27 November 2017

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

"Learning should not only take us somewhere; it should allow us later to go further, more easily." Dr Jerome Bruner, Educational Psychologist

In a recent article published in the educational magazine, IB World, Alice Albright, the CEO of Global Partnership for Education, explained why access to education was vital to resolving global conflict and when asked about the IB programmes, she responded, "… two words come to mind, 'international' and 'excellence' … I love the idea that the IB drives for excellence at a time when you hear so much about declining standards." The College elected to offer the three International Baccalaureate programmes because it is our desire to empower Scotch boys to attain academic excellence and to go further, more easily and contribute to their global community.

Increasingly, Scotch students are electing to continue with their Baccalaureate studies and maintain the rigorous academic standards established in the PYP and MYP by continuing with the Diploma Programme; thereby joining a global alumni that share a continued passion for learning, as well as a social conscience that motivates them to be a blessing to those who are less fortunate.

The majority of Scotch graduates elect to study domestically but, equally, all have the opportunity to pursue an education overseas because their IB Diploma provides access to more than 3000 universities worldwide. Daniel Bloch, a 2014 graduate, has elected to pursue an exciting opportunity in Europe by accepting a scholarship to the International Business School of Madrid, IE University.

Dan earned an excellent score in the Diploma and received scholarship offers from King's College London; Bond University in Queensland as well as offers from Melbourne University and University College London. Dan made the difficult decision of overlooking some elite universities by choosing to study at the Instituto de Empresa (IE hereafter) in Spain. It was the university's social conscience and entrepreneurial mindset that attracted Dan. Few people in Australia have heard of this contemporary, business orientated university but it is a highly credentialed academic institution ranked 29th in the world by the International New York Times and the number one Executive MBA programme in the world, as published in The Economist magazine.

In 2014, during his final year in the DP, Dan's selection for the Junior Advisory Board Programme offered by IE, introduced him to their ethos and vision for their graduates. Every year, only sixteen students from around the world are invited to attend, collaborate and advise the University's Board of Directors about their expectations of a tertiary education and, more importantly, to propose how their studies can benefit both First World countries as well as Developing Nations.

To be chosen, these sixteen students must participate in a rigorous selection process, which assesses their leadership skills, ability to collaborate as well as communicate their vision effectively. Dan wrote two essays: one focusing on ways to set up micro-financing facilities in First and Third World Nations; a topic he had researched earlier for his IB Diploma Economics course and another on leadership in a global context.

IB programme photo

The Board chose Dan to participate in the programme because they recognized he was "not a sheep in the herd"; he was a young man with insight and vision. They saw a passionate student who possessed effective communication skills and an intellect able to negotiate challenges by being aware that there are different ways of knowing about issues, resolving problems and arriving at a more considered solution. Dan attributes these skills to his studies in Theory of Knowledge, which taught him to critically analyse knowledge claims and explore their associated knowledge questions.

It isn't surprising that from the hundreds of applicants from around the world, twelve of the sixteen chosen for the Junior Advisory Board Programme by IE were IB Diploma students studying in IB schools globally.

At IE, Dan will participate in a broad educational programme, which the university maintains is essential for success in the modern world: he will study a range of units based around business, international relations, entrepreneurship, ethics as well as courses in creative and critical thinking. The university also mandates the study of a second language, so, in addition to developing his knowledge of Spanish, which he studied during the Diploma Programme, Dan has chosen to learn Mandarin.

The university privileges entrepreneurial skills in its students and offers Start-up Labs: if students generate viable business models, they are invited to present them to the Board of Directors, who will invest in these plans if they see potential in the proposals. In some instances they directly refer the students to their global partners who will assist them in fast-tracking the development of their ideas.

At the core of the Diploma Programme, exists a curricula and pedagogy that invites students to consider their responsibilities to others as a result of acquiring academic knowledge. It allows them to advance their professional and private lives and go further, more easily, but with an attitude of compassion and selflessness. The Scotch alumni are, increasingly, joining a global one and contributing to their local and international communities; a realization of the Scotch Mission Statement: "To develop boys of character with a strong self-understanding, a passion for sustained learning and spiritual inquiry who will become valued members of the global community."

Mr Michael Scaife

IBDP Coordinator