IB MYP Curriculum: Everything You Need to Know Explained

July 19, 2023

ib myp carriculum explained

The IB MYP curriculum is a rigorous program that gives students aged 11 to 16 years the opportunity to engage in active learning and develop into international students who can explore and analyze global issues and ideas.

It’s through the IB MYP curriculum that IB is able to empower students in over 100 countries across the globe to think creatively, critically, and reflectively. In the end, students gain the information, skills, and the ability to contribute to making the world around a better place.

Key Takeaways

  • The program requires 50 hours of learning for each subject group every year.
  • Between year 4 and 5, students have the freedom to choose from 6 of the 8 subjects, a move that enhance flexibility in meeting students’ needs as well as the local institutional requirements.
  • Also, the program requires that students engage in one collaborative interdisciplinary unit, which must account for two subject groups. 
  • Lastly, students have to complete a MYP Personal Project, in which case they decide what’s suitable based on what they already know.

IB MYP Curriculum Explained 

The following is a summary of the 8 subjects in the IB MYP curriculum:

1. Language Acquisition

Language and identity have a deep connection, and the MYP recognizes the importance of learning to communicate in diverse ways for students’ affirmation of their own identities.

The significance of language acquisition within the MYP is twofold.

Firstly, the ability to communicate effectively across multiple modes and in more than one language is central to the concept of an international education. It equips students with the skills necessary to engage with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and this enhances intercultural understanding and global citizenship.

Secondly, the language acquisition course presents students with both linguistic and academic challenges. By handing these challenges, students can have the best possible educational experience and the opportunity to develop their language skills to their fullest potential.

2. Language and Literature

The language and literature courses within MYP aim to cultivate skills in six key areas:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Viewing
  • Presenting

At the core, language learning places a strong emphasis on inquiry. The approach seeks to facilitate students’ comprehension by providing them with opportunities to independently and collaboratively investigate, take action, and reflect on their learning experiences.

The significance of language and literature within the MYP extends beyond the acquisition of language skills.

In fact, all IB programs recognize language as a central element in the development of critical thinking, which is a crucial attribute for fostering intercultural understanding in local, national, and global communities.

3. Individuals and Societies

The Individuals and Societies subject group encompasses a range of disciplines traditionally explored within the humanities, as well as those within the social sciences.

Within this subject group, students engage in the collection, description, and analysis of data used in studying societies. They develop the ability to test hypotheses and acquire the skills to interpret intricate information, including original source material.

The subject group places a strong emphasis on real-world examples, research, and analysis, which are fundamental aspects of its curriculum.

4. Sciences

Through exploring real-world examples of scientific applications, students gain insight into the intricate relationships and interdependencies that exist between science and various aspects of society, including morality, ethics, culture, economics, politics, and the environment.

Scientific inquiry in IB MYP nurtures the development of critical and creative thinking skills, enabling students to engage in research, design experiments, and analyze data. It also encourages them to recognize assumptions and consider alternative explanations, thus fostering a well-rounded approach to scientific investigation.

5. Mathematics

The mathematics framework in the IB MYP curriculum encompasses a comprehensive range of mathematical concepts, including number, algebra, geometry and trigonometry, statistics and probability.

Students engage in learning experiences that enable them to represent information effectively, explore and model various situations, and devise solutions to both familiar and unfamiliar problems. These skills hold significant value in a multitude of domains, including social sciences and the arts.

The primary aim of MYP mathematics is to equip all students with the essential knowledge, understanding, and intellectual capabilities required to tackle advanced mathematics courses.

It also aims to prepare students who will utilize mathematics in their future academic pursuits, professional environments, and everyday lives.

6. Arts

Within the realm of arts, students get the chance to engage as both creators and learners.

Arts play a vital role in stimulating young imaginations, pushing the boundaries of perception, and fostering the development of creative and analytical skills.

Participation in the arts encourages students to explore and comprehend artistic expressions within their respective contexts, thereby deepening their understanding of cultural histories associated with artworks. This exploration supports the cultivation of an inquiring and empathetic worldview.

Because arts serve as a platform for challenging and enriching personal identity, it enables students to develop an acute awareness of aesthetics within real-world contexts.

By engaging with various forms of artistic expression, students broaden their perspectives and gain a deeper appreciation for the significance of aesthetics in their lives.

7. Physical and Health Education

Physical and Health Education in MYP promote the development of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

By engaging in active learning experiences, students not only embody the holistic nature of well-being but also cultivate an appreciation for and respect towards the ideas of others.

They also develop essential collaboration and communication skills, fostering positive interpersonal relationships and a sense of social responsibility.

Teachers have the responsibility to design a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses various essential elements, which might include imparting knowledge related to physical health and engaging in real-time activities such as gymnastics, aerobics, and martial arts.

Team sports like football, basketball, handball, volleyball, and hockey, as well as individual sports like golf, athletics, swimming, squash, or fencing should also be part of the subject.

8. Design

IN MYP, design goes beyond mere problem solving and focuses on nurturing practical and creative thinking abilities. The subject encourages students to understand historical and contemporary significance while instilling a sense of responsibility in their decision-making processes.

The challenges in the subject stimulate students’ minds and foster their growth in various ways. By studying design, students are able to apply their practical and creative thinking skills to solve problems more effectively.

Furthermore, these challenges enable MYP students to gain a deeper understanding of the role of design in both historical and contemporary contexts. The subject also covers the ethical and social responsibilities associated with making design decisions and taking action.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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