BMHS PrideTime Reporter
As of this school year Brien McMahon High School has incorporated a new type of class into their curriculum already consisting of AP (Advanced Placement) classes, the International Baccalaureate, or IB classes. The IB classes offered at McMahon include IB Spanish, Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, ect. According to the official IB website, only 830 schools in the US offer IB diplomas compared to 14,000 that offered AP classes.
Many McMahon teachers had to become IB certified this summer like Mr. Eric Carroll, IB Literature and Composition teacher. Unlike the AP training, IB training is mostly online classes but there are some training sessions a teacher can chose to travel across the USA for. “I took the online class, I’ve heard there are other teachers that have gone to Dallas and Colorado to take the class. The only cool thing about it (the online class) was everyone in the class was international. I had teachers from Egypt in my class, from Sudan, from India, etc. I was one of the only American teachers,” says Mr. Carroll.
According to Matthew Nelson, director of advanced academics for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee, said, “"In an AP class, you may look very deeply at an issue and look at if from multiple perspective, and in an IB class you may be looking at an issue over time and how it has impacted other parts of the world and how there is that connectivity to it all.” After having taught AP Lit and Comp for a year Mr. Carroll says it has a “rushed feeling” - the reason behind this is because there is a pressure for time to cover all of the material on the AP test by the time it rolls around in May. IB does not have that same “rushed” feeling because the students have a 2 year time period to learn all the information before taking a test to receive their diploma.
The test to receive an IB diploma or certificate is out of 24 points, different from the AP test which was only out of 5. When enrolled in IB ones 11th grade year they have 2 options - going for an IB diploma, or pursuing an IB certificate in individual subjects. To actually obtain an IB diploma Mr. Carroll said it starts with an experiment where the students learn how to participate in their community, then make a community of their own and promote the well-being of their community. Finally they have to write a very long, detailed research paper. “As a whole by the end of the two years their assessments are much more rigorous, but they aren't based on this one three hour segment like the AP test,” said Mr. Carroll