How do you know if IB education is suitable for your child?
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers some of the most sought-after pre-university programs in the world. Aside from the popular International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for high school-age students, the IB also offers programs for learners as young as 3 years old.
In Singapore, these programs have become highly desirable alternatives to the already excellent public school system, especially among the country’s expatriate families who now comprise a significant proportion of the population. However, the teaching approach at IB schools is very different from the ones used at most public school systems, including Singapore’s. This necessarily means that not all children will be a good fit for an IB education.
Thankfully, the IB has been offering its programs for decades, which means that we now have a good idea about which children tend to thrive with its experiential teaching methods. Here are a few ways to tell if an IB education would be the right choice for your child:
Your child wants to learn a foreign language
The Singapore public school system does embrace multilingual education, but it is more geared towards the specific needs of the ethnic Chinese, Malay, and Indian populations. If your child wants to learn a language other than English or the native Singaporean language, an international school would be your best bet.
IB schools offer a selection of languages and are especially well-regarded for their teaching methods, which makes them a good choice for aspiring language learners. If you’re unsure which school to pick for language learning, ask around to find an IB Programme Singapore ex-pat families approve of.
Your child is interested in hands-on learning
The IB is renowned for its experiential approach to learning. Rather than simply giving students information to memorize, the IB emphasizes experiencing and closely observing different phenomena to come up with one’s own conclusions. This makes IB the perfect approach for children who prefer hands-on learning or are more skeptical than usual.
The mainstream school system is not challenging enough for your child
IB education is generally regarded as one of the more academically rigorous options for children. A relatively wide variety of subjects are also presented, laying the foundations for a more holistic education compared to most mainstream school systems. If your child is bored with regular schooling or expresses interest in a subject that is only covered by IB schools, they may be a candidate for one of the IB programs.
They aspire to enter a prestigious university overseas
Thanks to its stellar track record of producing students who excel at entrance exams, the IB is recognized by many of the world’s most prestigious universities. If your child has expressed a desire to go to a specific university outside of Singapore, sending them to an IB school can increase their chances of gaining entry. The approach of IB education itself is often compared to college education, which may help smoothen your child’s transition into higher learning.
They have expressed a desire to become a leader
While all children can be bossy, not all of them want to be a leader. But if your child does express a severe desire to hold public office, run a company, or start a venture, an IB education is well worth considering due to the wealth of opportunities for improving important soft skills that it provides.
Soft skills such as patience, negotiation, wit, empathy, time management, analysis, and sensitivity, to name but a few, are often underemphasized in mainstream school systems. This is because, unlike technical skills, these skills are immeasurable by nature. However, soft skills are the very ones an individual needs to excel in leadership positions. Choosing an IB education will, therefore, help your child develop the skills that will bring them that much closer to their ambitions of changing the world.
Your child is serious about creating art or developing innovations
The IB emphasizes one soft skill in particular: creativity. The IB is highly focused on molding young individuals into productive and imaginative adults. To this end, IB schools offer a selection of subjects and activities to help children become independent and highly original thinkers. If your child wants to become an artist or work in cutting-edge technology, an IB education will certainly give them a strong start.
If any of the items above describe your child, they may be a good fit for an IB education. Choosing an IB-accredited school should not only help your child receive a high-quality education, but it should also help them become more actualized and fulfilled as they grow older.
While IB education was and still is primarily intended to serve the needs of international families, the methods used in the different age-specific IB programs have come to be validated over the years as instrumental in the molding of intellectually honest, proactive, and creative individuals. The stellar reputation earned by the International Baccalaureate has also given its programs widespread recognition in many of the world’s most prestigious universities and workplaces, making an IB education even more compelling. If you could afford it, an IB education may yet be the best investment you could make in your child’s future success.