The International Baccalaureate: The complex and unexpected journey from Sevres to Ecuador

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Abstract

The four programmes of the Geneva-registered International Baccalaureate (IB) now have a reach in almost 5,000 schools worldwide. Yet, the IB as an ‘experiment in international education’ in ‘international schools’ was never intended for mass-consumption, and its survival was not pre-determined. This paper places an emphasis on two important, but over-looked, conferences during the ‘first period’ of the IB which were held in Sevres, in 1967, and 1974. Theses conferences gave the IB a clear mandate to further grow and develop. After Sevres, the IB has made major entry into public schooling in areas such as Florida and South Australia. Perhaps surprisingly, Ecuador now has the third biggest bloc of IB schools. However, the IB involves a number of ‘enduring tensions’. This paper focuses on the long-standing concern for geographical balance, plus the emerging view that the IB can act as a divisive force, competing for parental attention within national contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevue internationale d'éducation Sèvres
Publication statusAcceptance date - 1 Sep 2017

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