The Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) is a course of study designed to meet the educational requirements of students aged between 11 and 16 years. The flexibility of the curriculum allows the demands of national, regional or local legislation to be met while still offering the possibility of being taught as an entity in itself. The eight subject groups of the MYP provide a broad, traditional foundation of knowledge, while the pedagogical devices used to impart such knowledge should increase the student’s awareness of the relationships between subjects. Students are encouraged to question and evaluate information critically, to seek out and explore the links between subjects, and to develop an awareness of their place in the world.
Young adolescents are confronted with a vast and often bewildering array of choices; the MYP is designed to provide them with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgement and to choose wisely. Learning how to learn and how to evaluate information critically is as important as the content of the disciplines themselves. While insisting on the thorough study of the various academic subjects, the MYP accentuates their interrelatedness and advances a holistic view of knowledge. As a part of the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s curriculum, the programme fosters intercultural awareness, promoting better understanding of, and respect for, other cultures as well as concern for international issues. The MYP also stresses the importance of communication, through good command of one’s own language, foreign language acquisition, and the appreciation of different modes of thinking and expression.
Areas of Interaction
Additionally, students are required to explore and experience the five areas of interaction. These are: approaches to learning (ATL), community & service, health & social education, environment, human ingenuity.
The areas of interaction should be taught through the medium of the subjects, thereby fulfilling their integrative function; however some aspects may also be taught as separate courses and projects throughout the MYP where local circumstances dictate. However, the areas of interaction should certainly not be taught as discrete extra subjects which would increase the student’s overall workload. Student participation in the areas of interaction culminates in the personal project.
Aims and Objectives
The MYP offers a curricular framework within which school-specific requirements can be met, while maintaining the mission and philosophy of the IBO. To achieve this goal, the IBO prescribes the aims and objectives of all subject groups and the personal project.
The objectives of each subject group are skills-based and broad enough to allow for a variety of teaching and learning approaches. The choice and organization of precise content is left to schools in order to preserve the flexibility which the MYP offers. In some subjects the content is not specified while in others a framework of concepts or topics is prescribed for all MYP students over the five years. Such prescription is kept to a minimum and schools are asked to expand their scope of topics and depth of treatment according to their individual needs and preferences. Sample programmes of study for all the subject groups have been written by practising teachers as some suggested means of enabling students to achieve the prescribed objectives. Users of the guides may choose to adopt the examples offered, amend them to suit their own requirements, or write an alternative programme of study. Whatever option is chosen, teachers are reminded that the objectives are prescribed.
Programme Evaluation and Student Assessment
Programme evaluation at regular intervals is mandatory for all schools; its aim is to ensure quality of programmes in IB schools, at the same time assisting schools in their own self-evaluation processes and curriculum development procedures. The internal assessment of individual students by the teacher uses criteria based on the objectives published in this guide. Validation of grades achieved through internal assessment, and MYP certification for individual students by the IBO, which is optional, requires external moderation.
This text is taken from the Middle Years Programme subject guides. It is copyrighted by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. For all inquiries visit http://www.ibo.org