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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 B: The background to the attack


The mainstreaming of ‘global education’ Understanding ‘global education’ ‘Global education’ is a complex and controversial area of schooling and instruc- tion, involving differing models of implementation within schools (Becker, 1979). A useful framework for conceptualizing what is meant by ‘global educa- tion’ is provided by Kniep (1986) who suggests such an education has four key features. Firstly, it involves the study of diverse human values. Secondly, it in- volves a study of different economic and political systems. There is a further study of global issues and problems, plus the study of the history of contact and co-operation among people, cultures, and nations. Such an education thus re- quires knowledge within both a national and international context. It also re- quires knowledge of how other people (in other countries) act and think. A second model comes from Case (1993) who proposed that ‘global educa- tion’ involves two key dimensions. Firstly, there is the need for acquiring knowledge of the world and how it works. Secondly, there is a need to gain an orientation of the world (i.e. gain a view of how the world thinks and acts). Put together, these two dimensions should help students cope with emerging global realities. A third framework for conceptualizing what constitutes a ‘global edu- cation’ comes from Alger and Harf (1985); such an education requires a mixed knowledge of global values, transactions, actors, procedures, and mechanisms. Kilpatrick’s (2010) Doctoral study into the implementation of ‘global educa- tion’ in two schools in Massachusetts (including one IBDP...

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