International Baccalaureate curriculum undergoes changes

The International Baccalaureate curriculum will be making some significant changes for future classes of students.  Changes to the IB English HL curriculum will reduce the curriculum to three works and one poet in the fall, with four books in the spring.  IB is also dropping the requirement of having a world literature paper two.  The Extended Essay schedule has been adjusted as well to compensate for a schedule change with the Theory of Knowledge final essay.  Higher Level language courses will also be required to read a full novel in the language of study.  Lisa Green, IB coordinator and English HL teacher, said she likes the changes.  “It will allow for time more creativity in teaching the topics,” Green said. 

Previously, candidates wrote the required end of the year ToK essay while taking the class junior year; IB students will now have to write the essays during senior year.  International Baccalaureate has decided to release the ToK essay topics later than before forcing candidates to write them during senior year rather than the end of junior year.  ToK classes will continue to meet during RAISE to aid students while they write their essays.  The introduction of the ToK essay during senior year conflicted with the Extended Essay, traditionally written predominantly during summer before senior year and early senior year.  To compensate for the overlap of the two assignments, the Extended Essay has been started earlier during Junior Year and will be finished during the beginning of senior year. 

The changes to higher level languages are being met with apprehension, “It certainly has implications for the earlier years of a language in terms of curriculum,” Green said.  “I decided to take Spanish HL only because I’m not good with science or math, I’m nervous about next year” said Junior IB diploma candidate Eden Tadess.  However, when asked if, overall, the new changes would make getting the diploma more difficult, Green said no. “I don’t think it will be more work if the kids get it done on schedule.”