MYP Curriculum Framework
The central place of the student
The program model of the MYP places the learner at its centre. This underscores the IB's belief in educating the whole person, and placing importance on student inquiry. MYP students are making the transition from early puberty to mid-adolescence, which is a crucial period of personal, social and intellectual development, of uncertainty and questioning. The MYP is designed to guide students in their search for a sense of place in their natural and social environments.
The areas of interaction
The areas of interaction are, put simply, the contexts through which the curriculum content interacts with the real world. In the programme model, the distinctive core of the five areas of interaction surrounds the learner. They are common interactive themes embedded in the subject groups, but they are not subject disciplines in their own right. They are common to all disciplines and require all teachers to teach their subject content in a way that encourages students to become increasingly aware of the connections between their learning and the real world. The areas of interaction can also be described as five broad areas of student inquiry.
The five areas of interaction are:
- Approaches to learning (ATL) encourages students to take increasing responsibility for their learning,to question and evaluate information critically, and to seek out and explore the links between subjects. Learning how to learn and how to evaluate information critically is as important as the content of the subject disciplines themselves.
- Community and service encourages students to become aware of their roles and their responsibilities as members of communities. All MYP students are required to become involved with their communities-an involvement that benefits both parties.
- Health and social education encourages students to explore personal, physical and societal issues and to develop respect for body and mind.
- Environments encourages students to become aware of their interdependence with the world and to develop responsible and positive attitudes towards their environments.
- Human ingenuity encourages students to examine and reflect on the ingenious ways in which humans think, create and initiate change.
A balanced program
The program model is based on the concept of balance. This is important to the program in a number of ways.
- The program provides learning in a broad base of disciplines to ensure that students acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare for the future.
- The subject-group objectives include skills, attitudes and knowledge in addition to the understanding of concepts; the aim is to ensure that students are not only knowledgeable about a subject area, but also develop a genuine understanding of ideas and an ability to apply these in new contexts, in preparation for further learning.
- The program promotes the principle of concurrency of learning, whereby students deal with a balanced curriculum each year in which different subjects are studied simultaneously. As students mature and develop higher-order thinking skills, they explore the disciplines in increasing depth and realize how they are linked to each other and to local and global issues.
- The program encourages the use of a variety of teaching and learning methodologies to foster a climate in which students discover how they learn best in different situations.
- The program emphasizes the development of the whole person-affective, cognitive, creative and physical-and its effective implementation depends on the school's concern for the whole educational experience, including what students learn outside the classroom.
Taken from the IBO document, MYP: From principles into practice, 2008.