Comparison Between IB and A-level Tutor – Finding the ideal school often seems like an impossible task, especially for all those a new comer to Hong Kong. Places are as competitive as ever, and there’s rarely enough time to make a decision which school, and which type of education, will fit your child until the academic year starts. A choice that can affect your child’s engagement using the curriculum, along with his university life and early employability, is whether or not to select the standard GCSE and A-level system, or choose the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP ).
The differences between the 2 systems seem vast. The IB includes a core of six compulsory subjects like a minimum, including a language and an essay-based field, while A-levels require candidates to review no less than three ones, with no restriction on which subjects could be taken.
When it was eventually first introduced, the IB received mixed reactions from parents in Hong Kong. Many acknowledged it allowed for any wider choice of subjects, fostered a broader choice of skills, and placed considerable concentrate on independent thought. But even so, top students were losing on university places to rival A-level candidates.
But increasing global recognition to the qualification has prompted some schools in Hong Kong and inside the UK to switch towards the IB. Although A-level continues to achieve success, some feel the IB provides the very best pathway through secondary education.
One example is that the English Schools Foundation (ESF ), which switched towards the IB in 2009. ESF follows an IB curriculum from Year Five. Chris Durbin, senior school development officer, ESF Secondary, believes it benefits students throughout their schooling years, and prepares them forever beyond the classroom and with their first job. University acceptance rates are essential, but how students fare after university also must be considered. Durbin believes starting salaries are much higher for IB students than for A-level students, something he puts right all the way down to “preparation through independent thought which students develop with the theory of knowledge”.
Independence and creativity became crucial to university applications, and top universities now look out for the way you learn and just how You Think That, instead of what you will know. The thought is any person can regurgitate information, so this had resulted in critical thinking learning to be a more desirable attribute. Such qualities are fostered from the IB, Durbin says.
Dr Judith Guy, head of academy at Victoria Shanghai Academy, stresses the advantages that arise coming from the IB’s concentrate on personal time management planning, research techniques, and analytical writing. The IB Diploma is really a “strong predictor of success at university enabling students to develop the key cognitive strategies, content knowledge and academic behaviours which are necessary for achievement at university”, Guy says.
As an example, first year essays won‘t daunt students that have practised writing inside the supportive environment of the school. Being taught to “question and doubt the current boundaries of knowledge” is what university is about, whether studying maths, philosophy, or French poetry. Therefore the earlier that students can commence to engage with one of these principles, the greater. Guy believes the IB’s success lies using the programme’s “holistic development along with academic rigour”. Practically speaking, there isn‘t any grade inflation, either : “Pass rates are consistent year on year, and they‘re understood all worldwide, ” comments Guy.
Regardless of the increased interest inside the IB, many parents still like the A-level system. James Martin, director of studies at Harrow International School Hong Kong, notes that A-levels are “established qualifications” and happen to be utilized by universities and employers as “a benchmark to judge student ability for longer than 60 years”.
They‘re especially well understood by those in tertiary education and beyond. At AS-level, students can still select four subjects, and also the more able students may take five through on their final A-level year, in the event that they choose. The key strength of A-levels is students can specialise, and hence study subjects in depth. They don‘t have to continue focusing on subjects they prove weak at.
The three subjects taken at A-levels are specific and related, and there‘s little question that A-level courses examine subjects in additional detail, which, as Martin says, “is a definite advantage just before studying specialist academic subjects at university”. Achieving the breadth of study that an IB offers could be achieved in A-level schools by complementing the qualification along with academic opportunities and pursuits. Harrow, as an example, offers the Extended Project Qualification, a separate International Perspectives course, and a really comprehensive extra curricular programme, to ensure “students have a really broad and well-rounded education”.
The changing playing field of work causes it to be critical for college students to develop holistically, and cultivate skills beyond their academic abilities. Today’s employers want their workforce to become open-minded, socially responsible, and willing to bring risks, and that they should have an ability for critical thinking. Both A-levels and IB can offer these qualities in theory, such a lot depends upon the particular teaching that happens.
Do not forget that schools will possess a staff body that specialises inside the system they provide, therefore the quality in an institution shouldn‘t be judged on it doesn t matter if it provides an IB Tutor Jakarta or A level Jakarta. A good school should deliver a good curriculum, whatever the exam board.
The IB and A-levels will suit differing people differently at different times. If your little one is entering a brand new school using the immediate task of facing public exams, the closeness on their future education or career choice may make one option stand out. Ultimately, it’s a private choice.
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