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Developing interdisciplinary understanding for MYP teachers
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 This PowerPoint presentation was prepared and presented by Luz Maria Gutiérrez, MYP regional manager (IBAEM), during Paris workshops in November This presentation may be used by coordinators or pedagogical leaders in MYP schools to develop understanding of interdisciplinary teaching and learning with teachers. Background to the presentation Page 2
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Goals of this presentation Challenge existing MYP interdisciplinary practices Understand current principles involved in interdisciplinary teaching and learning and how they relate to the beginnings of the MYP Provide information about the MYP guide on interdisciplinary teaching, to be published in May Page 3
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Questions arising from existing MYP practices Do interdisciplinary units promote holistic learning? Do these units aid students in developing higher level thinking skills and/or collaborative skills? How do these units relate to subject-specific objectives? Are subjects truly integrated through these units? Are these units enhancing students understanding of global issues? Page 4
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 An overview of MYP history began in 1980s: initiative of International Schools Association (ISA) 1987: first publication of the year old ISA curriculum framework 1994 to the present: taken over by IBO, major curriculum development and growth Page 5
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 The historical context for interdisciplinary understanding: ISAC First publication (1987), stated: ….guided by three major principles: Global Education, Communication and Intercultural Awareness (Fundamental Concepts) Global education further defined : Give a global view of situations and problems Make the student aware of the interactions and complementarity of various fields of study Must not be to the detriment of the separate subjects Each study area demands separate methodology Interdisciplinarity must be founded on disciplinarity Page 6
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Beginnings of interdisciplinary approach in the MYP Interdisciplinarity is excellent if it is firmly rooted in disciplinarity. Each subject is not an end in itself but it must be an efficient tool. We must keep its identity and especially its own methodology. Only on that basis will we be able to construct a serious interdisciplinarity. Otherwise we will lead our students to mental confusion and superficial surveys. Renaud, 1989 (DG ) Page 7
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Collaboration with Harvard Project Zero November 2005: official agreement to collaborate on research involving MYP schools August 2006: regional offices contacted schools in each region to submit good examples of interdisciplinary units November 2006: 10 units (8 schools) selected by Harvard for further study; 6 units involved school visits. January- April 2007: schools visited May 2010 : publication of a new guide Page 8
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Conceptual definition of interdisciplinary understanding MYP approach to interdisciplinary understanding Ideas on how to enhance MYP interdisciplinary teaching Examples of teachers planning and student work from MYP schools Tools to evaluate the quality of students interdisciplinary learning Recommendations to administrators Page 9 New guide will include:
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Interdisciplinary understanding Interdisciplinary understanding refers to the ability to integrate knowledge and modes of thinking from two or more disciplines to generate a new insight... new understanding … it does not replace disciplinary teaching, rather it builds on it.. Veronica Boix Mansilla,Harvard Project Zero Page 10
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Three qualities of interdisciplinary understanding* Purposeful Disciplined Integrative *Harvard Project Zero Page 11
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 INTERDISCIPLINARY TEACHING FRAMEWORK* What topics are worth teaching in an interdisciplinary way? INTERDISCIPLINARY UNDERSTANDING purposeful, disciplined, integrative What disciplinary tools will students need? How will disciplines come together ? What will students do to learn? How do we know students are understanding? Page 12 * Harvard Project Zero
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 MYP 2 Physics and music What will students do to learn? Create an orchestra of traditional instruments and compose and perform a rhythmic piece for their school. What disciplinary tools will students need? Study the physics of sound waves Understand how instruments work to make sound and music Create a compelling musical experience for their audience Page 13 Example: The sound of music*
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 The Sound of Music (The International School of Uganda)* * Pictures by Harvard Project Zero Unit question: How do musical instruments produce sound to create interesting experiences?
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Three qualities of interdisciplinary understanding in the context of this example Purposeful: clear aim, compelling topic, enriched student understanding of local culture Disciplined: Physics & Music Integrative: Students will understand the science of sound to explain how instruments make music. Students will understand new musical possibilities enabled by novel sounds Page 15
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Why does interdisciplinary learning matter? Because it helps students to: develop a holistic view of concepts and issues become life-long learners and problem solvers gain an intellectually rigorous view of knowledge understand and address complex global issues. Page 16
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Do we need to start from scratch? Back to our roots: Interdisciplinarity is excellent if it is firmly rooted in disciplinarity. Each subject is not an end in itself but it must be an efficient tool. We must keep its identity and especially its own methodology. Only on that basis will we be able to construct a serious interdisciplinarity. Other wise we will lead our students to mental confusion and superficial surveys. Renaud, 1989 (DG ) Page 17
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 From themes to multifaceted topics: From Musical instruments To How do musical instruments produce sound to create interesting experiences? Page 18 Changing perspectives to enrich and validate disciplinary knowledge and understanding
© International Baccalaureate Organization 2008 Further reading Veronica Boix Mansilla, Dan Dillon, & Kaley Middlebrooks, Building Bridges Across Disciplines: Organizational and Individual Qualities of Exemplary Interdisciplinary Work (2000). Veronica Boix Mansilla, William C. Miller & Howard Gardner. On Disciplinary Lenses and Interdisciplinary Work. S. Wineburg & P. Grossman, eds. Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Challenges to Implementation. (2000). (Entire book is available for purchase at Teachers College Press.) Matthew Miller & Veronica Boix Mansilla. Thinking Across Disciplines and Perspectives (2004). Page 19
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