As a result of the Trump Administration plan to cut back in education. I’d like to take a moment to share my educational journey thus far.
Everything I learned, academically, from since I could remember up until the tenth grade was utterly destroyed in a matter of a couple weeks. I was chosen to be apart of the IB program and in its first two weeks what I thought I knew about education, academics, and being a A student quickly changed.
The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is for students aged 16-19.
It is not for lazy students, at all. There was about three students that took AP (advance placement) courses and by some circumstance also took a few IB courses. They said it was “10 times harder.”
I took it because I heard 33 free college credits and oh boy- did I fling myself into the fire.
The curriculum is made up of the three required components, the DP core aims to broaden students’ educational experience and challenge them to apply their knowledge and skills.
The three core elements are:
•Theory of knowledge, in which students reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.
•The extended essay, which is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
•Creativity, activity, service, in which students complete a project related to those three concepts.
The six subject groups are:
Standard level subjects take up 150 teaching hours. Higher level comprises 240 teaching hours.
Each student takes at least three (but not more than four) subjects at higher level, and the remaining at standard level.
During my two years I took Math, biology, cultural anthropology, art, theory of knowledge, foreign language, among a few other courses. I must say it was one of the most challenging times of my life but at the end of it all I became a better person overall.
The way the IB DP is graded is different from what most western educated folks are accustom to.
Students take written examinations at the end of the programme, which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school, which are either initially marked
by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
The marks awarded for each course range from 1 (lowest) to 7 (highest).
To achieve a grade of a 7 is not impossible but you definitely have to work for it.
Students can also be awarded up to three additional points for their combined results on theory of knowledge and the extended essay. These additional chances are also work load heavy, especially that extended essay- I had an entire year to write that paper.
The diploma is awarded to students who gain at least 24 points, subject to certain minimum levels of performance across the whole programme and to satisfactory participation in the creativity, action, service requirement.
The highest total that a Diploma Programme student can be awarded is 45 points. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigor and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.
I have to say that after completing the program, my first semester of college I handed in my final papers for all professors the following week. College after the IB program is a breeze. I have been on cruise control ever since.
I champion anyone who has or is considering this program. While the academic rigor is top notch, there are also elements of humanity and personality that shine through.
This is not a program to pump out the next big brain rather it is designed to challenge its students to become world citizens. It was in this program that I got the nickname International Social Butterfly.
The IB Mission
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Students at International Baccalaureate® (IB) World Schools are given a unique education.
• be encouraged to think independently and drive their own learning
• take part in programmes of education that can lead them to some of the highest ranking universities around the world
• become more culturally aware, through the development of a second language
• be able to engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world.
One of my favorite parts of this program has to be its community. As an international social butterfly I learned the value of education.
For instance, I was given chances to meet the worlds students, from all over. We should even trade textbooks for knowledge that was not aviaiabe in other countries, those are experiences I do not take for granted.
Outside the academics, the social aspects were just as enjoyable. From staying over friends homes for weekends, to rubbing shoulders with elite figures in all sectors of society, to presenting your full self (even sleep deprived) literally the world.
One of my happiest memories from the programs is knowing I literally have friends all over the world. Again- I am an International Social Butterfly.
Although this is not a free program. There is a $119 fee per course, but the IB has eliminated its $172 registration fee.
When I was a part of the program we had a class size of about 30 students. In the second year we were down to 8. Not a result of the finances, my high school actually footed the bill for all students for both years- we just had the pleasure of enjoying the intense work load.
It is discomforting to me to know that I had this incredible experience while in high school yet the chances of someone else doing it is in jeopardy by the Trump administration with its proposed $7.1 billion dollar cut to education.
My class is on par with the rest of the world and we can compete. I am afraid that the generations to come, should this administration get its wish, will be so far behind on a world scale that America would fail in more ways than one.
I have hope that folks would come to their senses. I want to say thank you to all my instructors, my high school for funding the cost, and to the IB program who has changed my life.
For those who wonder why I look so deeply into something, or overthink something, or use “big words,” or challenge undergraduate college work- this program is just a fraction of who I be.