Montessori and the IB Programme


“Establishing lasting peace is the work of education.”
Maria Montessori


dp-programme-logo-enAt the heart of Montessori is respect for and investment in  the individual. The most important element in our educational process is the idea that we must create space for young people to learn who they are, what they are capable of, and how they can make a difference in their community and world. The International Baccalaureate shares a common view of the ultimate goal of education. The IB learner profile paints the portrait of an engaged, empowered, and independent learner. For over one hundred years, Montessori schools have been fostering the same qualities in students.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme supports that goal through a curriculum of social and global engagement and in-depth study of the academic disciplines. The culminating Diploma is comprised of content-specific examinations, but individual schools can shape how that content is presented to and explored by students. This makes the IB Diploma Programme a natural fit with Montessori. Students have the freedom to study self-chosen topics, report in unique ways, and learn at their own pace. In short, students have ownership and agency over their education.

In their senior year, students have the opportunity to sit for individual IB certificates or the entire slate, which comprises the Diploma. The IB Diploma is internationally regarded and, as such, enables our domestic and international students to consider continuing their education at universities and colleges all over the world.

Frequently Asked Questions about the IB Diploma and taking IB exams at MHS

What is the International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is an international, non-profit educational foundation founded in 1968. There are currently 834 schools in the United States with IB diploma programs, and the credential is recognized in 75 countries at more than 2000 universities and colleges. The IB Diploma Programme is an academically rigorous two-year course for students ages 16-19 years. The curriculum includes six rigorous two-year courses, a 4,000 word Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge course, and independent projects, which give students hands-on experience outside of the classroom. Student projects, essays, and exams are graded by external IB evaluators.

What is the IB Diploma Programme?

The last two years of high school comprise the IB Diploma Programme. All MHS students follow this course of study and complete all coursework and independent projects.

Students who choose to sit for the IB Diploma will take culminating exams in each of their six core courses: English, World Languages (Spanish & French), Twentieth-Century World History, Science, Math, and either Music, Theatre, Dance, or Visual Arts.

Students who wish to earn the IB Diploma will also have a different set of criteria for the MHS Senior Thesis to meet IB requirements for the Extended Essay. Students interested in pursuing the IB Diploma will register for the IB Diploma in the fall of their Senior year.

Do IB courses carry college credit?

Every IB course shown on a transcript is highly regarded by universities and colleges not only in the United States, but also around the world.  In addition, most colleges and universities offer credit for scores of 4 to 5 or above on Higher Level exams (and some Standard Level exams).  Check schools’ websites for their particular IB credit policies.  Many students who complete the IB Diploma are awarded up to sophomore placement upon entrance.  For more information regarding college and university credit policies for IB candidates, refer to the Recognition of IB Programmes or the IB Recognition Resource Library.