The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme at Thomas Jefferson Middle School
What is the IBMYP?
What is the IBMYP curriculum?
Approaches to Learning (ATL) Skills
Approaches to learning skills are strategies and techniques that are applicable across the curriculum. ATL skills focus on the process of learning, helping students to become confident, independent, self-managed learners for life. Teachers explicitly teach the skills through structured opportunities and students reflect on the development of these skills.
|ATL Skills Categories||Student expectations|
Global Contexts for Learning
In the IBMYP, teachers use the six global contexts (themes) to focus the curriculum on real-WORLD issues. Through exploration of the six contexts, students learn to connect the subject matter to their personal lives and to the lives of others around the globe.
Six global contexts and possible explorations:
Identities and Relationships
- Competition and cooperation; teams
- Identity formation, self-esteem, status, role
- Attitudes, motivations, happiness and the good of life
- Human nature and human dignity, moral reasoning, ethical judgment
Orientation in Time and Space
- Civilizations and social histories, heritage, migration, displacement and exchange
- Eras, turning points and “big” history
- Scale, duration, frequency and variability
- Peoples, boundaries, exchange and interaction
- Natural and human landscapes and resources
- Evolution, constraints and adaptations
Personal and Cultural Expression
- Artistry, craft, creation, beauty
- Products, systems and institutions
- Social construction of reality, ways of life, belief systems; ritual and play
- Critical literacy, languages and linguistics systems; histories of ideas, fields and disciplines; analysis & argument
- Abstract thinking
- Entrepreneurship, practice and competence
Scientific and Technical Innovation
- Systems, models, methods; products, processes, and solutions
- Adaptations, ingenuity, and progress
- Opportunity, risk, consequences and responsibility
- Modernization, industrialization
- Digital life, virtual environments and the informational age
- The biological revolution
- Mathematical puzzles, principles and discoveries
Globalization and Sustainability
- Markets, commodities and commercialization
- Human impact on the environment
- Commonality, diversity and interconnection
- Consumption, conservation, natural resources and public goods
- Population and demography
- Urban planning, strategy and infrastructure
Fairness and Development
- Democracy, politics, government and civil society
- Inequality, difference and inclusion
- Human capabilities and development; social entrepreneurs
- Rights, law, civic responsibility and the public sphere
- Justice, peace and conflict management
- Power and privilege
- Authority, security and freedom
- Imagining a hopeful future
What is the teaching and learning approach of the IBMYP?
“Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.” The third part of this age-old saying captures the essence of inquiry-based learning.
The instructional model in the IBMYP follows an inquiry-based approach. Inquiry is a process of gaining understanding by way of active participation. Inquiry entails formulating questions based on one’s current knowledge and seeking answers in order to construct new knowledge, collaborating with others in their quest for understanding and applying their knowledge in authentic ways outside the classroom. Students also reflect on their learning and formulate their own inquiries for further study.
The IBMYP is also concept and skills based. Because information is now at one’s figure tips, teaching focuses on developing students understanding of concepts that are meaningful across disciplines and that connect topics and processes in relevant ways.
In addition, students practice and acquire necessary skills in the individual subject areas as well as habits of mind skills (organization, research, collaboration, making connections, etc) that are needed for success in school and for lifelong learning.
Thomas Jefferson Middle School has a strong tie to technology (the actual thought process of design and innovation) and technology tools.
We have two standing computer labs and 10 mobile laptop carts. Jefferson is also participating in a pilot program that has all sixth grade students using iPAds as part of a countywide 1:1 initiative to be completed by the year 2017. Teachers have access to tools including digital cameras, movie cameras, SMARTBoards, wireless slates, and lcd projectors. Teachers also have access to various software and video programs to support instruction on just about any topic.
Teachers have students using software and Internet tools to create multimedia presentations, desktop publications, Webquests, and movies. The students even broadcast a morning announcement show over closed circuit television.
Technology obviously plays a huge role in Jefferson’s Middle Years IB Programme. The Design Cycle trains students to look at the big picture of learning and to have a personal stake in their own education. Students learn to investigate, plan, create, and then evaluate three branches of technology: information, materials, and systems. With technology at the helm, students become leaders in the classroom.