Hello Rosh Mom,
Thank you for your efforts in answering people here individually. My email id is : firstname.lastname@example.org and I have a few queries
a) I visited Victorious Kidss Educares in Pune and they told me that only if a school offers all 3 PYP, MYP AND DP is called a IB World School, but I dont think thats true from the documentation
b) What is the real difference between IB and IGCSE, I mean what kind of kids do well in IB vs IGCSE and vice versa. I currently think IB is a better curriculum but have no first hand experience.
c) IGCSE has regular exams (so does IB?), is that more following the indian formats or follows different format.
d) Does a student doing IB has some advantage as compared to IGCSE. Here I speak about all 10 years not just the final exams of 10th and IBDP.
e) Lots of schools offer PYP, Then CAMBRIDGE6-8 and IGCSE 9-10 AND again IB-DP in 11,12. What is the reason for this? Is this route advantageous as compared to straight through IB from 1-12. I have heard that lately MYP has changed a bit to cater to this and has become better as a stepping stone to IB-DP.
I will try to answer most of the questions here.
The difference :.
IB and CIE are very different from each other. Will try to explain in short
One of the main differences between IB and IGCSE is that IB is not a curriculum. It's a curriculum framework- meaning it provides the guidelines to teachers and students on how to teach and how to learn, but not what to teach and what to learn. Schools have the freedom to follow any national syllabus or design their own syllabus. but will be delivered using the framework guidelines. The guidelines tell us what the student can do with the skills learnt at the end of PYP, MYP or IBDP. For the same reason IB doesnt have textbooks in PYP and MYP. For example my son's school follows american common core and NGSS with IB framework. Similarly one can use CBSE syllabus with IB framework. It works well. But it should have a global context. The unit of inquiry starts with an essential question and while learning the unit, students make connection with themselves and the community and learn what impact it had or will have on the community. When the students learn a skill, all children will not be working on the same content always. For example, in culture studies, each child will have the choice to choose a country to study their culture.
The general argument that IB has a relaxed environment is not true. It depends on how the school designs a balanced curriculum. in fact IBDP is the most challenging diploma.
In IB the subjects are not taught or learnt in isolation. Interdisciplinary approach is used. Two or more subjects will be integrated while teaching/ learning. So the school designs the curriculum in such a way that the integrated subjects have the related topic covered simultaneously. for example math and art can be integrated when they learn perspective drawing in art and angles in math. science and language are integrated when they do research studies in science and learn to write an informational writing in language. The teachers of different subjects work together to develop the project assignment.
IB is skills driven.
Whereas IGCSE has predefined contents and they follow textbooks but taught with application oriented approach. Each grade has structured target curriculum and all CIE schools would have the same syllabus. So while switching schools, there won't be any gap. It's also very exam and content oriented when compared to IB.
in both IB and IGCSE, the assessments are in the form of independent research, research paper, project work, presentation, quiz, oral, written test etc. There are other differences in grading, subject groups, number of mandatory subjects, requirements for completing diploma etc. In IB the focus in PYP is inquiry and in MYP, it's inquiry plus making connections with out real world problems.
IB and IGCSE are recognized by AIU. you may want to check CIE website for recognition statements from universities.
Why do schools switch from PYP to Cambridge secondary and then back to IBDP?
In India, still many schools struggle in delivering MYP. I feel most don't have enough experience with MYP. In IB the responsibility is more on the teachers in terms of designing the curriculum, lessons, assessments. The effectiveness is highly teacher dependent. But in CIE there is already a structured curriculum, and it's pretty easy to follow the textbooks. One more reason is that earlier grade 10 exam was mandatory requirement for grade 11 admission and earlier MYP didn't have any exam. Only from 2016, IB has started with an eAssessment which is also optional for the schools to participate. So in order to get exam certificates, schools switched to Cambridge secondary.
In grade 11 and 12, IB has an advantage that it offers a holistic education. Students are expected to have broad range of knowledge in all fields of study. So all subject groups are mandatory. I.e English, foreign language, humanities, math, science are all mandatory. One can't skip math or science in grade 11 and 12. But math is offered in 3 different levels - Math studies (the very basic math), math standard level and Math High level. So depending on child's caliber and interest, one can choose one of them. Similarly other subjects are offered in 2 different levels SL and HL. The advantage with this type of broad range of subject requirement is that students have many options by the time they finish grade 12. If a student knows what field he /she wants to pursue, he can go for A levels as they can opt for only the core subjects, related to their field. But most kids are not sure on what they want to do untill they are almost in grade 12. Since IB gives a wide range of options, more and more people started looking for IB. So schools also have started to cater to their demand.
Can IB/CIE students appear for competitive exams in India?
As long as your child is an Indian citizen, he /she can appear in JEE. And for other exams, there are no restrictions.
Any competitive exam requires at least some amount of preparation. JEE is more aligned with indian board like how SAT is aligned with international boards. Both A levels and IB are challenging and their assignments and core components take all their time. So there won't be enough time to spare for JEE preparation. It can only make your child's life miserable in diploma years unless your child has been preparing for JEE from middle grade(8th or 9th)
Choice between IB and CIE - which one to choose?
The choice depends on your child's interest and his learning style. in IB students are expected to achieve broad range of skills and be well rounded. So they are exposed to wide range of subjects. In IB DP math, science, lang & lit, Lang acquisition and Individual &Society are mandatory and they cant be skipped. Where as in A levels, students can focus on the subjects they are good at or subjects they like. for e.g A level is a good option for someone who is interested in science but not on math or humanities. i.e for student who is interested in certain subjects and not in all.
Though there are wide range of subjects available in both IB and Cambridge, Subjects offered by school vary from school to school. you have to choose a school that offers the subject your child is interested in.
Will switching from IB/CIE to CBSE/ICSE cause any problem? Any change is going to be a little difficult and will take time for the child to adjust esp if the change is made in high school. But it also depends on the child on how fast he /she can adapt to the change. There will not be much change in the content but definitely there will a lot of changes in the learning styles. In international curriculum, students are not expected to know statistical data - when, who or what or definitions. Students are required to understand the principle and be able to apply their knowledge on solving problems. In assessments, they will be given a scenario with a problem and will be asked to find a solution by applying their knowledge to the right situation. But in CBSE/ICSE still there are some definition and data related questions getting asked to test the students' knowledge. It requires students to do some amount of rote learning. So changing the board might become a problem for some students who are used to giving their hypothesis, doing research analysis and formulating their own solutions.