Written by Sue Plumb (Mansfield Steiner School IB Coordinator)
What does the Moon Landing have in common with IB Education you ask?
In the past few weeks, through a flood of television and newspaper articles, we have all been reliving those world-changing moments when man first landed on the moon. The Apollo 11 mission in 1969 was one of the final milestone events in a decade full of social upheaval and change. Although it took some years to really sink in, the images of earth as seen from outer space changed also the way we saw ourselves. This new perspective helped us realise that our many nations have one thing in common, we all share and owe our existence to this beautiful blue planet. Since that time, the rapid advancements in air travel, communication, and technology have made this notion of a ‘global village’ an everyday reality..
It was no coincidence that one year before the moon landing, in Geneva Switzerland, the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was established. In the spirit of the times it wanted to create an international school system, a “curriculum without borders.” Its aim was a worldwide community of schools, educators and students with a shared vision and mission to empower young people with the skills, values and knowledge to create a better and more peaceful world. Fifty years later there are 6,745 IB programmes being offered worldwide, across 5,139 schools in 156 countries.
There is a growing awareness that our students increasingly live in a multinational, multicultural world, with professional and personal lives that cross borders and cultural boundaries. The IB provides a diploma that is as mobile as the students who earn it and is recognised readily by universities around the world. Throughout its history, IB has continually added to its intellectually challenging curriculum. These courses share a drive to learn through questioning (Socratic method), critical thinking and self-exploration. Nor is an IB education restricted to the classroom, for example, students complete at least 50 hours of self-directed community service over the two-year programme. The student reflections on these community service focus on what they have done for others, and how they themselves have benefited from the experience.
The NASA space mission was ambitious and visionary, and we have all gained from its voyages of discovery. In much the same spirit, the International Baccalaureate as an educational mission, has so much to offer the young mind. With limited places available, those interested are encouraged to submit expressions of interest now to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03 5779 1445. For more information visit www.mansfieldsteiner.vic.edu.au/ib-diploma