The IB Diploma Programme (DP) was established in 1968 to provide an international education that would enable young people to better understand and manage the complexities of our world, and to provide them with the skills and attitudes to take action to improve it. Such an education was grounded in the more progressive educational thinking of the time, but also in the belief that the world could be made better through an education that focused on concepts, ideas and issues that crossed disciplinary, cultural, national and geographical boundaries.
With the introduction of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) in 1994 and the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in 1997, the IB realized a continuum of international education for students aged 3–19. A decade later, the adoption of the IB learner profile across the continuum, and a profile of an internationally minded learner, provided important common ground for three strong, standalone programmes, each developed as a developmentally appropriate expression of the IB’s educational approach. The introduction of the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC) in 2012 builds further on the continuum by providing another choice of pathways for an international education for 16–19-year-old students in addition to the DP.
The MYP has been designed as a coherent and comprehensive curriculum framework that provides academic challenge and develops the life skills of students of ages 11 to 16. These years are a critical period in the development of young people. Success in school is closely related to personal, social and emotional well-being. At a time when students are establishing their identity and building their self-esteem, the MYP can motivate students and help them achieve success in school and in life beyond the classroom. The programme allows students to build on their personal strengths and to embrace challenges in subjects in which they might not excel. The MYP offers students opportunities to develop their potential, to explore their own learning preferences, to take appropriate risks, and to reflect on, and develop, a strong sense of personal identity.
Implementation of the MYP is considered to be a whole-school activity that prepares students for further successful study. The programme is designed to be inclusive; the IB believes that all students can benefit from the programme.
The MYP began as an initiative formulated by groups of practising teachers and administrators in international education who wanted to develop a curriculum for the middle years of schooling. It was intended that this curriculum would share much of the same philosophy as the DP and would prepare students for success in that programme. The first draft of the MYP curriculum was produced in 1987 when a group of practitioners created a framework that allowed for a degree of diversity. In this framework, emphasis was placed on developing the skills and attitudes, the understanding of concepts and the knowledge needed to participate in an increasingly global society.
The MYP grew out of the work and vision of practising teachers in schools. Details regarding key individuals, groups and research influences behind the development of the MYP from the first ideas in 1980 can be found in History of the Middle Years Programme (2010). In 2010, the IB began a major review of the programme, leading to the publication of this document and new guides for all subject groups in 2014.
The programme has developed significantly since its inception and will continue to do so in response to the needs of students and schools, the demands of a rapidly changing world and our changing understandings of human development and the process of learning.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers three programmes of international education:
- The Primary Years Programme (PYP)—introduced in 1997
- The Middle Years Programme (MYP)—introduced in 1994
- The Diploma Programme (DP)—introduced in 1969.
- The Career-Related Certificate (IBCC)-introduced in 2012
The four programmes have a common educational framework: Each programme promotes the education of the whole person, emphasizing intellectual, emotional, social and physical growth, involving the traditions of learning in languages, humanities, sciences, mathematics and the arts.
Each programme is self-contained, since there is no requirement for schools to offer more than one programme, but these programmes also provide the opportunity for schools to offer a continuous international educational experience from early childhood through to school graduation.
MYP, designed for students aged 11-16, is offered by IB and has been available since 1994. The MYP is a coherent and comprehensive curriculum framework that provides academic challenge and develops the life skills appropriate to this age group. This framework of the MYP places the student at its centre through a structure which assists teachers to plan group work in order to involve students in meaningful, challenging and regular activities that combine a range of skills, attitudes and values.
Three fundamental concepts of MYP
Adolescents are confronted with a vast and often bewildering array of choices. The MYP is designed to provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgment. From its beginning, the MYP has been guided by three fundamental concepts that are rooted in the IB mission statement. These three fundamental concepts are:
holistic learning—representing the notion that all knowledge is interrelated and that the curriculum should cater to the development of the whole person, the attributes of which are described by the IB learner profile
intercultural awareness—representing the notion that school communities should encourage and promote international-mindedness by engaging with and exploring other cultures, a key feature of international education as reflected in the attributes of the IB learner profile
communication—representing the notion that schools should encourage open and effective communication, important skills that contribute to international understanding as exemplified by the attributes of the IB learner profile.
The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16. It provides a framework of learning that encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and the real world. It fosters the development of skills for communication, intercultural understanding and global engagement—essential qualities for young people who are becoming global leaders.
The MYP is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of most national or local curricula. It builds upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed in the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the IB Diploma Programme (DP) and the IB Career-related Certificate (IBCC).
- holistically addressess students’ intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being;
- provides students with opportunities to develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need in order to manage complexity and take responsible action for the future;
- ensures breadth and depth of understanding through study in eight subject groups;
- requires the study of at least two languages to support students in understanding their own cultures and those of others;
- empowers students to participate in service with the community, and
- helps to prepare students for further education, the workplace and a lifetime of learning.
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world. IB learners strive to be:
IB LEARNER PROFILE ATTRIBUTES :
INQUIRERS: They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
KNOWLEDGEABLE: They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and balanced range of disciplines.
THINKERS: They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
COMMUNICATORS: They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
PRINCIPLED: They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
OPEN-MINDED: They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
CARING: They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
RISK-TAKERS: They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
BALANCED: They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
REFLECTIVE: They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. We believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities.
IB programme models highlight important shared features of an IB education.
- Developing the attributes of the learner profile
- Approaches to teaching and approaches to learning
- Age-appropriate culminating experiences (personal project)
- An organized and aligned structure of subject groups or disciplines
- Development of international-mindedness as a primary aim and context for learning
The Middle Years Programme is completed with a personal project for MYP Year 5 students (10th graders).
The MYP organizes teaching and learning through eight subject groups: language and literature, language acquisition, individuals and societies, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical and health education, and design.