diploma. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides students with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a teacher in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen. It is recommended that completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview, or viva voce, with the supervisor.
In the Diploma Program, the extended essay is the prime example of a piece of work where the student has the opportunity to show knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm about a subject area topic of his or her choice.
The method of assessment used by the IB is criterion related. The method of assessment judges each student in relation to identified assessment criteria and not in relation to the work of other students. All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB, and are marked on a scale from 0 to 36.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK)
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course encourages critical thinking about knowledge itself, to try to help young people make sense of what they encounter. Its core content is questions like these: What counts as knowledge? How does it grow? What are its limits? Who owns knowledge? What is the value of knowledge? What are the implications of having, or not having, knowledge?
What makes TOK unique, and distinctively different from standard academic disciplines, is its process. At the centre of the course is the student as knower. Students entering the Diploma Program typically have 16 years of life experience and more than 10 years of formal education behind them. They have accumulated a vast amount of knowledge, beliefs and opinions from academic disciplines and their lives outside the classroom. In TOK they have the opportunity to step back from this relentless acquisition of new knowledge, in order to consider knowledge issues. These include the questions already mentioned, viewed from the perspective of the student, but often begin from more basic ones, like: What do I claim to know [about X]? Am I justified in doing so [how?]? Such questions may initially seem abstract or theoretical, but the teacher will try to bring them into closer focus by taking into account students’ interests, circumstances and outlooks. TOK activities and discussions aim to help students discover and express their views on knowledge issues. The course encourages students to share ideas with others and to listen to and learn from what others think.
In this process, students’ thinking and their understanding of knowledge as a human construction are shaped, enriched and deepened. Connections may be made between knowledge encountered in different Diploma Program subjects, in CAS experience or in extended essay research; distinctions between different kinds of knowledge may be clarified. Because the subject matter of the course is defined in terms of knowledge issues, there is no end to the valid questions that may arise in a TOK course.
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course will:
- Build on students’ own experience and involve them actively in the classroom.
- Ensure that students understand the purpose of TOK and its central role in the Diploma Program.
- Allow the teacher to model the values of curiosity, thoughtful inquiry and critical thought.
- Have a structure that is clear to the students.
- Meet the objectives of TOK.
- Ensure that students understand and are prepared for the assessment tasks.
The assessment model in Theory of Knowledge (TOK) comprises two components, both of which should be completed within the 100 hours designated for the course.
Creativity, Action and Service (CAS)
Creativity, Action, Service (CAS) is at the heart of the Diploma Program. It is one of the three essential elements in every student’s Diploma Program experience. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the Diploma Program.
Creativity: Arts, and other experiences that involve creative thinking.
Action: Physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle, complementing academic work elsewhere in the Diploma Program.
Service: An unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit for the student. The rights, dignity and autonomy of all those involved are respected.
The CAS Program aims to develop students who are:
- Reflective thinkers—they understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth.
- Willing to accept new challenges and new roles.
- Aware of themselves as members of communities with responsibilities towards each other and the environment.
- Active participants in sustained, collaborative projects.
- Balanced—they enjoy and find significance in a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional experiences.