How the IB Programme Prepares Children for the Future

a child learning online
*Collaborative Post

The International Baccalaureate Programme (IB Programme) is a collection of international education programs offered by the International Baccalaureate (IB). These programs include the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) for older students aged 15-19, the IB Middle Years Programme (IB MYP) for students aged 11 to 16, and the IB Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) for young students aged 3 to 12. 

The IB’s approach to education is generally considered to be more balanced, cosmopolitan, and future-ready than those offered by most mainstream school systems. Enrolling your child in the IB Programme may thus give them the flexibility and outlook needed to succeed in their future endeavors.

The demand for IB-accredited programs is especially high in Singapore, due to the country’s cultural diversity, the high number of expat families, and the country’s outsized role in globalization. Thankfully, finding an IB Programme Singapore-based families could trust is straightforward, as the country has a relatively high density of IB-accredited international schools.

Here are some ways these programs may help prepare your child for the future:

1. They Will Learn to Be Independent

Students who come into an IB Programme from the mainstream educational system often find that they have to take the initiative in their own education. IB-endorsed systems are often compared to the type of educational systems used in the world’s best-regarded colleges and universities rather than those used by most public schools. As a result, students in IB Programmes often become more independent and self-motivated compared to their peers in the mainstream education system.

2. They Can Develop Critical Thinking Skills 

Information technology experts are currently split on whether the “future of truth” is in peril. Complex information environments are now rife with disinformation, propaganda, and fake news, with little reprieve in sight. As we’ve seen in the past decade, the inability to discern these and other types of misinformation can have serious societal and personal consequences.

Whatever the future holds, you can help your child thrive by ensuring they develop good critical thinking skills. Having your child enrol in an IB Programme may help them do just that.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment found that IB students had much better critical thinking skills compared to their peers in the mainstream school system. IB currently embraces a holistic approach to critical thinking development that is in line with currently known best practices in education. This is in sharp contrast with many school systems that still employ older or less-ideal approaches.

3. They Will Develop Important Soft Skills

Traditional education tends to focus on technical skills, often at the expense of so-called soft skills such as creativity, communicativeness, cultural sensitivity, critical thinking, entrepreneurship, and empathy.

Despite the name, soft skills are important for navigating the human-made systems that contextualize virtually all technologies and ideas. In other words, soft skills may help your child take on any challenge that they may face in the future, regardless of the directions society and technology take.

IB Programmes have long emphasized giving students ways to develop important soft skills alongside technical aptitude. This approach has been validated in recent years as evidence now shows that these skills are essential for roles that require leadership and innovation.

4. They Will Be Exposed to a Cosmopolitan Worldview

Singapore may be diverse in its own right, but nothing beats being exposed to the world’s many cultures. Though sending your child to an international school is a good start, choosing one with an IB-endorsed curriculum will further improve this exposure. The IB curriculum embraces an internationalist approach, giving students opportunities to learn multiple languages and expand their worldview. 

The IB’s approach of teaching children widely used non-native languages will not only help them with their future job prospects, but it may open up satisfying personal opportunities for them as well. They will be exposed to ideas and concepts that are not commonplace or extant in the English-speaking world, helping them become better-rounded and self-actualized individuals.

Choosing the IB Programme will also put your child in contact with students from other cultures for extended periods. This may give them a great foundation for learning empathy, tolerance, and respect for other people, whoever they may be.

5. Children Can Enjoy a Diverse Network of Relationships

Enrolling your child in an IB school in Singapore will inevitably help them build a diverse network of relationships that spans continents. Generally speaking, children in IB schools enjoy a wider range of opportunities that are simply unavailable to children in mainstream school systems. 

For most alumni, these institutions are an incomparable source of lifelong friendships and future professional opportunities. Business partnerships, careers, and opportunities tend to be more diverse for IB Programme alumni than they are for alumni of mainstream educational systems. This very diversity of choice may very well empower your child to eventually enter a career that they’ll truly enjoy.

Future-Proof Your Child through the IB Programme

Enrolling your child in a Singapore IB school may help them enjoy a better-rounded and future-ready education. These schools may also be a good solution for children who do not fit the mold of mainstream school systems, particularly if they were raised overseas. To ensure that your child gets the best possible start, be sure to choose an IB Programme Singapore-based families rely on.

*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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