History of International Baccalaureate Education

Marie-Thérèse Maurette created the framework for what would eventually become the IB Diploma Programme in 1948 when she wrote Is There a Way of Teaching for Peace?, a handbook for UNESCO. In the mid-1960s, a group of teachers from the International School of Geneva (Ecolint) created the International Schools Examinations Syndicate (ISES), which would later become the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). The IB headquarters were officially established in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1968 for the development and maintenance of the Diploma Programme which would "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," and offer internationally standardized courses and assessments for students ages 16 to 19. International Baccalaureate North America (IBNA) was established in 1975, by Peter Nehr, International Baccalaureate Africa, Europe and Middle-East (IBAEM) was established in 1986, and International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific (IBAP) established during the same period.

The Middle Years Programme (MYP)—which adheres to the study of eight subject areas—was developed and piloted in the mid-1990s, and within five years 51 countries had MYP schools. The Primary Years Programme (PYP) was piloted in 1996 in thirty primary schools on different continents, and the first PYP school was authorised in 1997, with as many as 87 authorised schools in 43 countries within five years.

Alec Peterson was appointed as the IB's first director general (1968–1977). Peterson was followed by Gérard Renaud (1977–83); Roger Peel (1983–98); Derek Blackman (1998–99); and George Walker (1999–2005). Jeffrey Beard is currently director general of the IB.