IB Blog Series: Providing Students with Authentic Learning Experiences
Welcome to our second update in the IB Blog Series! This month's blog focuses on how the components of each IB Programme, from the PYP, to the MYP and DP, provide students with authentic, rich learning experiences that broaden their real-world understanding and abilities.
The IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) Transdisciplinary Themes
The Primary Years Programme (PYP) is a transdisciplinary curriculum framework that offers authentic learning experiences. In practice, this means that the PYP encourages students to learn to appreciate knowledge, conceptual understandings, skills, and personal attributes as a connected whole.
Schools do this by collaboratively developing a Programme of Inquiry that reflects the unique aspects of that school’s community. At M’KIS, our Programme of Inquiry is organized and framed by six transdisciplinary themes:
These transdisciplinary themes together provide children with authentic learning experiences that are not confined to the boundaries of traditional subjects. Although subjects play an important role in learning, PYP learners explore real-world problems by going beyond these boundaries. Students have opportunities to reflect on the significance of their learning to take meaningful action in their community and the wider world.
The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) Learner Profile Attributes
The Middle Years Programme (MYP) not only offers a rigorous and conceptually-driven curriculum designed to prepare students for the challenges of the Diploma Programme; it is also driven by 10 learner attributes that ensure students have the characteristics they need to succeed.
Each unit of study across all subject areas has a specific attribute that is focused on ensuring students see both academic and personal growth. These attributes are also prioritized in more detail throughout our advisory program, which all of our Middle and High School students participate in.
Learner Profile Attributes are important, because we want our students to be able to say:
The Importance of the IB Diploma Programme Core
All of our Grade 11 students get the chance to experience the IB by taking IB subjects or by opting to be Diploma Programme candidates. So what is the difference?
If a student decides to take IB subjects, they can be IB certificate candidates and earn a certificate at the end of the 2 years to show universities they have taken academically rigorous and demanding courses. Many universities will provide credit for this, which is something worth consulting with each school’s Admissions Office about.
If a student decides to take the full Diploma Programme, they not only will need to register in 6 IB subjects, but also complete a series of Core Requirements. This is the main difference between the Diploma Programme and other high school academic programs.
The three mandatory Core Components of the Diploma Programme are:
What about CAS?
Students get to pick what meaningful experiences to join considering these 3 strands, so each CAS program is individual and should meet the student's needs. We start the year by doing a personal profile inventory to discover each student's skills, talents, and interests to help us guide their experiences selections and ensure the time invested is worthwhile for their personal growth.
CAS should be looked at as an outlet, a time for students to invest in themselves and experience a new kind of growth. Under the current circumstances, which are always shifting due to the pandemic, selecting appropriate and safe experiences is challenging yet extremely rewarding. For example, since there are no sports seasons at the moment, which is how the majority of students chose to meet the Activity strand of the component, students must now find more unique ways of keeping physically active. Following home workouts, doing yoga, or going on walks/runs/hikes are all meaningful activities that meet the needs of being active.
Together, the elements of the DP Core are an incredibly valuable part of the IB experience for students as they mature through high school and prepare for the rigors of a university education and beyond.
We look forward to sharing more developments with you in our next IB blog!