New book highlights increasing relevance of international education over past 50 years

Posted on 5th Oct 2018 in International Baccalaureate, John Catt Publications

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the International Baccalaureate (IB) has published a commemorative book about how the IB, and its programmes, have shaped a new era of learning and teaching that has impacted not only its millions of students, but the world itself.

The book’s exploration of the past, present, and future of international education highlights the continuing need for a holistic style of learning and teaching; one that has the ability to cross borders and open minds.

The celebratory piece, titled The International Baccalaureate – 50 years of education for a better world, contains early memories of IB success stories right through to current ideas from leading education experts on the future of international education and the challenges that lay ahead. 

In the book, Harvard Professor Howard Gardner, discusses the importance of long-standing educational values together with teaching students how to code, analyse data and think critically. 

The book, which is published in English, French and Spanish, is available now via the John Catt online bookshop: 

English version:
Spanish version:
French version:

Dr Siva Kumari, Director General of the IB, presented the first copy of the book to Samuel Wright, a music teacher from Amadeus International School Vienna, who spoke at the IB’s Global Conference in Vienna on 4 October. Dr Kumari said: “This book is a fascinating and informative compendium of insights into the IB, and the many aspects of educational thought that have informed our development. It is dedicated to all IB students: past, present and future.”

Pioneering international education

The book documents the IB from its earliest beginnings in Geneva through to its global expansion in over 153 countries, with almost 5,000 schools and over a million students. George Walker, former Director General of the IB (1999–2005), noted that despite such growth: “The IB hasn’t diluted its quality, nor weakened its ambition in pioneering international education. The IB has maintained a balance between vision and pragmatism, always remaining true to its founding.”

Ian Hill, former Deputy Director General of the IB (1999–2012), shared some of the exciting IB history that fills the book: “In 1971 Lord Mountbatten presented the first diplomas to students at the International School of Geneva. Georges-Henri Martin, a member of the school’s board and editor of the influential Tribune de Genève, received him on behalf of the city and exclaimed: ‘Le jour viendra où Genève sera fière d’avoir été le berceau de deux grandes idées généreuses – la Croix-Rouge et le Baccalauréat International.’ [‘The day will come when the city of Geneva will be proud to have been the birthplace of two great and noble ideas – the Red Cross and the International Baccalaureate.’].”

Mr Hill continued: “The celebration of the IB’s 50th anniversary year is testimony to Martin’s prediction. The book is a vivid mix of entertaining IB history and exciting ideas for the future direction of education. No one with an interest in international education and a desire to strengthen our schools will want to miss it.”