45 is a Magic Number

Timothy Hoffmann

And not only because it is the glinting perfect score.

Did you know that the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was 45 years old in 2013?

The seed of the IBDP was developed in 1962 by a team of forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva.  In 1968, only a couple of international schools dared put their students forward for the first-ever IB trial examinations.  UWC Atlantic College in South Wales was the first school in Britain to snatch up the IB, compelled by the diploma’s central mission statement: ‘to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect’.

The IB combines a rigorous, internationally recognised academic syllabus with a powerful mission statement for peace and intercultural understanding.  Its creation was a revolutionary turn of events after the global conflicts of the early and mid 20th Century.

Since these first pioneering steps, the IBDP has swept the globe – there are now 3,923 IB World Schools in 147 countries.

The IBDP’s younger sibling – the Middle Years’ Programme (MYP) – was born in 1994, and celebrates its 20th birthday this year.  It’s another gallant leap for the central mission of international peace.  From the age of 11, MYP students are encouraged to develop key skills in effective communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement, making them creative, critical and reflective thinkers.

The IB is not all ‘6-subjects-plus-ToK-plus-EE-plus-CAS’.  There’s a more meaningful, truly progressive, mission statement at its core.

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