Implementation and impact of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) in Spanish state schools (2017)

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Javier M Valle, Maripé Menéndez, Bianca Thoilliez, Rocío Garrido, Soledad Rappoport and Jesús Manso—Autónoma University of Madrid

In the context of growing interest in the Diploma Programme (DP) in Spain, this study was undertaken to investigate the impact of DP implementation in 26 Spanish state schools. Moreover, with the aim of developing understanding of the medium- and long-term impact of the DP on students, the study also investigated the experiences and professional paths of DP alumni from Spanish state schools. Overall, the implementation of the DP is perceived to be yielding positive outcomes, including a beneficial shift in the school culture and climate, a change in teaching and learning approaches, and the development of certain competencies in students. DP alumni reported that in undertaking the programme they developed specific competencies, including research skills and critical thinking, and were well prepared for both university and work life. The main challenges reported about the implementation of the DP in Spanish state schools included increased teacher workload and the Spanish Ministry of Education’s poor equivalence of the DP’s grading and assessment systems. Important questions around equity and access in a public education system are also raised.

Research summary (PDF, 795 KB)