At the last MPUSD board meeting, there was an almost unanimous vote to change the learning system, which has up to this point not worked, particularly for the middle and high schools in the area. Most people recognize that a change is in order, and while some are reluctant to venture on with something new and challenging, most of the public comment was in favor of the new program.
The one dissenting vote was from Mr. Chaney, who is relatively new to the board from Southern California. He says that he has received a lot calls about exclusion in the school program as is now exists, and worries that the more exotic IB program will further exclude students from the existing fray.
Many were on board for the public discussion, including many educators in the district. The vast majority seemed to be in favor of it, while a handful had reservations about the change coming from the aspect of challenge to the aspect of the health factors because of too much wireless technology.
But in the end, when the motion was brought forth, all the members unanimously voted for the change, which will take 4 years to actually implement into the present school curriculum. What it means in terms of dollars and cents is another topic, that was not discussed, but rather the philosophical benefits were stressed.
When I spoke to John Colombo, who is a representative from the Monterey Bay Teachers Association, he told me that the district has a “Reimagining Secondary Education Initiative” and told me that I could learn more about the Diploma Program at the Web Site. The focus on the program is to prepare students for success in higher education and life in a global society.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) aims to develope inquiry, knowledge and caring for young people who are motivated to succeed. More than 50% of IB World Schools are state-funded.
The IB is different from other curricula because it:
Encourages students to think critically and challenge what they are told
Is independent of governments and national systems, and therefore able to incorporate best practice from a range of international frameworks and curricula
Encourages students to consider both their local and international environment.
In order to teach IB programmes, schools must be authorized. Every school authorized to offer IB programmes is known as an IB World School.
The programme encourages both personal and academic achievement, challenging students to excel in their studies and in their personal development.
Unlike a national curriculum, IB programmes reflect the best practice of a range of different educational frameworks and curricula. It encourages students to be internationally-minded and to think beyond their immediate environment.
Students think about how they learn best by studying the theory of knowledge, becoming exposed to and trying different approaches to learning and to take responsibility for their own educational progress. It also helps students to think critically and develop research skills that are proven to help them in higher education. The program also encourages students to be active in their communities and to take their learning beyond academic study.
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