As you may have read from my previous articles (or heard from your children), the MYP curriculum has undergone several developments over the past few years. One of the new expectations of the revised MYP is that every grade level studies one interdisciplinary unit (IDU) per year. An IDU is a unit of study that combines the perspectives of two different subject areas, for example Science and Maths. An IDU also has four specific criteria that students are being assessed on: Knowledge & Understanding, Synthesis Thinking, Communication and Reflection.
This year the MYP teachers have been hard at work developing engaging, rigorous and thoughtful interdisciplinary units. The grade 7s were the first to complete an interdisciplinary unit at the beginning of this academic year. They studied about the changing identities of displaced people from the perspectives of their Humanities, Performing Arts, and Language & Literature classes. The grade 9s also recently completed a unit on Climate Change, combining their Science and Humanities knowledge to create iBooks about mega-cities that are preparing for the potential effects of climate change.
The grade 6s will soon learn about “the art of persuasive communication” in both Math and Thai class, as well as a unit about “the history of great innovations” in Design and Humanities. The grade 8s will soon begin a unit on Architectural Design which will combine their knowledge of geometry and their IT programming skills. Finally, the grade 10s will soon be making connections between PHE and Math by analyzing their swimming and track scores and seeing how they compare to international standards.
So far student feedback about the IDUs has been positive. In their reflections on the process, many students stated that their understanding of the topics was much broader since they're required to analyze an issue from many different perspectives. However some found that studying the same topic in two classes was more time-consuming and a bit difficult to plan (the teachers did as well!). Nevertheless, in all cases the students demonstrated insightful and sophisticated critical thinking skills in their final projects.
If you want any more information about interdisciplinary units in the MYP, please feel free to contact me.
MYP Coordinator, MYP Humanities