IB World archive
When we first started planning an issue devoted to students, we knew we wanted to hear from one extremely important group: the students themselves. And rather than feature just a handful of perspectives, we wanted to get some big answers to the big questions.
The IB has enjoyed many milestones, but the graduation of its first official cohort in 1971 was one of the most poignant. It is 40 years since those self-professed ‘guinea pigs’ sat their exams and we set out to track down three of them to see what influence the Diploma Programme had on their lives. You can read the results on page 20.
Mention the words ‘creativity’ and ‘education’ to any expert in the field – as we have done while preparing this issue – and they will undoubtedly offer unprompted praise of the way the IB programmes encourage students to think differently.
It would be easy to postulate on an “IB way” of leading schools. But if our school leadership issue demonstrates anything, it’s the astonishing variety of challenges such leaders face.
According to the African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child. Most educators know that, at the very least, it takes more than a school. Having a strong parent-teacher relationship reinforces a desire to learn and offers schools access to a rich source of expertise and enthusiasm.
In this issue, we hear from schools who have learned the value of the continuum and put it into effective practice. But these lessons are equally valid for schools running just one programme: all have to help students along their complex educational journey, and all will at some point be asked: “What does the IB mean and what will it be like to study it?” If continuum schools can teach us anything, it’s how best to respond to that question when it comes.
Where do you start with the environment? With natural disaster, climate change, carbon footprints, deforestation and endangered species – and that’s just for starters – it can be hard to see how an individual or even a school can make a genuine difference.
Before the global financial crisis took hold, professional development (PD) was big news. Every company worth its salt had decided the best way to attract and retain quality staff was to offer them additional skills.
Such concerns might have slipped off the agenda elsewhere, but across the IB community, there's a growing awareness of the way PD can impact on teachers' satisfaction, progression and, ultimately, the way their students learn.
New technology has irrevocably altered the way we work and play, and education systems have gradually begun to embrace the possibilities. A number of IB World Schools – where collaboration and inquiry are already a way of life – have embraced podcasting and other techniques that tap into students’ fluency in digital communication and love of discovery.
The IB World language issue was always likely to provoke interest, and it has turned out to be one of the liveliest debates the magazine has seen.
Diversity is an idea many people are desperate to embrace but have a significant problem defining. In the world of education, the essential principle of being meritorious may often seem at odds with the idea of fostering diversity in the classroom.
The IB community theme has already touched the lives of almost every student and teacher at an IB World School. Combating the horrors of war, fighting the devastation wreaked by poverty and creating opportunity for all have become urgent priorities, but who are we trying to help and how well do we really understand the developing world?
In this issue, we attempt to define international-mindedness and assess its importance, finding out the challenging views of respected educational sociologist Dr Carlos Alberto Torres on page 10, before looking at how IB World Schools are putting the theory into practice from the Arctic Circle to Antarctica, and all points in between. International-mindedness is certainly more difficult to achieve when you’re in one of the most inhospitable places on earth, as our correspondents explain.
Giving us his views on changes in education is leading psychologist and educational researcher Howard Gardner. In an exclusive interview on p10, he explains how shifts in teachers’ roles are transforming the classroom. Anyone familiar with Professor Gardner’s work on multiple intelligences will be interested to hear how his thinking is influencing IB and leading to educational reform around the world.
Ethics in international education is a hot topic and this issue’s theme has certainly captured the attention of our readers. In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Mary Warnock, a world-renowned ethical philosopher and writer on ethics in education.
This issue of IB World is rather a special one as it allows the students to have their say about our theme: being student-centred. On the central pages you will find comments from the young minds who are at the very centre of IB teaching and it certainly makes for some illuminating reading.
The theme of access, which is what we are looking at, is such a huge topic that it will no doubt spark some debate; that’s great, the more voices and opinions we have from IB colleagues around the world, the better. One of the things that struck me as I was reading the features for this issue was the amazing motivation shown by IB students to learn about other cultures and the desire to impart this knowledge to their peers.
In this issue, we catch up with the IB schools to schools campaign, find out how the new IB learner profile will work in the classroom and hear about a bold initiative in career-related education.
Since its beginnings 38 years ago, the International Baccalaureate has been capable of adapting to suit changing times. In this new re-launched issue, IB World explores how the organization can move forward to embrace the future and meet the century’s challenges.
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