Challenging Smart Students: Do AP and the IB Provide the Right Challenge?

Oct 30, 12 Challenging Smart Students: Do AP and the IB Provide the Right Challenge?

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  1. Thanks for posting this here Paul. I don’t have any personal experience with the high school level programs, but I did attend four days of IB training in preparation for the possibility that our own district, which already has IB programs at the secondary school level, may be opting for a Primary level program.

    There are really two questions lurking in your post. The first has to do with a head-to-head comparison of the two programs. WIth no personal experience, I really can’t comment. But I have two questions. First, are the programs designed primarily for “gifted” or academically advanced students? Do they carry limiting entrance qualifications.

    The second has to do with the costs. In sitting through the IB training, I came to understand that becoming a franchisee carried with it some up front, as well as some significant ongoing costs. Are these costs passed on to students. If so, are schools offering AP and IB programs positioning themselves as “elite” options within a publicly-funded system?

    But the other question that you pose, the one about fostering personalization (and passion) is more interesting. It was my sense that the IB programs are pretty locked down in terms of planning and implementation. Again, the idea that these are types of educational franchises with a brand that needs to be protected leads me to believe that they don’t allow the freedom of exploration and discovery that have, in the past, been the hallmarks of Challenge programs.

    Finally, I was taken by your phrase “university bound”. I know that we usually use this term in reference to where a student is headed, but I would like to suggest that true personalization and attention to personal passion might be “limited” by the idea that much of our primary and secondary educational systems are “bound” by the idea that university is the mecca…the holy grail.

    My opening thoughts!

    stephen

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