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The end of British curriculum in international schools.

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by ravenscroft2, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    I've never taught IB but most of the students I teach who have friends in IB schools who have compared notes/assessments/classwork seem to think that the IB is significantly tougher
    JL48 and ejclibrarian like this.
  2. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    The IB is not more academically challenging than A levels but it is ridiculously more time consuming. The EE is simply a dressed up A level essay, ToK is no different to a General Studies course in critical thinking but add to that the unnecessary 3 SL subjects and the CAS, it is simply hours and hours of more work to no real end - academically speaking!!! And they keep adding to it every five years, in my subject they had a review and took out a topic that lasted about a week and then added a whole extra exam paper which took about six weeks!

    And don't get me started on the social engineering aspects of the DP and its eurocentricity! Is that a real word? Of course it was started as a way of avoiding war in Europe (bit like the EU) was she Swiss or French?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  3. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    All of the university reps that I speak to (which is a lot) tell me that the EE is what makes IB students stand out. A-Level students NEVER have to write a 4000 word independently sourced research based essay. This is why IB students stand out in their first year at most universities. I would say that CAS has more to do with learning about social responsibility rather than just filling in time and, to be frank, if you think that TOK bears any relevance to General Studies then it is obvious that you have never taught it properly.

    Mind you each to their own.........

  4. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    "write a 4000 word independently sourced research based essay."

    And neither do most DP students, I once marked a set of History EE's from a school which were all on the same question, and all referenced a very limited number of sources. I have seen Language A teachers virtually write their students EE's for them. Bad teachers I know, but the system lets them get away with it.

    As always Perce, its not about the system you are working in but the teacher teaching the course. My General Studies classes, that I taught when I worked in the UK last, were as good as any ToK lesson because I made them so.

    The same when I taught History in th UK, because of the three subjects and the large amount of class and private study time, my students were able to do far more reading around the subject, I could set aside time for reading monographs and biography's, the historiography that I taught was wide ranging and not just based on; 'oh, and AJP Taylor says. . . ', they could actually read the book. Try doing that wth the time you get in the DP, I will barely finish the course this year and my students will all do well but it has not been much fun for them, or me, and they spend a lot of time sleeping in the Library during their one or two private study lessons because they are wiped out!

    'I would say that CAS has more to do with learning about social responsibility rather than just filling in time'

    I realise the purpose of all this Perce, and as I said, it's purpose is social engineering, pushing a Liberal (in the classic sense) Eurocentric, Western view of the world that denigrates any other view.
  5. puggerchris

    puggerchris New commenter

    I teach both at the minute. There is no comparison in the quality of course or student. IB kicks butt.
    JL48 and ejclibrarian like this.
  6. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Weirdly though, IGCSE Literature students can and often do write 4000 word independently sourced research based essays. The lower word limit is only 650 words for the coursework.... but there's no upper limit. Back when AQA did a Lit Cert, I regularly had students turn in essays of 4000+ plus (thankfully, usually only 4 or 5 in a class of 30), and the Edexcel IGCSE syllabus still allows for this too (maybe this is why IGCSEs are more popular than the MYP?). I still find it insane that Gove et al did away with coursework, because it was the best preparation for University there is...
  7. toxy

    toxy New commenter

    I’ve taught both GCSE and IGCSE English Language. To say the latter is inherently more demanding is a farce. The coursework components have the potential for far greater creativity and independence, but equally significant potential to be much, much easier than GCSE. It’s entirely down to how it is run (hence why plenty of schools use it for year 12s who didn’t obtain a good GCSE).

    Unless, of course, they do an EPQ.
  8. Mickyd197se

    Mickyd197se Occasional commenter

    Overall, the IB Curriculum is far more demanding, and in diverse ways, than A-Levels. I'm amazed anybody with experience of teaching both would suggest otherwise. IB students have to study a science, maths, a second language, English (well, usually) and that's even before the core elements (CAS/EE/TOK).

    Most A-level students study similar courses, with few mixing arts-based subjects with science-based qualifications. The IB is broad and wide reaching. A-Levels allow students to just focus on their main interests. There's a place for both, and A-Levels allow for greater depth it's true, but the IB offers the most varied, holistic education by far. Universities agree, and top UK unis target strong IB students.
  9. leyladb

    leyladb New commenter

    How did you get into online teaching? Sound interesting....
  10. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    "Universities agree, and top UK unis target strong IB students"

    Despite what you state, frequently, UK universities require higher UCAS tariff points for IB than they do for 3 A Levels.

    As the IB results come out earlier than A Level, IB students are in a good position to push their claim for a place if they fall below the offer, or their levels vary in the subjects.
  11. percy topliss

    percy topliss Established commenter

    A lot of the problem here is that many UK universities just do not understand the IB Diploma at all. They still see the 3 HL subjects as A-Levels and the SL ones as AS style qualifications. They are sadly, mistaken and it is losing them a lot of good students, certainly from my school.

    For example, a student is predicted a mid 30's score and offered a place at Strand Poly for that exact score with 6's in the HL subjects if they don't get that score, chances are that they won't get in. If they do they will, on average, pay twice what UK and EU students do with no financial aid available and no guarantee of any sort of visa once they have graduated.

    In the USA the same student will not be given a score to meet, they will be told that their grades need to not drop after their last (Christmas) transcript before the exams. If they attain a 5, 6 or 7 in their HL subjects they will be given IB credit, which may be worth up to a years tuition, a scholarship for being IB students and the chance of more scholarships to come. The Russell group and Universities UK can tweet, bleat and email as much as they like but they are falling so far behind the rest of the world now that it may soon become impossible for them to catch up.

    Thank Goodness that it is holiday time next week!

    JL48 likes this.
  12. ravenscroft2

    ravenscroft2 New commenter

  13. ravenscroft2

    ravenscroft2 New commenter

    Do universities have to understand anything that falls outside the student audience outside their own national boundaries? After all, the British government blocked the introduction of IB curriculum in state funded British schools. And it s the British government that funds British universities. So students from elsewhere may apply for places, and pay the non resident fees that apply. Or avail themselves of any institution which will accept them.
  14. ravenscroft2

    ravenscroft2 New commenter

    If they feel that British universities have nothing to offer, then may go somewhere else. Attain their degrees elsewhere. It makes little difference to the academic record of the Russell group.
  15. Bytor

    Bytor Occasional commenter

    Ravenscroft, your response implies that the IB does not occur in the UK.

    The IB is available in a number of state secondary schools, alongside A levels, and in many sixth form colleges.

    It is not limited to public/fee paying uk institutions, or ''foreign" establishments.
  16. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

  17. dandad3

    dandad3 New commenter

    I have now taught both. IB is better for a student-centered approach to learning. By the end of the Diploma course students are more likely to remain engaged than go into the final year slump.
    With A-levels, the risk is (and it is a high risk), a student can essentially sleep in class to get through School.
    IB is more of a course with ongoing additional assessment requirements. A-level is just the final exam assessment.
    Both have their place in my opinion but rather IB than A-level, since the current UK a-level is looking more like an IB course anyway.
  18. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    It's simple. If you cant do IBDP A level is the easier option! For overseas students especially IBDP prepares students for University. A levels are just certificates to get to University. IBDP HL subjects have generally less content, but more depth of thinking than A levels and forces schools to offer a good general education. British Universities want this as they want students who can think and learn. A levels are easier to rote learn and suffer grade inflation and political interference. IBDP is independent of any govermment arguably its strongest feature. The biggestbissue with IBDP for mosy stufents is the extra language and time management. You have to be very well organised at the age of 16 that is a big demand really.
    dumbbells66 and ejclibrarian like this.
  19. strangefish32

    strangefish32 New commenter

    And the IB doesn't have high standards?
  20. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    The IB model is nothing like a US high school diploma, it’s not even close - your statement shows an incredibly high level of ignorance. You can run both together but you could also run A Levels alongside a high school diploma (and yes this has actually been done).

    A Levels do not have particularly high standards - their reputation as a “gold standard” is based on historical and cultural factors that have nothing at all to do with education.

    I’m not knocking A Levels but ridiculous statements like “American students can’t hack the high standards of A Levels” in support of a straw man argument, and downright lies about high school diplomas do little to add any weight to what you are saying.
    dumbbells66 likes this.

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