Reflecting on the Concept of Change in the New(ish) Year
Amber Rhinehart, MYP Coordinator

The MYP framework is based on a three-dimensional curriculum
model of factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge.
Traditional models of education were two-dimensional, where
they focused on skills and content, and only assumed conceptual
understanding. The MYP places conceptual understanding as an
equal pillar within this updated design and as H.L. Erickson states,
"[it] recognizes the critical importance of the conceptual level to
create deep knowledge, transferable understanding, and higher-
order thinking."

In the MYP, this conceptual aspect is found in the Global Contexts
and Key and Related Concepts. Learning in the MYP is a lively and
powerful interaction between the learners and teachers, the teaching
and assessing, and the concepts - the who, the what and the why.
The six Global Contexts (listed below) span all subjects in the MYP
and serve as support for the IB's mission "to develop inquiring,
knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better
and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and
respect."

  1. Fairness and development
  2. Identities and relationships
  3. Orientation in space and time
  4. Personal and cultural expression
  5. Globalisation and sustainability
  6. Scientific and technical innovation

Key and related concepts are cross-subject and subject specific.
Conceptual learning gives meaning and relevance to topics studies,
places these into a global context and enables for multi-dimensional
and cross-curricular connections and understanding. Why are we
learning this and why does it matter? In other words: So what?

In the light of the new year, I ask you to reflect on the concept of
change. In From Principles into Practice, the guiding MYP philosophical
and practical document, defines change as: "a conversion, transformation
or movement from one form, state or value to another. Inquiry into the
concept of change involves understanding and evaluating causes,
processes and consequences." We have seen a lot of external and
internal change in our world(s) in the last 10 months.

In my grade 9 Individual and Societies class, we have considered and
discussed questions related to change. Feel free to use these as a
starter for discussion with your family at home:

  1. In what ways have you or has your life changed since March?
    Which ways were positive? Which ways were negative? Where
    did you have control over the change and where did you not?
  2. What big changes do you want to see or are hopeful for in 2021?
    For you personally, academically, or in the world?