IB: An effective curriculum in Pittsburgh, and worldwide

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Have you ever wondered why IB is called International Baccalaureate? Have you ever wondered how it began? It is strange how students can participate in this curriculum for several years and still know little more than its title.

IB began as a program specifically for children of ambassadors, children of military families, or children of people in the state department. The standardized curriculum would allow these children to continue their education smoothly amidst constant travel. Hence International Baccalaureate. Since then, IB has branched out into public schools all over the globe and has diversified in order to fit it’s states/country’s requirements. Yet, despite its many incongruencies, there are several uncanny similarities between the IB we’re used to and the IB in other countries.

Last year, I attended an IB school in Kobe, Japan. It was one of three international high schools in the area and was not extremely different from Pittsburgh Obama. The same posters with the same Areas of Interactions hang in the classrooms. The same rubrics are used to grade the same prompts and the same IB courses are offered to juniors and seniors. Extended Essay sound familiar? Seniors in Japan have to go through the same grueling process.

Speaking as a student who has traveled between three different IB schools, I can safely say that the original intent of the IB program has succeeded. I have managed to move from California, to Japan, to Pittsburgh without experiencing any major bumps or gaps in my academics.

IB, no matter how annoying at times, is an effective curriculum that allows international students to have a smooth and well rounded high school career.

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