What is the International Baccalaureate?

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Learn about the International Baccalaureate and its goals with this article. Find out what programs this organization offers and discover the skills it supports.

The International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate (IB) acts as an educational foundation. The organization is non-profit and specializes in instructing students towards success in an integrated, global world by setting up World Schools in different areas.

Currently, there are 1,710 IB World Schools in the US. To be considered a World School, schools must use at least one of the four IB educational programs, and must be authorized by the IB before providing any such program.

International Baccalaureate Programs

The IB programs cater to students at different grade levels/ages. These include:

The Primary Years Program

This program is set up for children between the ages of 3-12. Students who enroll in this program will study math, language arts, science and other traditional scholarly subjects. The Primary Years Program varies from other educational options in that it focuses on the whole child approach to learning, which involves helping students improve their attitudes, actions, comprehension of concepts, knowledge and skills while they learn.

You can check out these elementary school courses if you're interested in having your child enroll in this program. These courses can help students review the subjects they'll learn about in the Primary Years Program, allowing them to stay on course with their school work.

The Middle Years Program

This program is for students between the ages of 11-16. This program can be completed as a 5-year block, or schools can break the format down into smaller blocks, such a 2 or 3 years. Students working in this program will study language acquisition, literature, societies, the sciences, mathematics, various art forms, design and health education. Students will spend at least 50 hours a year studying each of these subjects. Throughout the program, students will be encouraged to understand their position in a global society.

Study.com offers these middle school courses that can help students enrolled in the Middle Years Program. These courses allow students to reinforce what they're learning in the program while they watch short, engaging video lessons.

The Diploma Program

The classes in this program are designed for 16-19-year-olds. Students will take courses that deal with standard subjects (e.g., math, science and literature), as well as core classes that involve theory of knowledge, an extended essay and a service project.

This program is composed of higher level (HL) and standard level (SL) subjects. SL subjects require 150 hours of instruction; HL subjects require 240 hours. Students are required to take 3-4 HL classes to complete this program.

Those interested in this program will also need to complete special assessments designed by the IB to check their progress. These assessments must also be completed to receive an IB transcript.

The Career-related Program

Students from the ages of 16-19 can use this program if they're interested in focusing on their careers as they study. To complete this program, students will need to take some of the classes from the Diploma Program. They will also work on developing their professional skills. They'll be able to take part in service learning, complete a reflective project and focus on language development. There will also be a career studies portion of the program that can be personalized for the student.

This program also includes tests designed by the IB.

Students can work with these high school courses to get the most out of both the Diploma and the Career-related Programs. These courses give students a chance to go over what they're learning in these programs, as well as extra study time with interactive quizzes and tests.

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