Elisabeth Barnett, Ph.D, NCREST—Columbia University
The purpose of this study is to examine the implementation and impact of the IB Diploma Programme in Ecuador with a focus on supports for IB state schools, changes in school practice, and student outcomes. The mixed methods research design used school visits, interviews, surveys, and student-level data analysis. Findings suggest the Government and the Ministry highly value the DP, but challenges presented by the current system of teacher assignment and compensation do exist. The pedagogy offered in DP was noticeably different from that in the non-DP classrooms. In general, DP students were offered well-organized, imaginative lessons with lots of student-teacher interaction. A large majority of surveyed state teachers reported changes in their own pedagogical practices due to their involvement with DP. Students in state school Diploma Programmes performed comparably to those in private schools on language exams in 2012—both in English and Spanish—and performed better than private schools on the English A/AB exam. In other subject area exams, private schools generally performed better. However, students are gaining from participating in the DP in a variety of important ways including reported university performance, communication skills, critical thinking, maturity, and self-confidence.