IB Program: Student Perspectives and Classroom Activity

Dan Garvey, who teaches "theory of knowledge" in the Pierson IB program, facilitates a student discussion in April of 2017.
Dan Garvey, who teaches “theory of knowledge” in the Pierson IB program, facilitates a student discussion.

By Christine Sampson

The Express spoke to the other senior diploma candidates to learn more about why they chose to pursue some of the most rigorous courses that Pierson High School has to offer in the International Baccalaureate program, which is increasing in popularity. Teacher Dan Garvey, whose class “Theory of Knowledge” breaks down information into ways of seeing, knowing and learning, opened up his classroom to a visitor interested in learning more about the program. Watch a video here inside Mr. Garvey’s “Theory of Knowledge” class.

Pierson senior Aris Witty

Aris Witty

Essay topic: “The use of the atomic bombs during World War II and whether the decision to use them was influenced by the Soviets entering the war with Japan”

Why I chose IB: “I wanted a challenge and felt that it may come in handy in the future. The program has helped me become a better writer and problem solver.”

Eve Bishop

Essay topic: “The depiction of children in photography by Elliott Erwitt and Sally Mann”

Why I chose IB: “I was up for an academic challenge and wanted to take advantage of all of the opportunities our school has to offer. I was interested in many of the classes offered and the full diploma seemed to be a great way to prepare myself for college.”

Ella Parker

Essay topic: “How do the paintings of Felix Nussbaum reflect his experience with the Holocaust and the conflict between retaining Jewish identity and assimilation?”

Why I chose IB: “I chose to pursue the IB Diploma for my own academic, intellectual and personal growth. Nobody convinced me to do it, and, even after all of the hours of work, no one could have convinced me out of it.”


Eve Bishop, left, and Ella Parker, right, are students in the IB program at Pierson HS. Christine Sampson photo
Pierson senior Alex Kamper





Alex Kamper

Essay topic: ““The Reintroduction of Herbalism into American Mainstream Usage”

Why I chose IB: “I felt it was the best education being offered to me. The program has contributed significantly to my develop as a student and thinker, equipping me not only with research skills and an array of information that would not have been available in another course selection, but also with methods and structures for internalizing and processing the information I encounter.”


Pierson senior Kimberly Hardy

Kimberly Hardy

Essay topic: “How Post-WWI War Reparations Caused the Great Depression”

Why I chose IB: “I was hesitant to join the program at first, but in the end I decided it was better to challenge myself and pursue something new rather than end up regretting my decision of not joining later on. The diploma program has taught me so much, not only academically, but also when it comes to real-life skills.”