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PYP Candidate School: Curriculum Elements

August 25, 2017-- Last week we discussed our school’s journey toward becoming an authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP) practitioner. We looked at our school’s current mission and vision and compared such to the IB Learner Profile.

Remember that the ten attributes of the Learner Profile are outcomes and represent what we hope will comprise our students’ personal make-up at the end of their tenure here.

If internationally minded, globally competent children who exhibit the attributes of the IB Learner Profile is the outcome, then the next natural question is: what processes will help us get there?

This brings us to the written curriculum. In the Primary Years Program we seek a balance among the acquisition of essential knowledge; the development of transdisciplinary skills and conceptual understanding; the demonstration of positive attitudes; and taking responsible, thoughtful action. The diagram below outlines and provides brief descriptions for each element.

We want to design engaging, meaningful and relevant learning experiences for our students.  Each of these elements is crucial in such a design, so let’s define them:

  1. KNOWLEDGE: Significant, relevant, content that we wish our students to explore and know about. Takes into consideration their own prior experiences and connecting to their previous understandings.

  2. CONCEPTS: Powerful ideas that have relevance within subject areas, but also transcend them. Students must explore these ideas in a gradually increased sophistication of understanding in order to construct in depth connections.

  3. SKILLS: Capabilities that students need to demonstrate to succeed in a changing, challenging world.

  4. ATTITUDES: Dispositions that are expressions of fundamental values, beliefs and feelings regarding learning, the environment and people.

  5. ACTION: Demonstrations of applied learning through responsible behavior and thoughtful actions. These are synthesized manifestations of the other four essential elements.

As educators incorporating these five elements into the curriculum, we are guided by six transdisciplinary themes. These six themes appear in the Knowledge column of the diagram above.

Next week: the transdisciplinary themes, how they are explored, their make-up, and how they contribute to a comprehensive program of inquiry.

Have a great weekend and remember I am always available to answer any questions you may have.

Warm Regards,

Brad Chumrau

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