International Baccalaureate Introduction

The IBO mission statement

The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.

These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right. ( 2002)

The IBO was founded in 1968, and is a nonprofit educational foundation based in Geneva Switzerland. It offers three programmes to schools worldwide.

The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is for students aged 3 to 12.
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) is for students aged 11 to 16
The Diploma Programme (IBDP) is for students in the final two years of school before university.

There are 1,550 schools in 117 countries (Sept. 2004). The IBO provides them:

  • curriculum and assessment development

  • teacher training and information seminars

  • electronic networking

  • other educational services.

The IBO grew out of international schools' efforts as early as 1924 to establish a common curriculum and university entry credential. The schools were also motivated by an idealistic vision. They hoped that critical thinking and exposure to a variety of points of view would encourage intercultural understanding by young people. They concentrated on the last two years of school before university studies in order to build a curriculum that would lead to what they called a "baccalaureate", administered in any country, recognized by universities in everywhere. The balanced curriculum and high standards of assessment for the Diploma Programme led to its rapid growth. The MYP and PYP were adopted in 1994 and 1997, respectively.

The three programmes, based on the same philosophy, cover students aged 3 to 19. Schools may subscribe to any or all of the programmes; none is a prerequisite for another.