International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme
The district is strongly committed to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and believes it will play a pivotal role in helping our students develop into 21st century learners. Our middle schools will establish and maintain a community of lifelong learners through a student-centered approach to study and inquiry that reflects a global perspective on education, focuses on the development of the whole child, and helps children reach their full potential.
The IB Middle Years Program (MYP) does not replace the existing curriculum at Brooks and Julian, but rather enhances it and helps to foster greater creativity for both students and teachers. It also provides an “enrichment for all” approach to education in our district that helps us effectively meet or exceed the ever increasing expectations for student performance, addresses the need to lessen the variance between master teachers and those still striving to reach that status, and makes our schools even better.
The MYP’s coherent curriculum comprises three interrelated components:
The written curriculum is a formal, comprehensive, school-wide set of documents that describes what will be taught in each subject to each age group. The MYP presents schools with a framework within which schools are expected to develop their own written curriculum, whether this includes external requirements or not. It is acknowledged that many schools will not have autonomy in deciding subject content. The development of learner profile attributes, conceptual understanding, incorporation of global contexts and approaches to learning (ATL) skills is a school-based process.
Curriculum development centers on four major elements:
- Key and related concepts
- Global contexts
- ATL skills
- Subject-group objectives
From these elements, documents such as subject-group overviews and unit planners will be developed through vertical and horizontal planning. In the written curriculum, MYP teachers can plan for service activities arising from inquiry that will be engaging and relevant to students.
Learners have beliefs about how the world works that are based on their experiences and prior knowledge. Those beliefs, models or constructs are revisited and revised in the light of new experiences and further learning. As students try to create meaning in their lives and the world around them, they will continually construct, test, confirm or revise their personal models of how the world works and their personal values.
Consequently, the taught curriculum in a school should emphasize the construction of meaning so that students’ learning will be purposeful. When planning to teach a subject as part of the MYP, it is important to ascertain students’ prior knowledge, and to provide experiences through the curriculum that give students opportunities to test and revise their models, to make connections between their previous and current perceptions, and that give them the opportunity to construct their own meaning. The MYP encourages teachers to provide opportunities for students to build meaning and refine understanding through structured inquiry. As the learning process involves communication and collaboration, this inquiry may take many forms, with students working on their own or collaboratively with partners or larger groups, within the classroom or beyond.
The structuring of new experiences by teachers, and the support teachers give to students’ ideas about new experiences, are fundamental to students’ conceptual development. The MYP encourages conceptual development that applies across and beyond subject groups.
MYP assessment gives teachers and students reliable and valid information on student learning. Integrated with the written and taught curriculum, the assessed curriculum is considered throughout the processes involved in planning for learning. Assessment in the MYP is largely an internal (school-based) process. Teachers in IB World Schools develop, administer and provide feedback on assessment tasks that meet the programme requirements (including mandatory assessment criteria).
The MYP provides teachers with examples of the development of a range of authentic and targeted assessment strategies and tools that are focused on learning. Such strategies are communicated through subject-group guides, teacher support materials and workshop materials. These strategies and tools can be used to design assessment tasks that bring balance and integrity to the curriculum.
What does IB look like at our middle school?
International Baccalaureate (IB) Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate® aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the organization works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
Benefits of the IB MYP:
- Curriculum grounded in real-world connections and themes
- Increased opportunities for exploring multiple perspectives and interdisciplinary units
- Learning aligned with international standards of excellence
- Unique, sustained professional development opportunities for teachers with a focus on creative and inquiry-based instruction.
- Identities & Relationships
- Orientation in Space & Time
- Personal & Cultural Expression
- Scientific & Technical Innovation
- Globalization & Sustainability
- Fairness & Development
Approaches to Learning