Why IB is Different
As technology brings us closer to one another than ever before, parents wonder how their children can achieve the international education and cultural awareness they need to succeed in an increasingly global setting. The International Baccalaureate framework strives to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges of our diverse world landscape with a curriculum framework that combines independent learning with advanced critical thinking and problem-solving skills. After completing an IB diploma as high school students, graduates report an enhanced ability to adapt to rapid cultural changes and succeed in top international universities.
What are IB Schools?
The International Baccalaureate framework consists of programs for students ages three to 19, which means parents can opt for an IB education at the primary (includes early childhood), middle school, or high school level. IB fosters students with strong skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and cooperation.
These schools also stress a sense of caring for others and curious inquiry, which gives students the cultural acumen to succeed in our global future. The IB Learner Profile emphasizes these qualities to develop ethical and world-focused values.
How is IB Schools Different Than Other Programs?
Students in IB programs benefit from a teaching approach that centers on their unique skills and learning abilities. Teachers place lessons within an international context so students develop a keen understanding of other cultures and languages. They encourage students to ask questions, find the answers, and reflect on what they found in structured cycles of independent inquiry. IB strives to help each student develop a unique cultural, social, and academic identity throughout their growth from preschool through early career.
IB courses are firmly grounded in evidence-based educational research. Standards and benchmarks for student learning grow and change based on proven innovations that support our understanding of language and learning differences.
What are the Benefits of an IB Program?
Research supports these key advantages of international baccalaureate education.
Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills Parents whose children took part in the pilot study of the Primary Years Programme for ages three to 12 reported that the IB helped their students develop "real-world" skills, such as the ability to evaluate information and make decisions. In a follow-up study in 2017 after implementation of the IB framework in Spanish schools, educational leaders reported that students in the Middle Year’s Pogramme (or MYP - ages 11 to 16) displayed accelerated skills in critical thinking, inquiry, research, teamwork, and communication.
A 2016 study in New Zealand reviewed the academic performance of primary students in 14 schools, some with an IB framework and some following the New Zealand state curriculum. The researchers found that the international baccalaureate students performed higher on standardized tests than their counterparts attending a state school.
Turkish scientists published a study in 2015 comparing the achievement of high school graduates from international baccalaureate and public school programs. The researchers reported that IB graduates reported a higher level of preparation for college-level courses, achieved higher GPAs and had higher college and university graduation rates than peers who graduated from other Turkish high school programs.
A study in 2015 reviewed the secondary school performance of graduates of the IB middle years program compared to their peers. The researchers found that MYP grads took advanced placement courses at a rate about 34% higher than their peers who graduated from other middle-school programs. They were also 39% more likely to earn a college-ready score on college prep tests such as the ACT or SAT.
Many proponents of the IB find that students experience a more well-rounded education with this approach. Specifically, the three components of the high school IB curriculum framework provide comprehensive graduation requirements with creativity, action, and service component, an extended essay based on original research, and a course on theories of knowledge in addition to other academic requirements.
College Readiness and Outcomes
Long-term research reviewed the outcomes of students from low-income families who attended the IB diploma program for ages 16 to 19 compared to those who attended public school in the United States. The students who attended the international baccalaureate schools tended to have higher post-college ambitions and higher levels of extracurricular participation than their peers in public high schools. They also rated their courses as more challenging. Study authors reported that in early follow-up studies, the IB students had displayed resilience, self-efficacy, and strong study habits as they transitioned to university.
Research published by the International Baccalaureate Organization examined the college and university attendance of students who attended the IB career-related program. IBO scientists reported that among CP graduates in the U.S.:
● 76% started college or university immediately after secondary school
● 81% eventually started a higher education course
● 79% attended four-year colleges, compared to 64% of overall U.S. high school graduates
● 89% returned for the second year of college after completing the initial year
Global IB Alumni Network
Since students have been educated in two languages (in some cases, like at the International School of Denver, since preschool), they have the immediate ability to adapt to international universities and employment opportunities. Many graduates even become fluent in three or more languages.
The American Foreign Service Association reports that the IB degree for high school carries the same academic status as AP courses within the United States. However, IB programs have more global recognition than AP classes do, particularly in European nations. High school students who have this type of education develop the cultural awareness to succeed in a multicultural world.
The International Baccalaureate Organization connects students with a global community of successful alumni. As your student approaches graduation, he or she will be able to reach out to other IB grads from all over the world to build a robust professional network.
Improved School Environment
A 2020 research study looked at California public elementary schools that adapted the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). After the implementation of the international baccalaureate framework, study participant reports and statistical data showed significant improvements such as:
● Reduced bullying
● Increased parental involvement
● Better fairness in education
● More caring connections with teachers and others in the school environment
● Perceived child safety at school
A similar Australian study published the same year associated IB implementation with improved student well-being and participation. Researchers also reported stronger teacher engagement and a more positive overall environment at the school post-IB.
International Baccalaureate Education in Denver
At the International School of Denver, students have the exclusive opportunity for an immersive multicultural and bilingual education right here in Denver. ]We currently have the Middle Years Programme already in place and are a candidate school for the Primary Years Programme.
We use the international baccalaureate curriculum framework in conjunction with French, Spanish, and Chinese target language tracks, starting with our early childhood program through eighth grade.
We’d love to chat about the benefits of immersion and IB education with you! Contact the Admissions Team today!