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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by 402will402, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. 402will402

    402will402 New commenter

    Hi. I’m just starting out on my international school journey. Planning to go international for my whole career. I have a question about Curricula.

    I’m seeing different curriculums being mentioned with different jobs. British, IB ect.

    My question is, is it better to stick with one curriculum throughout? Is experience in a particular curriculum more valuable than any other? I’ve read that IB experience is pretty hot?

    Apologize if this question has already been covered. I couldn’t find a search function.
  2. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    While its not uncommon to jump between curriculums, a good grounding in one or the other would be the preference for most schools.

    What you should consider is the difference between them. The IB is significantly bigger than the British system, therefore there is much greater employment opportunities.
    george1963 likes this.
  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yup, dumbbells66 is right. There are probably more IB schools out there than British curriculum schools. Even more importantly, the IB ones often pay better!
    george1963 likes this.
  4. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    To quote from a previous thread: 'Yuck! This sort of thread on the TES makes me feel sick. If the only thing you really care about is money, then why are you a teacher? Why not stay in the UK, if you are not interested in experiencing different countries, languages and cultures?'

    Make your mind up pal.
  5. george1963

    george1963 Occasional commenter

    Helpful responses from some posters :rolleyes:
  6. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Yeah, that's fair.

    So, in response to the original question, i would suggest that once you go down the worm hole of any particular curriculum then it is beneficial to stay within that paradigm in that you accrue experience, knowledge and credibility.

    That's certainly not to say that you can't, and shouldn't transfer, and I think there are positives for all parties if you do.
  7. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    I once heard a principal stand up at a staff meeting and proudly informed everyone she would come to work even if she wasn't paid. At the time we had not been paid, had no work visa, no health insurance and the school licence had been suspended.

    We were also informed that we had to let her know if we wished to renew or resign our contract by the 31st of February!

    Teaching is just a job and why shouldn't we move to the highest paying establishments.

    The global ownership of schools is driving down the salaries on offer, I have seen monthly pay cuts of 10000rmb/month here in Shanghai over the last 6 years.
    Bentley89 likes this.
  8. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    So, back to the original point…..

    I think the best thing to do is to start with a curriculum which you are already familiar with. So if you’re coming from the UK, then the English curriculum schools are usually a good place to start. Quite often they are a mix of National Curriculum and something else – in primary, IPC, and in secondary, IB. That means that the other curriculum will filter through at some points and you have the opportunity of gaining experience in one while still working comfortably in the other.

    In terms of pay, the IB schools pay better simply because there are more of them and competition at present maintains those rates of pay. However, as pay stagnates / falls in places like China or SE Asia, then these probably will too. Also, it remains to be seen what the effect Brexit will have on teaching – if there are more jobs in the UK then pay there will have to increase (Scottish teachers have just agreed a 13.5% pay increase over 3 years, with an agreement to review workload) just to attract and keep teachers. Remember that internationally, the competition between schools for teachers isn’t just with the school down the road, it’s with schools in other cities and countries too.
  9. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I taught English Nat Curric for the first 13 years of my teaching career, and have now been teaching IB for the last 12 years. Joining IB has been a revelation, a near rebirth, certainly a restoration of my belief in teaching. IB is so much more than just a different curriculum structure, it's more than just a different pay scale, it's joining education with a clear purpose. It is also like joining a big family of others who (largely) share the same purpose, values and mission. IB Is also relatively free from Govt interference (certainly relative to UK curriculum). Yes, I'm an IB evangelist ! I'm not the only one, there are many of us out there. I don't come across many people singing the virtues of UK Key Stage 3, 4 or 5..., however I meet many people enthusiastic (and more) about what an IB education can offer.., I think there'll be thousands of such people gathering in HK this weekend..,
  10. 402will402

    402will402 New commenter

    Oh great thanks for the info. So IPC is specifically Primary and IB secondary? I’m actually a primary teacher and would like to continue that. Are there any other curriculums to be aware of? I’m sure there’s an American one but I guess they would prefer US trained teachers.

    Thank you all for the information, it’s been very helpful. PS. I’m not looking to maximise my salary, just my options and employability.
  11. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    In my many years of international teaching I have seen no evidence of any curriculum paying more then any other apart from the best schools pay thee best regardless of what educational philosophy is taught.
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  12. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    IPC (International Primary Curriculum) is entirely primary - there is a middle school version but it doesn't really get used much. Most English curriculum schools use IPC to help with Topic lessons, as it does this bit well, although I don't think it's so good on Maths and English.

    IB, on the other hand, is most commonly delivered at the Diploma level (IBDP, as it's called - KS5 equivalent) but there is also a Primary Years Programme and a Middle Years Programme (PYP & MYP.) These are becoming more common, but again if you've taught a lot at KS1 - 3 then they're not really much different - less prescriptive, possible.

    The US schools do tend to prefer US teachers, particularly for Advanced Placement (AP.) I think a lot of that is simply a lack of understanding - or an unwillingness to understand - other systems. Personally, of the three curricula, I think the US is actually the weakest, particularly in ensuring standards across different schools - to me, unless you've done some AP classes which can be externally certified, a US High School Diploma from the Best Marigold High School somewhere in deepest SE Asia really isn't worth the paper it's written on.
    ToK-tastic likes this.
  13. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    IB has programmes for all age ranges. Primary Years Programme (PYP) is obviously the Primary curriculum.
  14. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Yes, and...
    There are actually 4 IB programmes, the 3 mentioned above, and also the Career-Related, which is taught in the same years as the DP, with a different focus.
    As for numbers, yes the DP is the most common, and there is quite a decent number of schools at the PYP and MYP levels. Copied from wikipedia:
    upload_2019-3-22_8-36-29.png upload_2019-3-22_8-36-29.png

    The CR is only a few years old and obviously the least established. I look forward to seeing it grow, as it offers quite a nice programme for those who are somewhat more practical, less academic.

    And the PYP and MYP are miles different from KS1-3.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, I have never suggested that teachers should not be paid a fair salary, SecondPlace, and obviously salaries are very important if you have a family to support.
  16. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    for some reason the CR programme is massive in Kent. nearly all of those "total" numbers are for schools in Kent.

    the MYP is only about 16 maybe 17 years old, and its growing fast.
  17. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I've been working with the MYP for 20 years already, and it wasn't in its first year when I started, so a little older than 16 or 17, methinks.
  18. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    The IB website pegs 1994 as the year the IB took over the MYP from ISA. Going on 25 years by that reckoning, longer if you count its time with the ISA.
  19. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    got my dates wrong, but its the youngest of all the major programmes
  20. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Then don't express disdain for high salary chasing on one thread and endorse it on another.
    lardprao and dumbbells66 like this.

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