Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



International Affairs

First Advisor

Dr. David Brown


International education can be perceived as important for various reasons, including its response to the current world order, through the values it disseminates and the new skills it gives to a future generation of intercontinental businessmen and women, and its response to current national needs. According to my research, international education programs have become more popular in K-12 education mainly because of the emergence of globalization influences. These programs are perceived to be effective because of the globalized societies in which they exist. While there is a theoretical background to support a link between globalization and international education, the purpose of this thesis is to give quantitative support to this claim. To explore my topic and subsequent hypothesis, I will be looking at one dependent variable, the implementation of international education programs, and three independent variables: education statistics, global trade statistics, and immigration statistics. The method used for this research is quantitative, revolving around the exploration of the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) as a case study of an international education program currently being implemented. IB is possibly the most widely used international education program, with 3,474 programs being implemented in 143 countries around the world. The independent variable for each analysis performed was always % of IB Programs. The other variables were all considered independent variables. The independent variables covered the globalization indicators (such as % Total Commodities Imported of GDP and % Total Persons Naturalized of State Population) as well as other possible explanations for international education beyond the hypothesis of this paper. Therefore, Political Leaning, GDP per Capita and Total Spending on Public Elementary-Secondary Schools are indicators to test if higher socio economic status led to more International Baccalaureate programs and Along US Land Border, Along US Coast, and Region in Country are indicators to test if certain geographic trends led to more International Baccalaureate programs. Using the Microsoft Excel Graph functions, scatter plots were made for each independent variable, comparing it with Percentage of International Baccalaureate Programs. The years for which the scatter plots were created were 2004 (the oldest year in the year range), 2011 (the most recent year in the year range), and 2008 and 2009 (the only years that had data available for all variables). This analysis aims to present the states of the United States that have been most affected by globalization and correlate them with states with higher percentages of schools that are implementing an IB program. Some general conclusions can be made with the generated scatter plots. First of all, there seems to be little evidence to support the claim that the economic aspects of globalization are connected to a motivation to implement higher numbers of International Baccalaureate programs. Secondly, while there is some correlation between the geographic and socioeconomic status indicators and higher numbers of International Baccalaureate programs, there isn’t a very strong correlation. These indicators could be an explanation for the motivations behind implementing an IB program, but there are most likely other, more comprehensive explanations. Finally, it appears that the strongest correlation is between the social aspects of globalization and higher numbers of IB programs. In all of the social indicators there was at least a slight correlation, with most indicators portraying a strong correlation. According to this data analysis, the most likely explanation for why schools choose to implement international education programs, as exemplified by the International Baccalaureate Program, is the higher populations in the area of immigrants and other residents coming from around the world as a result of globalization.