IB Diploma Programme: Is it challenging?
During my interactions with many students and parents, one of the first questions thrown at me about the IB DP is: is it challenging to pursue the IB DP? Does it involve more work than usual? I wouldn’t say it is difficult but it most certainly is rigorous and challenging, and it goes without saying that nothing worthwhile comes easily.
IB Diploma Programme is one of the most preferred academic programmes offered and recognized around the world. This worldwide acclaim over the years is due to the unique and challenging nature of the programme. According to the latest research findings, DP scores way above many international curricula for qualities such as encouraging independent inquiry (94%), nurturing an open mind (93%), developing self-management skills (91%), and encouraging a global outlook (97%). In terms of 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, global-mindedness, cultural sensitivity and leadership, research has concluded that ‘IB has the potential to powerfully shape the lives of students’ who undertake the diploma programme.
IB is a research-driven programme that aims to develop independent learners. This doesn’t mean students are left to themselves but are rather guided and supported by the faculty in the process of guided inquiry. Students are trained in research skills and time-management skills to be sufficiently equipped to complete all the requirements for the DP and grow as a lifelong learner beyond DP. Having taught several DP batches, I must without hesitation affirm that the programme is challenging but completely worth it. When a student enters the DP program s/he is one person and is another by the time s/he graduates. As Leonard Cohen puts it, ’The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see its shine.’