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Posted on 23 Jun 2023

Fulbright Scholar and Honorary UCL Research Fellow praises IB Diploma Programme

I was delighted last week to welcome Dr. Carla-Ann Brown to WA.  Dr. Brown is an American educator and academic who holds a doctorate in curriculum and assessment.  I was previously Prinicipal in two American international schools and have always found it fascinating to compare and contrast approaches in the US and the UK. I enjoyed learning more about Dr. Brown's research while she in the UK, and how WA might support it.  I was delighted to learn that Dr. Brown completed the IB Diploma and I asked her to share a message with WA parents and carers about her IB experiences. This is what she kindly shared and I hope it will help persuade some of our younger students and their families that the IB is the best sixth form programme in the UK!

My name is Dr. Carla-Ann Brown, and I am researching Black educator experiences in the U.K. as a 2022-2023 Fulbright Distinguished Teacher and Honorary Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Education. At home in the States, I am a University School Assistant Professor at the University of Florida and a middle school learning coach at the U.F. P.K. Yonge K-12 Developmental Research School. I get the best of both worlds, teaching undergraduate/doctoral students and teaching middle school students ages 10-13.

Before my tenure at the University of Florida, I graduated with an IB diploma from Suncoast Community High School in 2008. If I could summarize the value of the IB experience in a couple of words, I would say, “It’s worth it!” As a high schooler, all I could think about was how difficult my IB classes were! As an adult, I cannot reiterate the value and role the IB program played in my higher education experiences. With the credits I received from taking and passing all my IB courses in addition to other Advanced Placement courses, I was able to start undergrad at the University of Florida as a sophomore because I did not need to take several general education courses. My IB experience also prepared me for the rigor of academic writing, research, and study expected at the university level.  

If I could offer a piece of advice to all current Westminster Academy students, keep pushing! While the IB courses are not easy and take a tremendous amount of hard work, at the end of this journey, that IB diploma carries a lot of weight and international recognition.

C A Brown at WA

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