The pedagogical approach to teaching and learning within the MYP is concept-driven and inquiry-based, set within global contexts.
Teaching and learning in the MYP involves understanding concepts in context. The global contexts provide a common language across our schools and MYP schools for powerful contextual learning. The global contexts are a way in which the planning, teaching and assessing within the MYP is relevant and provides students with the opportunity to become increasingly globally aware and develop a deeper understanding of our human commonality.
The 6 MYP global contexts and their guiding questions are:
- Identities and Relationships – Who am I? Who are we?
- Orientation in Space and Time – What is the meaning of ‘when’ and ‘where’?
- Personal and Cultural Expression – What is the nature and purpose of creative expression?
- Scientific and Technical Innovation – How do we understand the worlds in which we live?
- Globalization and Sustainability – How is everything connected?
- Fairness and Development – What are the consequences of our common humanity?
When we select a global context for our MYP unit, we can ponder and discuss the following questions:
- Why are we engaging students in this inquiry?
- Why are these concepts important?
- Why is it important for our students to understand what we plan to teach them?
- Why should students care about what they are learning?
At the beginning of each MYP unit, take time to unpack with your class the global context and the area of exploration that you have chosen. You may find the very nature of student-driven inquiry takes the direction of your MYP unit in a far more interesting and insightful direction than originally planned.
Approach to Engagement
As a means for students to understand the possibilities of the global contexts for their learning and to provide the foundation for co-created and student-led MYP units, the Global Context Gallery Walk is a collaborative and effective approach.
Gallery Walk Process:
- In groups of 3-4 students chose a global context to focus on and then read the guiding questions and what the global context explores.
- Students then glue the global context description in the middle of a large piece of butcher paper.
- Students then begin to jot down key words associated with this global context and to jot them down on the butcher paper.
- Using newspaper and magazines students cut out images, articles, advertisements that were related to the global context students chose key images and texts and glued these onto the butcher paper.
- Students then searched for quotes, lyrics and inspirational individuals who reflect the key themes the global context they have been exploring and copied these onto the butcher paper.
- To conclude students posed questions about the possibilities of each of the global contexts and begin to explore how this is aligned with the knowledge and skills of a subject.
Once students had compiled their global context exploration on the butcher paper, each group then stick theirs to the classroom walls and hosts a class gallery walk and discussion surrounding each of the global contexts.
From here students are able to establish just what the global contexts are, how they offer so many ways of thinking and perspectives on different topics and big ideas. Students can then continue to add to the global context gallery walk and hopefully, they will have much broader ideas as they continue to grow their understanding of global contexts as contexts for learning.