Some of the greatest ideas on education come from those receiving it.
Using video conferencing, we brought together 12 IB students and alumni from all four corners of the globe, and asked them to analyse the key issues in education. Our volunteers champion the IB’s holistic approach to learning, and the contagious passion of teachers and other students. They stress the need for students to look beyond their national boundaries, and to learn valuable lessons from global cultures. They describe how the IB has encouraged them to be confident and more creative, to take risks, to manage their time effectively, to embrace technology, and to think independently. They highlight how it’s imperative that young females the world over receive access to education. As one alumna says: “Education is the spark that starts it all.” This article was first published in the special 50th anniversary edition of IB World magazine. The artwork and illustrations for this article were created by Paddy Mills.
Why is international education so important?
“On an international level, our problems are becoming more complex and are going to require teamwork to solve them. That teamwork isn’t going to be with someone living across the street from you, it’s going to be with people from other countries with different backgrounds. So we need to teach students how to work with people who might not necessarily have the same beliefs as them.” Matthew Ferby DP graduate.
“Education has to be inclusive, regardless of your [social] background and the place you live. We should try to expose ideas to children early on so that they’re not excluded from progress or from the personal adventure of learning. This will help us become a global community. Education is the spark that starts it all.” Irene Fanning DP graduate.
How has the IB benefited you?
“The non-academic component is the core of the IB. It gives you a more holistic approach to learning. I feel it’s given me a greater love of learning both inside and outside the classroom. I’m learning how to think. The learning experience makes me want to wake up and go to school every day.” Esha Mardikar DP student.
“If you know what career you want, the IB Career-related Programme (CP) helps you prepare for that earlier than other students. This gives you an advantage when you get to university… My knowledge of accounting might prove to be greater than that of my friends at university since I’ll have studied it before them… It also gives me the chance to do an internship in a company for one month. Some of the things you learn during an internship cannot be learnt in a classroom.” Harsh Sadarangani, CP student.
What’s been the most memorable lesson you have taken from IB education so far?
“My most memorable lesson has been my theory of knowledge (TOK) lesson. I was able to participate in discussions, and add constructive points. It was really rewarding because it expanded my thinking.” Sacha Winter, DP graduate.
What do you think have been the biggest changes in education in recent years?
“The biggest changes in education are the high expectations that teachers and parents have, and the high standards that society demands. Education needs to prepare good citizens who will be intelligent, will develop society, and change the world.” Dina Mussabayeva, MYP student.
“Information is now so accessible. A lot of subjects can be researched on the internet. Social media also helps students learn about their subjects.” Nathan Chan, CP student.
How do you expect the education sector to be challenged over the next 20 years?
“I think students should be encouraged more to explore the type of industries they want to eventually go into. That’s the good thing about learning the CP: it allows you to gain both knowledge and the experience you need [in your chosen field].” Hossam Kalada, CP student.
What’s your educational idea to change the world?
“Look at the whole world, right now. The number of females denied education because of cultural or historical traditions – it’s quite frankly disgraceful. We as a civilization need to place much greater focus on ensuring that every single girl in the world has access to education. Right now we are not giving females, especially in developing countries, as much access to education as they rightly deserve. ” Thomas Pewtress, DP student.
“If we focus on educating people in developing countries, I feel new ideas will surface; ideas which could really change the world. People in developing nations have seen the world in a different light but have never been able to express themselves. Once educated, they will be able to offer their solutions to some of the big problems we have right now.” Ilann Balagangadharan, DP student.
This article was first published in IB World magazine. Read the full article online