H-F opens IB classes for all students

H-F opens IB classes for all  students

H-F’s chapter of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program has decided to open up classes to non-IB students for the 2024-25 school year.
Previously, classes such as Theory of Knowledge (TOK) and IB Visual Arts were exclusively for IB students.
Next year, all juniors and seniors will be allowed to take these classes.
According to IB coordinator Libby Day, this decision was made to align with the values of the program.
“By opening H-F IB to all upperclassmen, our program is better aligned to the IBO [International Baccalaureate Organization]’s values of equity and inclusion,” Day said.
Allowing all students to take these classes opens doors for students to grow, even without being in the diploma program.
IB classes are meant to create a well rounded understanding of the subject and prepare students for college.
One such class is Theory of Knowledge. TOK teacher Ted Venegas explains the class as learning to understand how knowledge came to be. This includes math, science, history and the arts.
Chicago Public School (CPS) has over 100 schools that offer IB courses.
The Johns Hopkins Institute found that IB students are 50% more likely to attend a selective four-year institution than other Chicago Public School (CPS) students.
Many students are already in Advanced Placement (AP) or Honors classes, but have been unable to take IB-specific courses due to class restrictions.
There are many differences between AP and IB classes, such as how some IB classes being two-year courses are two-years long and how the classes are run.
“[IB] courses are student-driven and inquiry-based. Students design their own experiments, conduct their own research, and develop their own projects based on their specific academic interests,” Day said. “AP classes are standalone courses and more subject-specific.”
The goal of IB classes is for students to take charge of their education.
While there are numerous advantages to taking an IB class, many find the course load to be too much.
“ IB is no walk in the park,” according to college admissions counseling company Crimson Education. “In fact, it’s not a walk at all. Think of it more as a run–but a marathon, not a sprint.”
IB classes aim to have students in control of their learning, through projects and experiments, leaving some feeling overwhelmed.
According to Day, when it comes to enrolling students in IB courses, “one of the biggest challenges is educating students about IB.” While these courses will now be available to all of H-F to take, it will be a struggle to reach students.
By, H-F IB is taking steps to break the gap between IB students and other students, hoping to align with the values of the program.

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