Diploma Program: 11th - 12th grade
Baldwin School is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (DP) in grades 11th and 12th. The IB Diploma Program seeks to develop the whole student. Students learn how they think and learn (metacognition), how to analyze, how to reach conclusions about humankind, its language and literature, its ways in society, and the scientific forces of its environment.
The IB programs foster:
- student independence
- interdisciplinary thinking
- critical questioning that creates worldly scholars and global citizens
The IB Diploma and coursework are widely recognized by universities around the world as a symbol of academic excellence and one of the strongest educational experiences available in secondary education today.
"I absolutely love the IB program. Academically, I feel extremely prepared as I transition into college. Being part of the first IB class to graduate from Puerto Rico is an honor I hold in high esteem. [...] The IB program sponsors meaningful reflections and interdisciplinary understanding. For example, I love the type of intellectual engagement sponsored by the Theory of Knowledge class."
- Mariola Busquets | Baldwin Class of 2019 | Harvard University
History and Purpose of the Diploma Program
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IB DP) was established in Geneva in 1968 to provide an international, and internationally recognized, university-entrance qualification for students studying outside of their home country. The IB’s goal is to provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgment, make wise choices, and respect others in the global community. The IB Program equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education and employment; it has the strengths of a traditional liberal arts curriculum, but with three important additional features, shown at the center of the hexagonal curriculum model (below). Today the IB DP has expanded so that more than half the students opting for it come from state or national systems rather than from international schools. As the IB DP has grown, so too has its reputation for excellence; the IB DP is now recognized in almost every country in the world as a one of the pre-eminent pre-university qualifications.
Through comprehensive and balanced curricula, coupled with challenging assessments, the International Baccalaureate Organization aims to assist schools in their endeavors to develop the individual talents of young people and teach them to relate the experience of the classroom to the realities of the world outside. Beyond intellectual rigor and high academic standards, strong emphasis is placed on the ideals of understanding and responsible citizenship, to the end that IB students may become critical and compassionate thinkers, lifelong learners and participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life.
Benefits of the IB program
The IB program fosters outstanding qualities in students. By the time students receive the diploma, they will be able to:
- debate real-world issues from an international perspective
- provide leadership and support in the local and global community
- demonstrate a capacity for in-depth study while maintaining a broad perspective of the different subject areas
- ask challenging questions but also know how to research a topic and express their opinion
- have a strong sense of their own culture and identity, as well as the ability to communicate in two or more languages with people who have a different perspective on the world.
The IB Diploma is also a passport to higher education. Most universities and colleges recommend that students in high school enroll in a rigorous criteria-based academic program like the IB Diploma. Some colleges and universities may offer advanced credit to students with strong examination results. IB students routinely gain admission to some of the best known universities in the world. Most of these institutions have established recognition policies for the IB Diploma. IBO publishes and maintains information about university recognition displayed on their public website.
The Diploma Program Core Elements
The extended essay asks students to engage in independent research through an in-depth study of a question relating to one of the DP subjects they are studying. The world studies extended essay option allows students to focus on a topic of global significance which they examine through the lens of at least two DP subjects.
Theory of knowledge (TOK) develops a coherent approach to learning that unifies the academic disciplines. In this course on critical thinking, students inquire into the nature of knowing and deepen their understanding of knowledge as a human construction.
Creativity, activity, service (CAS) emphasizes helping students to develop their own identities , in accordance with the ethical principles embodied in the IB mission statement and the IB learner profile. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment. It involves students in a range of activities alongside their academic studies throughout the DP. The three strands of CAS are creativity (exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance), activity (physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle) and service (collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need).
Assessment in the Diploma Program
Assessment is criterion-related, which means student performance is measured against specified assessment criteria based on the aims and objectives of each subject’s curriculum, rather than the performance of other students taking the same examinations. The range of scores that students have attained remains statistically stable, and universities value the rigour and consistency of Diploma Programme assessment practice.
Students take written examinations at the end of the program which are marked by external IB examiners. Students also complete assessment tasks in the school which are either initially marked by teachers and then moderated by external moderators or sent directly to external examiners.
"The IB taught me to think critically and look closely. The rigor of the program encouraged me to strive for academic excellence across my classes. Also, the IB, specifically the DP, does a good job of training its students not only to be thinkers in the classroom but outside as well with requirements such as CAS, TOK, and the EE. I feel prepared to tackle the challenges I know college will bring and a great reason why I feel so prepared is thanks to the IB program."
- Hailey Goldberg
Baldwin Class of 2020
Washington University in St. Louis