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The Extended Essay Part 3: What is a World Studies Extended Essay?

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Students doing a World Studies EE must be in at least one of the courses that they are exploring. The global issues being explored could include the global food crisis, climate change, energy security, global health, cultural exchange, and any other worldwide issue of relevance. Students must then explore how this global issue is shown in a local or smaller context.

For example, Analee Obrocea ’24 is working on a World Studies EE that examines the global issue of leukaemia in the smaller context of the Netherlands and which involves the IB courses Biology and Global Politics. Her research question is “What factors lead to the best accessible and effective treatment for leukaemia in the Netherlands compared to other regions?” Analee is excited to begin her EE journey and isn’t too stressed, because she likes how the essay is broken up into smaller and more manageable tasks.

Ms. Rebecca Nielson and Mme. Angie Girard is in charge of managing the Extended Essay process and students also have their topic-specific supervisors, which are IB teachers specializing in their respective courses. We are very lucky to have such a caring, wonderful, and organized team to support us through this journey. 

Luka Hurschler ’24 is also doing a World Studies EE within the two IB subjects Global Politics and Environmental Systems and Societies. He is planning on exploring the effects of conflict and war on the environment, particularly in how more greenhouse gasses are produced from modern weapons and how this affects ecosystems. Luka is really excited, but also a bit nervous, especially about balancing the writing with his Grade 12 courses. Time management is an important skill that will be learnt during the Extended Essay process.

Along with practical skills, the World Studies EE aims to help students develop the concept of global consciousness. This encompasses three strands: 

  • Global sensitivity: sensitivity to local events as the effect of worldwide development
  • Global understanding: the ability to keep an open and informed perspective on issues of global significance, and 
  • The idea of the global self: developing a perception of the individuals being a member of humanity and capable of making a positive contribution to the worldwide community. 
As an association that promotes international education, the International Baccalaureate Organization strives to link students across the globe together, and this is especially reflected in the World Studies Extended Essay.

The World Studies approach offers a unique pathway for students to apply the knowledge that they learn in their courses to the real world, which helps develop international-mindedness and expand learning outside of the textbook and coursework. This is a concept that the IB and GNS strive to achieve, as it helps students develop a broader and deeper understanding of the world around them.

As the Grade 11s look toward the end of the school year, most of them plan to continue working on their EE throughout the summer, ensuring they meet their deadlines along the way in order to get feedback from their supervisors. The hope for them is to stay on track when they start Grade 12 in the fall.