What is the IB Curriculum and why should I care?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is an international educational foundation that offers a wide range of programs to its students. The International Baccalaureate Organization is a global network of educators, schools, and universities and its aim is to develop the minds of students through education. The IB is a rigorous, academically challenging and balanced programme of educational excellence that develops the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.

The IB curriculum is a globally recognized program of education that has been in use for over 50 years. It consists of six subject groups: Language and Literature, Language Acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Science, Mathematics, and the Arts. This curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore their passions while still meeting requirements for college entrance.

The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the program encourages students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.

There are three main reasons why you should care about this curriculum: it helps prepare you for university life, it provides an international perspective on topics such as history or science, and it will give you an edge in the job market when looking for employment after graduation.

What are the Components of the IB?

The IB is made up of the following components:

  • The IB Diploma Programme – The IB Diploma Programme is an internationally recognized two-year curriculum that offers a broad and challenging curriculum. It’s a rigorous course of study for students aged 16-19 and offers six subject groups: Language & Literature, Individuals and Societies, Experimental Sciences, Mathematics, and the Arts. It is designed to provide an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education and employment. The programme develops the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. The IB Diploma Programme is offered by over 3,400 schools in 135 countries. It is recognized by universities in over 140 countries and territories.
  • International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) – The IBCP is a three-year programme that is designed to help students explore the world of work and build their skills. It is an exciting programme that builds on the IB’s commitment to global citizenship, preparing students for the challenges of the 21st century. It allows students to study subjects from six different categories: Arts, Economics, Environment, Health and Wellbeing, Languages, and Society and Culture. These subjects will help them in their future careers by providing them with skills such as creativity and critical thinking. The IB certificate program provides an internationally-recognized qualification for those who don’t want to pursue the full diploma course but want to study abroad or enter university in another country.
    Students who complete this programme will be able to:

    • Explore careers and occupations in depth, including how they are related to different cultures
    • Develop employability skills such as CV writing, interview techniques and job search strategies
    • Learn about real-life careers through guest speakers, visits to workplaces and internships
    • Gain insights into their own strengths and interests through portfolio activities
  • The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) – This international programme is designed to provide a broad and balanced education for students aged 11-16. Its purpose is to help students develop the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the IB Diploma Programme. In order to be accepted, students must have completed or be completing their elementary school education, or have attained an age of 11 years by 31 December of the year in which they enroll.
    The programme is recognized as academically rigorous and challenging, yet balanced in its approach to the academic, social, emotional and physical aspects of learning. It provides opportunities for personal development through creativity, action and service as well as aims to develop the intellectual skills necessary for life in a global society.
  • The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) – The IB Primary Years Programme is a curriculum that was also developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization, for children aged 3 to 12 years. It’s designed to be broad and balanced, with emphasis on intellectual development and social skills. The programme aims to develop the whole person in order to promote understanding of the world, tolerance for others and respect for self. It focuses on developing key competences in six subject groups: languages, mathematics, sciences, individuals and societies, arts, physical education.

What Subjects are Offered in the IB?

The IB subjects list is a list of the International Baccalaureate (IB) courses that are offered at schools that offer the IB program. The list includes all of the different subject areas, such as languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics and arts.

Students can choose to study up to six of these subjects in order to earn their IB diploma. However, some schools only offer a limited number of these courses and they may not be available in every country.

The Educational Benefits of an International Baccalaureate

The IB diploma has many benefits for students. It provides an internationally recognized qualification, which can help students to get into their desired university or college. It also helps them learn how to think critically and solve problems creatively.

There are three main benefits of an IB education:

  • Students are exposed to different cultures and languages, which will help them develop their global awareness and understanding of different cultures.
  • IB students go through a rigorous course load, which will prepare them for higher education by teaching them how to manage their time and prioritize tasks. 
  • IB students get the opportunity to study two or more languages, which will help them become bilingual or multilingual in order to be competitive on the job market.

Some of the most prestigious universities in the world accept the IB diploma as an entrance requirement, including Harvard, Yale, MIT and Oxford.

The International Baccalaureate is most suited to students that have an affinity to learning, as the course load is heavier than the regular high school curriculum. To foster your child’s enthusiasm for school, you can encourage them with www.2cool4school.org, which is a free on-line resource that provides age-appropriate learning videos for each topic, across Math, English, Science, Health and Social Studies. Their curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and easy to navigate. Each topic in every subject links to a YouTube learning video that teaches the topic in a fun, age-appropriate way. Given the huge variety of approaches in the videos, your child will never get bored of learning. All videos have been vetted by real humans.