Much has been written about the benefits of the International Baccalaureate Programme. Advocates claim that it is inquiry-based, student centered; that it emphasizes critical thinking skills, and that it is an education program recognized around the world. Critics point to the fact that there is no empirical evidence that supports any claim of superiority to locally generated curriculum and pedagogy. They say that inquiry based education, critical thinking skills and student centered learning is 21st century education speak and standard procedure for quality instructors across the country. There are three levels of IB in our schools. IB in the high school competes with the popular, American born, AP program. How do they compare? Both cater to the advanced and gifted students and claim that they offer students an opportunity to acquire college credit for good performance on final examinations. How do the colleges view IB certificates as compared with AP credentials? How easy is it to offer IB classes and the IB Diploma Programme? How expensive is the programme? IB in the Middle (MYP) and Elementary Schools (PYP) are, according to IBO, designed to be all inclusive, ie not gifted programs. According to IBO, the curriculum for these programmes is locally generated. The IBO claims that the difference is in the instructional methodology. And yet there is no substantive evidence that IB classrooms are different than any other quality classroom anywhere in the world. But we challenge our reader to decide for themselves. For your information, we have gathered here documents to help draw your own conclusions: Is IB superior, or is it just a well articulated and well marketed and costly set of teaching methodologies easily replicated by any good teacher?
New Zealander Fed Up With IB's Claims of Superiority
Comments: As a proud participator of Cambridge International Examinations in New Zealand, I would like to express concerns about the thoughtless claims IB has made against our internationally renowned system of exceptional quality. You can put this in the section "Is IB Superior" if you wish. I am sick and tired of hearing from IBers saying to others "if you join IB it's way easier for you to get into US institutions." There's a lot of universities in US which offer advanced standing for good CIE grades, despite the fact that our marketing barely reached US in the past few years and the people barely heard of CIE, whereas IB existed for donkeys years? Also the IBers don't seem to take in the fact that more IB graduates are accepted into good unis in US than Cambridge because...well...the numbers doing IB compared to that of Cambridge people are completely disproportionate and outbalanced in the first place? I'm surprised non of their "critical thinkers" never took this simple fact into account. And they also say US unis generally are better than UK unis in the THE and QS rankings partly because the US students are more often trained by IB That's ridiculous. Cambridge university displaced Harvard for the 2nd year so far with an endorsement of 7.5 billion while Harvard has 32 billion (QS docs). Besides that, if they're really gonna bring uni quality as a proof of quality of their IB program, I'd like to remind the IBers in US that in general UK institutions have a 3 year undergraduate and 1 year masters and it would take an average US uni student 2 extra years to gain a masters. Give the 2 extra years up and we'll see how the IB consumed US institutions do in the QS and THE shall we? Also why would anyone do IB and get stressed when 3 subjects for CIE is enough for almost any university in the world apart from Sydney? More challenging? Tiring does not equal more challenging. Their projects often result in a waste of time. If you want to do projects in CIE we have something called Global Perspectives and Independent Research which is not UN indoctrinated AND it counts as separate subjects with even more points. I have found that people in CIE with no humanities subjects can engage in economical and political discussions for hours without end (including me). IBers can, but I often find them to be infused with UN values. They are not themselves in a sense. Being righteous and just does not mean cringing in to the whole, as I'd like to remind the UN. It is outrageous that IB literally claims to teach people "how to think" in their theory of knowledge-excuse me who gave you a right to claim that? (I actually saw it on the IBO website) Hey also IB has to do forced community service to earn their points. When us CIE I often find our graduates having similar if not better abilities when we do the last minute cramming for our November exams here in NZ. And our CIE people took no less places at the international olympiads than the IBs here in New Zealand. IB claims of diversity but their curriculum is heavily limited to 3 standard lvls and 3HLs, while we can choose anything we like here, at the level we want, and as many subjects as we want. IB often boasts about their forced subject choice and quotes people who claimed it was good. Problem is the majority who's been forced to give up their interests and specializations don't kinda get a say do they? And isn't it interesting that whenever you criticize IB,they go "you've never been in IB or had children in IB". Is this the IB way of "critical thinking"? Do you have to experience something to prove it's bad? Good one can't say suicide is bad unless one attempted suicide, and one can't say drugs is bad unless one took them, despite evidence outside personal experience. Oh and that means no one can criticize say, North Korea, because they've never been in it and no one can criticize the Nazi regime simply because they didn't experience it personally. Why do they attack our CIE? They've never been to CIE schools either I reckon. I'm sick of IB students calling Cambridge a "obsolete and dying system". Yes we're an older system than them, and we don't forcibly use computer tech etc (our students have more freedom in the way they learn),but just because of that they call us obsolete? Go check the statistics at the CIE website and you'll be seeing that CIE graduates are multiplying around the world. We are also more cost-efficient and we're proud to stand as a system which is ACADEMICAL in it's base, not a POLITICAL PROPAGANDA MACHINE.
1. It is generally reckoned by IB that we are less challenging simply we can just take 3 A-levels if we wanted to, which is the academic equivalent to 3HLs. Excuse me our system does not have FIXED requirements. We offer the subjects and the UNIVERSITIES decide how much they need. That's far more flexible than tiring the average student out, when that student cannot enter or say afford, or even want to go to, a good uni. People entering the top 10 unis often have 5 A-levels. We CAN choose 5 A-levels or many more. The world record was 23A-levels. How's that to IB?
2. I have yet to ask IBers HOW universities favour you when you have to do projects and community service and an extended essay + a "pseudo philosophy course" for just your CORE points while for us it's a matter of extra credit ALONGSIDE the usual top 3-A levels needed for point competition. HOW are you more favoured when we hear people saying "pity that guy didn't get in with the 3 A*s" while if your people only had 3HLs with 7s each, the good universities wouldn't even look at you. In fact the contradiction I find is that half the IBers on the net are arguing universities require much more from IBers than CIE, and then the other half says the universities FAVOUR IB over CIE. Does your theory of knowledge course teach you about the principles of self-contradiction?
3. And about the test marking (from the winner of the scholarship essay felix), how is 0% supposed to give you a 1? In CIE you fail you fail. No points. You don't get something for nothing and we certainly don't give an imaginary "N" grade as reported in Felix's testimony.
IB defenders' ask for so called "Balance" in truthabout IB-Speaking against their hypocrisy.
On top of the former comment, I am obliged to say that this website is reasonably fair. What is wrong with "truth about ib"? Just because you claim it's the truth? So what? When you have a non-negotiable, mutually exclusive argument which impacts lives and futures, which you present your view to the masses, you're essentially claiming it to be the truth and when you're firm enough it's non-negotiable. And there are things that are serious enough to be simply non-negotiable. No one is obliged to say "but that's just my opinion" after everything they claim and common sense tells us no one does it. A firm opinion does not constitute a biased opinion because a biased opinion because being biased comes from lack of logic, not defying convention and the masses. A-good argument can be one sided as long as it analyzes and rebukes the claims of the opposing side. And who said a GOOD argument has to be a BALANCED argument? So a good argument has to put around 50% of opposite side in? No. A good argument quotes a few significant pieces from the other side and rebukes them thoroughly. To IB defenders on your site, I am aware that many use emotional rhetoric while the site is full of links and hard facts. And I don't see IBO giving the "balanced" argument by being kind enough to put a section of their webpage giving a link towww.truthaboutib.com, unlike the opportunity you give to the pro-IBs. Does TOK teach IBers how to identify hypocrisy? And to IB people that claim not to have been biased, how you are I don't know, and the extent to which each individual takes in things is different, but just because YOU have survived without becoming a UN freak doesn't disqualify our sheer amount of evidence concerning IB teaching methods, which has raised the concerns of others who ARE affected or those who MIGHT be affected once they're in. IBers claim "balance". They come in and say just because they do not find themselves affected, we exaggerate the cases with people who have been affected. So essentially IBers are saying "This isn't what I experienced so you must be wrong". Hello your experiences vs hard evidence with video backup and links to the IBO site itself? It doesn't take a genius to recognize who is more trustworthy. Hey your TOK course implies people can't think without taking the course (since it's literally claiming to teach someone how to obtain knowledge, thus imply no one's got much knowledge until u do the course). I'm from CIE and I haven't taken any pseudo-philosophy courses but bring it on! CIE against TOK anyday. Rubbing in their clearly biased international perspective against US and then hypocritically teaching students who have been purposely kept from any other views all the way from PYP to MYP to college, to, "challenge what we taught you" sounds like a good way to fool the fooled that they are being taught genuine knowledge without other motives, but let's face it, IB and EVERYONE knows how hard it is to go against the crowd instinct when you're been bombarded with propaganda. I'd like to see how IBers trained in TOK can throw in a reasonable argument outside their TOK class andso far I haven't seen a demonstration of knowledge, although I have seen quite a demonstration of subtle, unproven, hard-to-detect but not impossible-to -detect philosophical assumptions. I see much official evidence in each of the sections in this site along with testimonies, but the only free comment section in which everyone can write in is given to the IB defenders. I say there should be a free comment section given to the people who are displeased with IB also, so the sum of our testimonies do not become overwhelmed by theirs.