International Baccalaureate – Education for a Better World

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation offering programmes of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The IB has a hard-earned reputation for high standards of teaching, pedagogical leadership and student achievement. In its mission statement, the IB embraces a vision of educating young people to make the world a better place. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) has a presence in countries throughout the world and there are IB World Schools across the globe Research plays a central role in the development, quality assurance, and assessment of impact of IB programmes and services. The IB both conducts its own research and partners with leading universities and research institutions across the world.

“We are increasingly living next to, working alongside, sharing our leisure with, choosing our partners from people with different cultural backgrounds” (Walker 2010: 69).Today’s schools need to educate for the future more than ever before, as the world’s challenges and opportunities become more compelling. Education for global citizenship must become the curriculum of the future. We are experiencing increasing interdependence and interconnectedness. The IB has pioneered a philosophy that offers a solid foundation for education for global citizenship and a curriculum to address these challenges. The IB aims for teachers to be role models, developing international-mindedness and global citizenship in their students. The IB has a key leadership role to play in the field of international education.

Education has always been a future-oriented endeavour. The combination of rigour and philosophy offered by the IB carries tremendous potential and promise.

According to a new report from a study conducted by the National University of Educational Planning & Administration which has been established by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, the number of schools with IB (International Baccalaureate) has witnessed a nearly ten-fold increase during the last ten years. In 2003, there were a mere 11 schools offering the IB programme. By 2013, this had gone up to 107, with Maharashtra leading the table with 41 schools. Earlier, the study notes, only children from expatriate families, business class and multinational professionals were going to international schools but now even middle class families are sending their children to these schools. Between December 2009 and December 2014, the number of IB programmes offered worldwide grew by 46.35%.

The educational programmes offered by the IB support a holistic approach to education which is a clear departure from a knowledge transmission approach. This holistic education broadens and deepens the educational process. It represents a planned approach that encourages personal responsibility, promotes a positive attitude to learning and develops social skills. These are essentials in the modern world in which we live.

Education for the 21st century is a responsibility as our collective future depends on it.

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