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Town of Westlake, Westlake Academy IB World School

MYP: Global Contexts / Conceptual Learning / Inquiry-Based Instruction

In the MYP, teaching and learning are centered on conceptual and contextual learning. These ideas help to provide meaning for student learning and help to make students aware of the world around them.

Conceptual Learning:

The IB has identified 16 concepts that are explored across all the subject groups in MYP. For each unit of inquiry, there is one key concept that is the focus. Key concepts: provide conceptual focus and depth to the topic under study; create an intellectual synergy between the factual and conceptual levels of thinking for the study; and pull the thinking beyond the specific topic to the broader context where understandings transfer through time, and across cultures.

Aesthetics Change Communication
Connections Creativity Culture Development
Form Global interactions Identity Logic
Perspective Relationships Systems Time, place,space

*Taken from MYP: From Principles into Practice

Contextual Learning:

In the MYP, learning contexts:

  • should be (or should model) authentic world settings, events and circumstances
  • are chosen from global contexts to encourage international-mindedness
  • create meaning and relevance to student learning
  • help teachers and students answer the important question “Why are we learning this?”

MYP classes choose from six Global Contexts to establish a real world framework for each unit of study. The Global Contexts and the applicable descriptors are:

Personal and cultural expression

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

Globalization and sustainability

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.

Orientation in time and space

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.

Fairness and development

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

Identities and relationships

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.

Scientific and technical innovation

An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction 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.