Traditional high school programs all tend to be structured similarly – teachers give lectures, notes are prepared, students take written exams. But these kinds of programs fail to prepare students for success. Many students finish high school feeling uninspired and listless. They’re not confident enough to participate in academic conversation or present their ideas, which makes gaining acceptance into university a struggle. The IB is a high school diploma with a difference. There’s one element that is integral to this program of study – it teaches critical thinking, communication, broadens perspectives and boosts confidence. This secret ingredient is community, and here’s why we think that is:
IB teachers are committed to creating ‘Socratic classrooms’ that facilitate two-way communication. Lectures are replaced with conversations and debates, with both student and teacher contributing to the learning experience. Students collaborate and trade ideas, they bounce off each other and gather well-informed opinions. The classroom community is the key to students developing into excellent communicators and listeners.
The IB Diploma is internationally recognized, it’s a diverse student community that spans across the globe. The IB curriculum also teaches students to be outward-facing and culturally aware, so they are well prepared as global citizens. IB students are practiced in setting stereotypes aside and this makes for an excellent high school environment. Diversity is celebrated and community spirit is strong. For this reason, IB students also make great university candidates. Universities know they can expect IB students to enter their communities respectfully and without prejudice.
Outreach and service
Creativity, Activity and Service, commonly referred to as CAS, is a core component of the IB program. Students are provided with opportunities to engage with their communities in a collaborative way. Whether it’s organizing fundraising for a local project or thinking of ways to clean up the environment – by taking action and making change, students recognize the role they play not just in their school community, but in something much larger. The CAS element of the IB program helps students learn how to be mindful of others and think critically about how to make things better for everyone. We can’t think of a better skill to cultivate in high school – a good sense of community is what shapes students towards success in their future careers.