UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The establishment and expansion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in British Columbia, 1974-2016. Leggett, Shannon Kelley


This qualitative historical context case study examines the factors that influenced the establishment and expansion of the International Baccalaureate (IB) in British Columbia (BC) from 1974-2016. This study’s historical case, the IB in BC from 1974-2016, was examined through documents and 24 interviews, in the context of international IB policies and experience, as well as the BC educational environment (including BC Ministry of Education policy, University of British Columbia policy, population demographics, and local school configurations). The period 1974-2016 was chosen as 1974 was the date that the first IB school in BC was established, and because the International Baccalaureate Organization provided registration data on BC schools through October of 2016. After an overview of the history of the establishment of the IB in BC, the findings were organized into the “factors/reasons” that influenced the establishment and expansion of the IB. These included the impact of the Global Education movement, the IB philosophy, its curriculum and pedagogy, legislative factors, economic factors, tertiary education policies, and alumni reflection/programme reputation. These findings were followed by an analysis of how the new 2015 BC Curriculum (BCEd Plan) impacted and could continue to impact the IB in BC. Overall, the IB was established and expanded in BC in this time period as the various school stakeholders who adopted it were looking for a well-developed, cyclically reviewed, externally accountable curriculum. Though the IB is expensive to implement and is often academically demanding, its expansion was encouraged by various legislative and administrative changes that helped it to become an attractive curricular option. The history of the IB in BC has implications for educational reform initiatives elsewhere in Canada and internationally.

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Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International