The Emergence of the International Baccalaureate Diploma in Ontario: Diffusion, Pilot Study and Prospective Research
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP), created in the field of international schools in the late 1960s, has made considerable in-roads into publicly-funded schooling in many educational jurisdictions of the Anglo-West. Although the IBDP did not enter into the Ontario public system until 1991, there are now forty-one (and growing) publicly-funded schools offering the IBDP in Ontario. With the growth of IBDP schools and the increasing transnational policy presence of IB, academic research on the International Baccalaureate (IB) is emerging, albeit the Ontario context has not yet appeared in the research literature. This paper outlines how the phenomenon of IB is beginning to be used as an object of academic research and describes the diffusion of IB in Ontario and globally. It then reports on a pilot study aimed to understand students’ perceptions on the impacts of the IBDP at one Catholic secondary school in Ontario, particularly around how well the IBDP supports academic development and ‘international mindedness’ in students. It situates the aims and findings of this case study alongside past research, and then discusses more broadly potential lines of inquiry on IB that could be engaged in future research.
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