IN the world today, change is one of the few things that is certain. With the rapid evolution of technology, science, and globalization, it is not enough for our students to cope with uncertainty, but to embrace, adapt and thrive in the evolving 21st Century environment. To empower students to be prepared for the future, Yangon American International School has adopted the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP) into its modern curriculum framework.
The IB PYP was introduced in 1997 and is geared for elementary school students from 3 to 12 years old. IB PYP is taught at nearly 1,800 schools in more than 100 countries around the world. Many different kinds of schools teach the IB PYP, including public, private, and international schools. Yangon American will be the first international school in Myanmar to be accredited as an IB PYP institution.
“By the time our elementary school students graduate from college, they will be competing for jobs that do not even exist today,” said Mr Robert Crutchfield, Yangon American Head of School, adding, “With the IB PYP programme, we teach our students to develop critical thinking and inquiry skills that will enable them to be ready to learn new skills and succeed in a world where change is rapidly evolving in many fields such as Artificial Intelligence and the environment.”
The IB Primary Years Programme is the first of the four IB programmes and was designed to ease the transition for students into the IB Middle Years Programme. The programme aims to promote inquiry and foster the development of the whole child through a unique “trans disciplinary framework,” meaning that children learn in terms of issues and themes rather than categorically defined subjects.
The IB PYP is a unique approach to learning that offers many benefits to primary school students. For example, the IB PYP encourages children to think independently and take responsibility for their actions and learning. Students are taught the basic concepts of the IB learner profile to help them develop positive, open-minded attitudes toward a variety of topics, skills, and issues.
The programme’s “inquiry-led approach” allows students to be active participants in their learning by asking questions, exploring ideas, and sharing knowledge with their peers. The classroom is a dynamic atmosphere that encourages students to make discoveries and choose what they would like to study.
The IB PYP also emphasizes “international-mindedness,” or becoming more culturally aware and empathetic toward others. This is where the key element of “attitudes” comes into play: students learn how to interact appropriately and openly with others from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and languages.
“The IB PYP programme helps our students expand their knowledge of the subjects that they are studying as well as learn to look at various issues and problems through different perspectives,” said Mr Crutchfield, adding, “Our students are developing skills that they can take with them throughout their lives”.
Yangon American International School