International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme
The IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is designed for students in grades 6 - 8. It provides a framework of learning that emphasizes intellectual challenge and encourages connections between studies in traditional subjects and the real world. The MYP focuses on “learning how to learn” through the systematic development of approaches to learning (ATL) skills for communication, collaboration, organization, self-management, reflection, research, informational literacy, media literacy, creative and critical thinking, and
transfer of learning. It also fosters intercultural understanding and global engagement—essential qualities for young people today.
Interdisciplinary teaching and learning builds a connected curriculum that addresses the developmental needs of students and prepares them for further academic study and life in an increasingly interconnected world. The MYP uses concepts and contexts as starting points for meaningful integration and transfer of knowledge across eight subject groups: language and literature, individuals and society, sciences, mathematic, language acquisition, design, arts and physical education. Students must also complete the school-based expectations for service as action, therefore all 8th graders will complete a community service project.
Course description and aims
Interdisciplinary learning can take place between different subject groups and between different disciplines within a subject group to encourage broader perspectives on complex issues and deeper levels of analysis and synthesis. Interdisciplinary connections must be mean-ingful. In the MYP, interdisciplinary learning is the process by which students come to understand bodies of knowledge and modes of thinking from two or more disciplines and then integrate them to create a new un-derstanding. Students demonstrate this by bringing together concepts, methods or forms of communication to explain a phenomenon, solve a problem, create a product or raise a new question in ways that would have been unlikely through a single discipline.
MYP schools must engage students in at least one collaboratively planned interdisciplinary unit in each year of the MYP in order to integrate knowledge and skills from two or more subject groups in an interdisciplinary manner.
The aims of interdisciplinary learning in the MYP are to:
- develop a deeper understanding of learning skills and apply them in meaningful contexts
- integrate conceptual learning, ways of knowing and methods of inquiring from multiple disciplines
- inquire into compelling issues, ideas and challenges by creating products or explaining phenomena
- reflect on and communicate understanding of the interdisciplinary learning process
- experience the excitement of intellectual discovery—including insights into how disciplines complement and challenge one another.
The MYP interdisciplinary curriculum is developed across a continuum in which disciplines borrow from each other, share common threads, combine in formal units of study or are organized into discrete courses.
The MYP promotes interdisciplinary inquiry by integrating discipline-based conceptual understanding within the following global contexts:
- Identities and relationships
- Orientation in space and time
- Personal and cultural expression
- Scientific and technical innovation
- Globalization and sustainability
- Fairness and development
There is no set number of interdisciplinary learning hours in each year of the MYP, but MYP subject-group teachers are responsible for devel-oping meaningful and ongoing interdisciplinary teaching and learning opportunities throughout the programme.
Each interdisciplinary learning objective corresponds to one of four equally weighted assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands with unique descrip-tors that teachers use to make judgments about students’ work.
Criterion A: Disciplinary grounding
Students must understand disciplinary concepts and skills—as framed
by MYP subject-group objectives. This disciplinary grounding provides the foundation for interdisciplinary understanding.
Criterion B: Synthesizing
Students integrate knowledge from more than one discipline in ways that inform inquiry into relevant ideas, issues and challenges in order to explain phenomena or create products.
Criterion C: Communicating
Students select, integrate or innovate communication forms and strategies to explain the results of their inquiries. They develop the capacity to commu-nicate effectively and responsibly with a range of audiences.
Criterion D: Reflecting
Students evaluate the role of disciplines, weighing their relative contribu-tions and assessing their strengths and limitations in specific interdiscipli-nary applications. Students also explore various areas of knowledge and ways of knowing, and reflect on their ability to construct understanding across disciplinary boundaries.