Which curriculum should I enroll my child in?

I’m collecting information now about education curriculums to decide which one is the best for my child. He is two years and 3 months now. In Dubai we have 3 popular curriculums:

British ( Some schools offer IB instead of A-Level at Year 12 & 13)

American

International Baccalaureate

Written Dec 25

ib_logoRather than asking your question on Quora, where you may receive a wide variety of answers, including anecdotes, experience-based, research-based, and just plain screwy, I recommend you conduct some research for yourself. Since your child is currently so young, you have plenty of time to do so.

 

My first suggestion is to think carefully about what you hope to accomplish for your child:

  • academic achievement
  • exploration of interests and, potentially, passions
  • critical thinking
  • love of learning
  • happiness
  • wealth
  • power
  • etc.

Don’t forget that, as your child grows, he may develop interests and goals that are different from what you hope for.

Next, explore the methods to achieve your (and his) goals.

Interestingly, there is a body of research suggesting that exposure to an academic curriculum at an early age may be counter-productive, and possibly even harmful.

Finland, a country the size of Minnesota, beats the U.S. in math, reading and science, even though Finnish children don’t start school until age 7.

Despite the late start, the vast majority arrive with solid reading and math skills. By age 15, Finnish students outperform all but a few countries on international assessments.

Now that doesn’t mean that your child should do nothing until age seven. Even children in Finland routinely attend preschool. The key is to allow children to learn at their own pace. Furthermore, play should be an essential part of how children learn.

Dr. Peter Gray is an evolutionary biologist who has conducted research on the importance of play. His work is summarized in the video, and also in his book.

Now, to answer your question more directly.

I attended public school in Britain, and my children have attended school in the US. In my opinion, each of the curricula you mention can be adequate if your goal is to prepare for higher education. If I had to choose between any of them, I would research which provides your child with the most choice and options, and I would also look for a school which optimizes opportunities for direct interaction between the teacher and student (which may translate to a lower teacher/student ratio). When you prepare to make your choice, you (and your child) should visit the schools you are considering. You should be able to figure out which one will best suit your child by talking to some of the teachers and students.

Most importantly, do your own research, and pay careful attention to your child’s interests and style of learning. Only you (and your child) can select the best option to achieve your goals.

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