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IB for every learner

Abhinav Awasthi, a Diploma Programme (DP) coordinator at Ebenezer International School Bangalore, offers an infectiously enthusiastic personal view of the strengths of an IB education.

Students writing tasks on whiteboard in class, laughing with classmates

By Abhinav Awasthi

Latent passion, focused mind, grit and persistence are a few of the qualities I have witnessed in IB students that have excelled in the IB curriculum. The IB is not only an International education, but a truly a glocalized education that can be moulded easily to local culture with a global outlook. During my journey in Indian international schools, I came across a key observation that the IB is suited to students from all backgrounds―not only for the elite (for those from a high socio-economic background) but for students who come from middle or lower socio-economic backgrounds. In short, it’s not about your background but rather your attitude towards learning. Luckily, I have seen both sides. Students who cherished their IB dream and were ready to commit themselves to the demand of the curriculum and those who landed in the IB by accident. Due to factors like a student’s socio-economic background (as there are expensive resources like coursebooks, gadgets), their own or their parents’ aspirations that wouldn’t allow them to study in local boards (that may be due to minding a students’ abilities or time management), an IB education may be difficult to achieve.

Hence the message is: Strive to join IB, regardless of your background, because the right to education is for all.

IB is rigorous however enjoyable too“I’m lovin’ it”

Let’s ask ourselves a question: How many curricula in today’s world encourage you to be independent, creative, empathetic and disciplined? I’m sure it might require a lot of effort to find one if you were not aware of the IB. With due respect to all curriculum boards and examination bodies and having taught students from various local and international boards (Indian State boards, CBSE, ICSE and Cambridge), I’ve observed that the IB is about students who believe in being human, not just becoming a man or a woman in this materialistic world with a tag or label of being, “so & so”. By being human, it means enjoying life in its truest sense―being able to learn new things, develop an ability to explore and research, empathise with others, develop critical thinking abilities etc. I’m not the only one who says it, do refer to research (published by the IB from time to time) on its comparison with other curriculums, and you will be convinced. In a nutshell, after joining the IB, I’m sure that as a student you would say the famous quote, “I’m lovin’ It”.

IB learners are lifelong learners

IB learners are, “lifelong-learners”. While agreeing with this statement, I would like to add that it’s not just IB students but also the entire IB community that consists of IB teachers, parents, educators, alumni and a variety of other stakeholders, who are associated with IB’s philosophy of being lifelong learners. We all agree with the fact that learning is not only limited to books and curriculum but it’s all around us. It’s the viewpoint of a knowledge-seeker that can turn any event or situation into a learning experience.

“By being human, it means enjoying life in its truest sense―being able to learn new things, develop an ability to explore and research, empathise with others, develop critical thinking abilities etc.”

Terrific cocktail of content, concepts and skills

IB offers an outstanding cocktail of content, concepts and skills for IB students to go deeper into the conceptual underpinning and develop their skills along their journey. It would be an understatement to say that the IB prepares students for the workplace when in reality, the IB prepares students for their entire life. The IB curriculum is wrapped in context to provide deeper conceptual understanding and foster development of skills like communication, research, and most importantly, self-management.

  • Extended essay & internal assessment―In both of these IB components, students do in-depth research into the topic of their choice thus fostering creativity, critical thinking and reasoning along with learning how to hone their skills of research, self-management and communication. For more information on extended essay, watch my video here.
  • Theory of knowledge (TOK)―A beautiful course expanding the frontiers of critical thinking and providing an opportunity to delve deeper into knowledge and its various dimensions.
  • Conceptual underpinning―Majority of the IB subjects are now being tied up with key concepts underpinning curriculum, which enable learners to delve deeper and understand the content through context and concepts.
  • IB assessment―Culmination of the IB journey for students enabling them to showcase their skills and knowledge. For more information, please watch my video on, “Recipe for students’ success in DP Examination”, here.
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Abhinav Awasthi, is the DP coordinator at Ebenezer International School Bangalore and has been associated with the IB since 2007. Lead DP authorization in two IB World Schools and served as a senior examiner for Business Management since 2009. IB has given wings to his passion. He cherishes the dream of being an IB educator and earned his bachelor of education along with a master of commerce at an Indian university. Therefore, the article is an attempt to motivate learners and parents to embrace the IB.

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