International Baccalaureate programmes: Longer term outcomes (2015)

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Katie Wright—University of Melbourne

This in-depth qualitative study investigated longer-term outcomes of participation in International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes on the lives of former IB students. The study explored IB alumni perceptions of their professional pathways, involvement in community service activities, attitudes towards lifelong learning, as well as the ways in which the IB may have shaped their personal values, beliefs about diversity and overall worldview. In-depth interviews were conducted with 23 individuals aged from 20 to 63 years who participated in IB programmes in a range of school settings, including international, public sector and private schools, from the late 1960s to the early 2010s. The findings from this study suggest a multiplicity of influences for the majority of former IB students interviewed, including profound and long-lasting effects for some. These encompass impacts on academic and career trajectories, the development of international-mindedness, critical thinking, analytical and writing skills and positive dispositions towards lifelong learning. More instrumental dimensions, notably advantages for university admission and the gaining of advanced credits, were also frequently mentioned, as was the benefit of IB studies for university preparedness.

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