Seventy years ago, the director of an international school in Geneva penned a forward-thinking handbook for UNESCO titled “Educational Techniques for Peace. Do They Exist?” This document, by Marie-Thérèse Maurette, heralded a revolutionary approach to teaching history and geography, and it set the foundation for the International Baccalaureate (IB) we know today. Today, her vision continues to shape IB students, helping them become global citizens.
Understanding Global Citizenship
Global citizenship in the context of IB Programs encapsulates a wide range of attributes. IB students not only gain a profound understanding of international issues, but they also become socially responsible individuals. A student completing the IB program engages in different languages, cultures, and societies – all of which prepare them to navigate the interconnected world we live in successfully.
Promoting Global Citizenship through the IB Curriculum
At the heart of every IB DP program is the belief that education must extend beyond academics. This is something that can be seen in the curriculums that are designed for the students that are part of this program.
From the Primary Years Programme (PYP) to the Career-Related Programme (CP), this program is structured to cultivate all-around development, encouraging students to connect their studies and the world.
One of the cores of the IB DP is the CAS element (Creativity, Activity, & Service) which encourages students to participate in projects that stimulate creativity, involve physical activity, and promote a sense of community service. This fosters an understanding of local perspectives on global issues through experiential learning, shaping students to be conscientious, active participants in their communities and the world.
The Impact of IB Students
The real-world impact of the IB’s approach to education is evident in its students. IB students are equipped with a broad, flexible education that imbues them with knowledge, practical training, intellectual engagement, and international-mindedness. This unique mix positions them not just to understand the world but also to influence it positively.
Remember that the holistic education that is provided under the banner of IB DP programs is more than just a means to an academic end. In fact, one can argue that it is a journey of personal growth and global citizenship. Since its inception around seven decades ago, IB has indeed come a long way, constantly adapting and improving to foster global citizens. One can even look at the Western International School of Shanghai, as a fully comprehensive IB World School, as an example. It serves as a testament to this transformative educational approach.