12 Essay Hours

It was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva, Switzerland, by a group of international educators.After a six-year pilot programme that ended in 1975, a bilingual diploma was established.Students may instead choose to register for one or more individual IB subjects, without the core requirements. Environmental Systems and Societies SL is an interdisciplinary course designed to meet the diploma requirements for groups 3 and 4, while Literature and Performance SL meets the requirements of Groups 1 and 6.

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An American social studies teacher, Leach organized the conference—with a $2500 grant from UNESCO—which was attended by observers from European schools and UNESCO.

Writing about the genesis of the International Baccalaureate in Schools Across Frontiers, Alec Peterson credits Leach as "the original promoter of the International Baccalaureate." At the end of the conference, Unesco funded the International School Association with an additional $10,000, which was inadequate to do more than produce a few papers, or bring teachers together for meetings.

For example, in Chemistry SL, paper 1 has multiple choice questions, paper 2 has extended response questions.

Paper 3 focuses on the "Option(s)" selected by the teacher and data analysis questions.

In 1980, responding to criticism that the "internationalism" was Eurocentric, the IB hosted a seminar in Singapore with the goal of incorporating Asian culture and education into the IB curriculum.

In 1982, the Standing Conference of Heads of IB Schools took steps to modify the Eurocentrism in the curriculum.

Alec Peterson became IBO's first director general, and in 1968, twelve schools in twelve countries participated in the IBDP, including UWC Atlantic College and UNIS of New York.

The aim was to "provide an internationally acceptable university admissions qualification suitable for the growing mobile population of young people whose parents were part of the world of diplomacy, international and multi-national organizations." The experimental period ended in 1975, and in that year, the International Baccalaureate North America (IBNA) was established as a separate entity, allowing the funding for implementation of the IBDP to remain in the country rather than being sent to Geneva.

The IB Diploma Programme subjects became available in Spanish in 1983.

While the IB encourages students to pursue the full IB diploma, the "substantial workload require[s] a great deal of commitment, organization, and initiative".

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