International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program
IB PYP takes a curricular approach with inquiry at the center. It is not just a method, but also a philosophy that guides program development and student learning. Students participate in directing their own learning by investigating and exploring the central ideas presented through the Program of Inquiry. In different ways, all students at IAS are engaged in open-ended, relevant, student-centered activities which allow them to explore the essential elements embedded in the program. The traditional subject areas, such as math, science, language arts, and social studies provide students and teachers with a perspective, but the true and universally applicable learning will be the ability to ask purposeful questions, make connections and ultimately to understand the concepts driving the Unit of Inquiry.
Six themes of the Program of Inquiry:
Who we are: An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where we are in place and time: An inquiry into orientation in place and time, personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
How we express ourselves: An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
How the world works: An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interactions between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
How we organize ourselves: An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
Sharing the planet: An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Action in the PYP
How do we want students to act?
In the PYP, it is believed that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include not only socially responsible attitudes but also thoughtful and appropriate action.
International Academy of Smyrna teachers are designing units that are relevant and significant to our students so that they will want to take action on what they are learning.
What does Action look like?
Action from someone involved in the PYP can be as simple as a student wanting to share with someone what they are learning about or even wanting to go to the library to continue their learning of a particular topic. Or, it can be an action like writing to their congressman or corporate CEO about an issue that was raised during a unit on sharing the planet.
Action in the PYP can also be deciding not to act, for example if during a unit on health a student realizes that a can of Coke with dinner is not the best choice and they opt for milk instead.
The Action Cycle of the Primary Years Programme
The action cycle is the simple yet powerful tool used to teach children how to take action. By going through the three steps of choosing, acting and then reflecting back upon the results of their choice, students are able to grow socially and personally, developing skills such as cooperation, problem solving, conflict resolution and critical thinking. This is an important part of student’s participation in their own learning.
If you have further question about the Primary Years Programme, contact Mrs. Michelle Carlson at 678-370-0980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.