meet the IB coordinator
Welcome to the Midlothian High School International Baccalaureate website! Here, current students and teachers will find resources, announcements, and updates, while prospective students and their families will find answers to frequently asked questions as well as some information about the program and its mission.
In his book Experience and Education, famous philosopher and educational theorist John Dewey poses many questions about the experience of students in traditional school settings:
“How many [students] came to associate the learning process with ennui and boredom?
...How many came to associate books with dull drudgery, so that they were ‘conditioned’ to all but flashy reading material?
...How shall the young become acquainted with the past in such a way that the acquaintance is a potent agent in appreciation of the living present?”
Though these questions and meditations on education were published nearly 80 years ago, the same issues concerning the student experience as well as the challenges of learning still ring true today. Dewey’s answer to these challenges is perhaps just as pertinent, as he goes on to pose that, “[i]t is not enough to insist upon the necessity of experience [in education], nor even of activity in experience. Everything depends upon the quality of the experience which is had.”
In my 9 years working in the the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme here at Midlothian High School, I can attest our teachers, administrators, and support staff collaborate to offer the most quality educational experience possible for our students. This rigorous international curriculum challenges students to take ownership of their learning, and encourages each individual to deeply explore each subject with an open mind and authentic inquiry. IB Candidates work closely with a knowledgeable team of educators whose effective instruction and engaging lessons help students to become effective communicators, critical thinkers, and informed global citizens. At the very heart of our programme is the call for students to get involved both locally and beyond through our CAS initiative, which engages candidates through Creativity in the arts, Activity outside of school, and Service in the community. The sum result is a quality educational experience that teaches the whole student, preparing young adults to be well-rounded lifelong learners as they set out on their own individual paths beyond high school.
The IB Learner Profile: Interested in the IB programme? This is a list of traits the program strives to develop in its learners:
Inquirers Knowledgeable Thinkers
Communicators Principled Open-minded
Caring Risk-takers Balanced Reflective
If these are traits you possess, or ones you value in education, you may want to consider applying to Midlothian High School's IB Programme. The Chesterfield County Elective Fair held on October 1st and 11th will give potential candidates an opportunity to ask questions about the programme. The IB Open House held on Thursday, October 18th will provide a more detailed look into IB, and a chance to speak with students, teachers, and parents in the programme. For more information on these events, visit our 'Prospective Students' page.
We look forward to the opportunity of meeting new candidates; however, it is worth noting that participating in the IB Programme is not for everyone, nor is it a decision that should be made lightly. Success in this rigorous and rewarding programme starts with intellectual curiosity and academic excellence, but ends with determination and a strong commitment to realize one’s own potential. Should this statement describe you, we hope you will join our IB programme, and enjoy all the benefits of the IB journey as well as being a part of Midlothian High School’s Community of Excellence!
Mark D. Spewak
IB Programme Coordinator
Dewey, John. Experience and Education, p.28 New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Print.