Anna Rosefsky Saavedra—The RAND Corporation
This study examines the development of students’ “academic civic-mindedness” and “model citizenship” in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) at four sample schools in California, USA. Research methods included teacher and student interviews and student surveys. According to all student and teacher interviews, the DP’s heavy pedagogical reliance on discussions, debates, oral presentations, written assignments and teamwork enables students to develop many of the skills necessary for civic engagement. The student survey results show that, compared with nationally representative samples of 12th grade students, the DP sample scored higher on 9 of 10 items that tested their knowledge of US government structure, functioning and history. The interview data suggest that the DP strongly promotes students’ knowledge of US public policy and understanding of effective advocacy techniques. With regard to student conceptions of model citizenship, survey responses indicate that they most strongly identify with a social justice citizen orientation.