The Great Exploration

A visualization of IB’s Diploma Program. Click the image for a short narrative description of the graphic.

At the center of the IB Diploma Program experience lay a trio that truly distinguishes the Diploma Program from other curricula: Theory of Knowledge (TOK); Creativity, Action, Service (CAS); and Extended Essay.

Each experience is tailored for individual students to adapt their passions and interests into action, from learning the modes of thought that are relevant for their particular pursuits (TOK) to applying their passions to benefit the world (CAS).

As librarian, I’m most excited by the Extended Essay, a 4,000 word research essay that a student may pursue in any academic area IB offers. Click here to read about recent research that points towards the Extended Essay as a project that enhances college readiness and success.

Our seniors have been working on this essay since last May, and the final drafts aren’t due until the end of January. However, I’m happy to report a diverse array of topics, interests, and passions being pursued:

*Postwar German society’s influence on the rise of Dadaism.

*How Coca-cola and Pepsi-co differ approaches in American and Indian marketplaces.

*The supermarket industry’s influence on establishing agricultural monocultures and, in turn, the collapse of the honey bee population.

*A comparative analysis of the poetics of Amari Baraka and Langston Hughes.

*An investigation of how anthropogenic sounds affect marine animals.

*”A study on bond strengths of orthodontic brackets bonded to enamel surfaces pre-conditioned with various solutions.”

This year, we have over 25 students pursuing the Extended Essay, with a super wide range of topics.

For anyone who worries inquiry-based learning lacks rigor, check out the above list of titles. Our seniors have been hitting the books, working in labs, and channeling our databases.

Or swing on by the library, and I’ll share a sampling of essays that are under development, with the permission of our writers, of course!

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