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The country of Ecuador boasts one of the largest populations of Diploma Programme (DP) participants in Latin America with 708 DP candidates in 2011. There are currently 51 IB-authorized schools in the country, including 50 offering the DP, six offering the PYP and six offering MYP (several schools offer combinations). Ecuador has shown an exceptionally high level of support for IB education: the Ministry of Education (MOE) undertook an initiative beginning in 2006 to support the development of a DP in each of the country’s 24 provinces. Subsequently, based on President Correa’s conviction that Ecuadorian secondary education could be vastly improved by following the DP model, it was decided to dramatically expand the number of state schools participating.
Because of the high level of interest of the Ecuadorian government, as well as to advance its own knowledge of school development and school transformation, IB entered into a contract with the National Center for Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) at Teachers College, Columbia University to conduct research on the DP in Ecuador. NCREST has a particular interest in high school reform models, and is comprised of researchers skilled in quantitative and qualitative methods. NCREST has conducted the current research on the DP in Ecuador in collaboration with two highly regarded Ecuadorian research teams led by Dr. Tracey Tokuhama Espinosa from the University of San Francisco and Dr. Myriam Aguirre from the Pontifical Catholic University.
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