04.18.14

Common IB Myths:


Questions
1)  IB Students have no life other than school:
2)  IB students don't get to take electives:
3)  Students are not able to study their specialty, for instance Art:
4)  There is too much homework in IB:
5)  There is too much stress in the IB Program:
6)  IB students give up many of their long-time friendships:
7)  IB is not all it's made out to be:
 
Answers
1)  Q IB Students have no life other than school:
A

Whereas academic achievement, and therefore studying, is a priority, IB students enjoy a very rich extracurricular high school experience. IB students have successfully participated in ALL interscholastic sports, consistently shown that they are school leaders on Student Council, Honor Societies, and the like, and enjoy belonging to a host of school clubs and community activities.

A survey conducted in 2002 indicated that the typical pre-IB student at Central belonged to an average 2.5 extracurricular & community organizations, the average for IB students rose to 5 clubs/activities.

Don't forget CAS sort of guarantees a very respectable level of non-academic ventures. Also, indications are that IB students enjoy a rather high percentage of leadership posts in the school and community-at-large.

2)  Q IB students don't get to take electives:
A

Pre-IB 9 & 10 students choose electives each year. IB students in grade 11 choose a course of study that is both specific to their skills and interests and consistent with attaining the IB Diploma. Grade 12 IB students also pursue their interests in their individualized courses of study. In addition, a grade 12 student could have an additional one or two electives, depending on how many IB exams are taken in junior year.

IB students also choose to take subjects as Standard Level or Higher Level, as well as choose a topic of interest or expertise in which to write their Extended Essay. All of this points to an impressive array of individualization, while still being in a 'program'.

If one is suggesting that the IB Program is more focused than the traditional school program, that's correct!

3)  Q Students are not able to study their specialty, for instance Art:
A

Because IB is a program - there are minimum requirements that must be met. For instance, all diploma candidates must demonstrate a level of proficiency in each of the 6 subject areas. However, this does not preclude someone from specializing in a subject area. Let's look at the example of Art:

A pre-IB student committed to Art would take art electives in grades 9 and 10. The student would then pursue IB Visual Arts courses in grade 11 and grade 12. In addition, the student's Extended Essay could be in the field of Visual Arts. In addition, many of the 150 CAS hours could be 'art allocated' (museums; art galleries; art fundraisers; public relations for arts charities; etc.) The student could also take an additional arts elective in senior year.

4 courses in the Arts; a 4,000 work piece of original research in the Arts (Extended Essay), with Arts' mentors; CAS internships and externships (grades 11 - 12) in the Arts field; This would be an impressive high-school concentration in the Arts.

A similar 'curriculum profile' could be outlined for students specifically skilled or interested in Literature, Math, Social Science, Experimental Science, Foreign Language, etc.

4)  Q There is too much homework in IB:
A

Recent student surveys have shown that pre-IB students spend an average of 1 to 2 ½ hours of homework per night and IB students spend an average of 2 to 3 ½ hours of homework per night.

IB students should develop good time management skills in order to be successful in the program.

5)  Q There is too much stress in the IB Program:
A

The statement really speaks about 'pressure', and its source. Because of the nature of studying 6 advanced studies courses simultaneously, it is critical that students understand that straight "A's" every quarter won't be probable. In fact, IB Coordinators everywhere talk of students & parents 'flirting with a "C" ', simply meaning that success and achievement in the program dictates working 'through it' and not 'conquering it' with perfect GPA's.

As soon as students & parents realize that grade evaluations in the IB Program are indicative of the highest, most rigorous standards in the world, and that maintaining a healthy outlook and an exceptional work ethic are more important than getting all A's, the stress will dissipate.

It's truly a different way of looking at achievement, and this adjustment can be tricky for some.

6)  Q IB students give up many of their long-time friendships:
A

If a student joins the IB Program and his/her friends do not then time in classes with them will not continue. But one of the great things about being in a large comprehensive high school is that there are many, many school activities that can be shared among friends.

In addition, an IB student is about to join a 'community', a 'team'. As such, he/she will develop bonds of friendship with classmates, united in a program, which will grow tremendously strong. Students from varied backgrounds become united in many wonderful academic and extracurricular pursuits.

7)  Q IB is not all it's made out to be:
A

IB has some very clear goals for excellence. The program also has some very definite outcomes that it wants to reach. Does it meet all its ideals? No. It still is an imperfect program - with inherent human and systemic weaknesses.

However, Central's program is one that is responsive to change and constantly introspective. In our decade of existence, goals have been met, ongoing feedback solicited, and program modifications adopted. We are proud of our results and what we stand for.

Make no mistake about it: IB is the most impressive, results-oriented, humanistic, college preparatory program available.

Over the past few years in the United States, the number of International Baccalaureate Programs has grown at a rate of 10% per year.

Is it for everyone? No.