absolutely intercultural 42 +++ International Baccalaureate +++ Grenaa +++ Florida +++ blog +++ Brazil

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John McDonald photo of an IB DiplomaIn this show we go absolutely educational investigating the International Baccalaureate or IB as it’s known for short and how blogging can foster intercultural understanding.

Absolutely Educational
What sort of people take this course I wondered, how does it differ from what they would be doing if they had just followed the normal schooling in their country? Does the international classroom have any advantages or disadvantages either at the time or later when the IB graduates move on to the next stage in their career? I talked with two groups of students doing the IB at Grenaa Gymnasium.
Absolutely yours
One of our listeners, Trevor King, in France put me right on a few IB-related points. He wrote: “The IBO don’t only offer it in English; it’s possible to do the course based in French, Spanish and Chinese as well. You are entering the politics of education and the world of ‘international education’ is a hot one; there are no schools in Europe doing the IB in French. There are a few I know of in Quebec do that.”

Thank you Trevor and if you want to put us right or add to something we said then please add a comment to our blog at http://www.absolutely-intercultural.com/ or send us an audio comment to contact@absolutely-intercultural.com

One thing I learned about the IB from Wikipedia was that about half the IB courses in the world are offered in the state system of schooling, as it is for example in Grenaa, which means that it is not necessarily a rich person’s education.

Absolutely Virtual
So what can you do if you don’t live near a school offering the IB or if your students can’t afford to go on long exchanges abroad? Teachers such as Brazilian, Carla Arena, use the communication possibilities of the internet to help her students get in touch with other cultures. But how much can you learn just by adding comments to a blog? See the blog to find out.

Absolutely Educational Part 2
To find out how much the IB courses have in common I spoke with Zoe Sessums who is doing her IB diploma at Eastside school in Gainsville, Florida in the United States. Here in an English speaking country the international aspect is not so much to the fore.

In the end I had the impression that the IB courses did not make the best use of the possibilities offered by having a worldwide network.

The next show will be coming to you from Remagen in Germany on November 2nd. So stay tuned!

The Host of this show is: Anne Fox

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10 Responses to “absolutely intercultural 42 +++ International Baccalaureate +++ Grenaa +++ Florida +++ blog +++ Brazil”


  1. 1 Trevor King

    International Ed has been developing steadily over the past years, for me your show raises the question about the IB; is its rapid development helping interculturalism? I think you are right Anne when you say there is a lot for the IBO left to think about.

    Certainly over the past years the IB is being put in competition with national ed systems in certain cases. In France ,where I work in a school that runs the state programme, the IB is not wanted, it is only taught in its English version in a handful of schools around the country. The lack of interest of having it taught through the French lang has recently made ther IBO reconsider if it’s worth them spending the money printing up all of their administrative material in French when their programmes (from Primary through to Bac) are hardly being considered.

    The situation in the US is different, the progamme is being implemented in a number of state and private schools in direct competition with state ed. This is a different cultural context. The programmme is clear about standards tested by examinations and its international outlook is being fostered. As the teacher in the show says though, it comes down to individual teachers enthusiasm to develop any interrcultural element to having the programme in place. To be fair to the IBO they run training courses for teachers , where they want to tallk about internationalism, but there are not many, and they are expensive for many private and state schools alike. The result is a kind of ‘linguistic imperialism’, the IBO is almost English only.

  2. 2 Anne

    Many thanks for this background information which I don’t think would be easy to come by otherwise. It certainly helps to put things in context. The reason I included an extract of my conversation with Carla Arena is because I think that in this day and age of cheap and ubiquitous ICT it would be very easy for the IB schools to network internationally if Carla can do it without a readymade network.

  3. 3 online french

    A very good post Anne, thanks for sharing this information about the IB and its development.

  4. 4 Justina

    What’s up, just wanted to mention, I enjoyed this post. It was practical. Keep on posting!

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