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Global Education Under Attack

International Baccalaureate in America

Tristan Bunnell

The three main programmes of the Geneva-registered International Baccalaureate (IB) have grown enormously since the 1990s and have seemingly found their ‘home’ in the United States. However, the IB has provoked opposition, initially from concerned parents, and lately by conservative agencies. This book charts the growth of the IB in America and offers a set of frameworks for conceptualizing the history and nature of this attack. It explores the distinctly paleo-conservative philosophy behind this attack, and reveals the influence of the American historian Russell Kirk, alongside Edmund Burke. The book examines the notion that the IB is un-American, and concludes that for some people in America global education is fundamentally unnatural and must be resisted.


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Part A: Introduction to the attack


Milestones being reached The recent history of the International Baccalaureate (IB) has been one of organ- izational achievement and statistical milestone. In so many different ways, the IB has ‘far surpassed the expectations of its founders’ (Tarc, 2009a p.1). The Geneva-registered ‘IB’ (formerly called the IB Organization, the IBO, but re- branded in 2007) celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2008, after four decades of rapid yet largely ‘un-planned’ global growth (see Bunnell, 2008a). The May 2010 IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) examination session saw the 100,000 can- didate-mark hit for the very first time (fittingly for a curriculum committed to global peace, a student in Sarajevo was officially acclaimed as the milestone achiever). The United States (US) alone ‘housed’ almost 57,000 candidates for that exam session (compared to just 12 in 1968). The month of July 2010 saw the 3,000th ‘IB World School’ milestone achieved when Brown Academy of Chattanooga, Tennessee, came on board the ‘project’ and joined the other 1,000-plus schools across the US. The 4,000th pro- gramme had appeared 25th June 2011 when the Taihu International School in China was duly authorized. The IB was officially educating 1,000,000 children by March 2012. The 2,000th IB school in the ‘IB Americas’ region (IBA) ap- peared in April 2012 when the South Texas Business, Education and Technolo- gy Academy became IBDP authorized. Projecting ahead, the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) looks set some- time in 2013 to reach the 1,000-school milestone, followed...

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