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Re: IB Student / class


From: Vivian Komando (komandv_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 04 2001 - 20:06:17 PST

"but, what is an
"IB" student and or class?
Thank you

IB stands for International Baccalaureate. The program
really begins in 11th grade and is completed in
Senior.Before that - they are known as pre IB students in
our school (though there is a Middle years Program that
runs from 6th grade to 10th grade). To graduate or get
the IB Diploma, a student must take 6 IB exams. Of these
exams - 3 are in subsidiary level and 3 are in higher
level -Exams are graded on a 1 - 7 point scale. They are
to average 4 pts for the 3 SL and 3 HL and in total must
= 24 points for the diploma. The students must also write
an extended essay (3500-4000 words worth 1 point for the
diploma)and perform 200 CAS hours (which involve cultural
events, community service, etc.)Theory of knowledge is a
required course - but there isn't an exam for it. There
are, I believe, approx 200+ schools in the US that are IB
schools. The program is for the highly motivated student
and test scores are examined before students are admitted
into the program. Most of our IB students go to college
at sophomore standing because of credit received for
their course work (and exam scores). Not all universities
accept IB scores, just as not all universities accept AP
scores. The program is International as the name implies
and there are IB schools all over the world.

In art, the SL is offered as a sixth subject elective.
The students must have a minimum of 12 pieces to exhibit,
along with a research workbook / journal. The students
must be culturally aware, socially aware, have a personal
philosophy about their work, and present a body of work
that is thematically based on the student's personal
interest and the development of the art work. This is all
documented throughout the research workbook or as fondly
referred to - IB art journals. This is the one year

Most schools offer art to their IB students from 9th
grade. Our school does not offer art to any 9th grader.
Some of the students I get have not had an art class
since 5th grade. (Especially since most of the IB
students only take weighted classes in HS for colleges to
look at - and we know that regular art classes are not

Higher Level Art (HL) the 2 year program, where the
student is expected to have a larger amount of work and
more in depth. Their journals count for 30% of their exam
grade. As of next year, the same will apply to the SL

In April, there are IB art exams being taken all over the
US. An examiner comes to our school and speaks to each
candidate individually about his or her work. Art exams
must be scheduled and taken before May 1st of each exam
year. We have had our exams in the conference room at
school as well as in the hallway. This is not an ideal
situation. We have been fortunate enough to have our
local community college allow us the use of their old
gallery (There is a new arts' center where the new
galleries are located.) We have a parent / community
reception / art show for the student artists, which has
been very well received. It is a very exciting night for
the students as well as myself. Their exams are the
following week - one on one with their examiner. The
examiner has their "Blue Exam books" with 12 photographs
and their candidate statements, explaining their work.
Each student has time with the examiner to explain/defend
their work. Our examiners have been wonderful - very open
and receptive to the students, so it really can be an
open exchange. At times, tears have fallen, as they are
very passionate about their work (most of them) and they
take great pride in having their work displayed and an
arena to discuss their views.

The exams are graded by the examiner and then sent to
Cardiff, Wales for final evaluation. In July the students
learn how they scored. Aside from general comments about
the program, we do not get individual feedback on the
kids as to why they scored as they did. The examiner is
not allowed to discuss this with the teacher either.

This year we started the certificate program, where
students not in the IB classes may elect to take IB art
for a certificate (like the AP exams in a way) since they
may earn college credit if they score high enough or if
the college they will attend will accept their score.

The program is demanding for the teacher and the student.
Yet, I believe very much in this program as I see
incredible work produced - work that at times college
students do not produce on this level. I also see a
greater understanding of the value of art in our world as
kids have gone through the program.

Maybe it is because our school does not offer a
comprehensive art program, but bits of this and that,
where the kids do not have the opportunity to delve this
deeply into what they create. Don't get me wrong, our
kids have done very well in our regular art program, but
there is an enhanced experience, or perhaps it is the
deeper philosophical layers that encompasses the work
(for high school students.)

IB art can be very sophisticated, emotional, and very
personal. There can be some very disturbing images, but
very valid, none the less. I have 2 students dealing with
eating disorders through IB art. I also have one working
with child abuse. There are several feminists and I have
one young man that has created his own art in response to
feminists. One student is dealing with her issues of
"cutting." There are more - I have 33 this year - so
sometimes I am emotionally drained. But proud of their
courage to communicate through art.

I would love to see an art program at our school that
starts at 9th grade and works up to Higher Level art.
That would be an amazing, enriched art experience and art
education for our kids. It gives them a vision of their
world in relation to the big picture.

So, in a nutshell, that is IB art. Maybe some other IB
art teachers out there can expand upon this - as I have
spent all weekend checking exam books to see what is
missing before they go off to the examiner.

Oh, yes - the kids can do an art history IB art exam. Our
school doesn't offer that option.


Increase the Peace ~^~ {^}Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Robert F. Kennedy

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