Why MYP?

I have been teaching the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) for most of my teaching career and I can’t imagine teaching any other way. There are some many things that I love about the design of the programme:

The programme is well-suited to the age and stage of adolescents.

  • Adolescence is a time of major brain development, and habits formed during this period often carry into adulthood. The student-centred approach to teaching and learning  in the MYP means that students are actively engaged in what they are doing and developing the skills and habits that will support independent, lifelong learning.
  • As students make the transition from childhood to adulthood, the MYP gives students experience with a wide range of subjects. This allows them to explore new interests and ideas, giving them a solid basis from which to make choices about their future education and career goals.
  • Adolescents are also very social and highly attuned to dynamics among their peers. The focus on collaborative learning in the MYP increases motivation and helps students to develop collaboration skills that will serve them well into adulthood.

The focus on the Approaches to Learning skills help all students to become good students.

  • Learning how to learn is central to the MYP, and the development of the Approaches to Learning skills “empower IB students of all ages to become self-regulated learners who know how to ask good questions, set effective goals, pursue their aspirations and have the determination to achieve them.” (What is an IB Education?, 2019, p.6)
  • Skills, like research, critical thinking, effective communication, self-regulation and collaboration are intentionally embedded in the curriculum, so that all students can develop these essential skills.

Students develop authentic skills continuously throughout the programme.

  • Assessment in the MYP is based on the subject-specific objectives which describe the essential skills of each discipline, not just the content typically covered in that subject. For example, in the sciences students: 
    • develop scientific knowledge and apply it to solve problems and express scientifically supported judgments; 
    • develop intellectual and practical skills through designing, analysing and performing scientific investigations; 
    • collect, process and interpret qualitative and/or quantitative data, and explain conclusions that have been appropriately reached;  
    • evaluate the implications of scientific developments and their applications to a specific problem or issue.
  • Because these skills are developed in each year of the programme, students get continuous feedback about how they are progressing in each discipline. Moreover, because that feedback is multi-faceted, they can identify their particular strengths in each discipline as well as areas for improvement.

These highlights really only scratch the surface of what I love about the MYP. Keep an eye on this blog for deeper dives into each of these ideas. Until then, you can find out more about the IB Middle Years Programme here. You may also be interested in Key findings from research on the impact of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP).

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