The introduction of International Baccalaureate programmes continues to spread across the globe. Most international educators will encounter schools using the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme at some point throughout their exciting careers abroad.
The IB Programme was developed in Switzerland between 1963 and 1969, the result of a collaboration between university professors and secondary teachers from ten member schools of the International Schools Association. The team developed a curriculum that prepared graduates well to attend the most rigorous universities and colleges anywhere in the world. In no time, it became apparent that the IB Diploma Programme provides students with the intellectual, personal, and social skills to live, learn, and work as global citizens. Indeed, the acuity of the IB’s high school graduates/entering freshmen best marketed the new program, which quickly gained university recognition worldwide.
Nearly 50 years later, according to the IB Organization’s website, a total of 6,311 programmes are being offered globally, across 4,786 schools. Within the last five years alone, the number of IB programmes offered worldwide has grown by 39.3%.
The programmes in which teachers train correspond to the grade levels being taught: Primary Years (PYP), Middle Years (MYP), the high school Diploma Programme (IBDP) and the recently-offered Career-Related Programme. The IB Organization offers a variety of ways for educators to gain a fuller understanding of these programmes, including workshops, webinars, and regional conferences. Schools utilizing the IB curricula are keen to provide generous professional development.
Many IB schools send teachers to an IB training workshop, which counts toward their certification to teach the courses. It is also common for regional associations to offer IBO-approved workshops and other professional development opportunities, as well as support for schools and districts implementing IB programmes. In the U.S., IB workshops are typically held in the summer months, though some are offered at other times of year, usually at hotels or resorts. It is also possible for teachers to gain IB training at universities that are now partnering with the IBO to offer IB teacher certification programs.
In a career in education, there is a commitment to lifelong learning. As you consider your next steps in professional development, and are interested in working in an IB school, Senior Associate Gez Hayden, also Fair Organizer of the London and East Asia Job Fairs for IB educators and schools, offers this advice for those with no IB experience:
“Research the IB Programmes from www.ibo.org through the “Programmes” tab. Become very familiar with the IB learner profile which is the common backbone of all four IB programmes. Be prepared to talk at the interview about your understanding of the learner profile, how it features already as part of your pedagogy, and how it is reflected in the work your students do.”
To obtain more information regarding workshops, webinars and regional conferences, visit http://www.ibo.org.