On June 29th,2021, the Chong Wa International Baccalaureate Schools Association(CISA) launched an online public seminar on “MYP Curriculum Implementation”. Vera Wu, the MYP Coordinator of Shen Wai International School (SWIS), was invited to share the practical experiences at SWIS. SWIS is one of the CISA founding schools. The topics discussed focus on SWIS's implementation experience around the written, taught and assessed curriculum of the IB MYP.
一．IB教育的关键要素 Four key elements of IB Education
“What is an International Baccalaureate Education?” explores the four foundational and interrelated elements of an IB education: International-mindedness, the IB learner profile, a broad, balanced, conceptual and connected curriculum that are the core of all IB Programmes.
In the MYP, these four key elements are fully integrated throughout the programme. For example, international-mindedness can be reflected in the teaching of global contexts in subject units, as well as in service as action, community project, and the personal project. During implementation of the MYP, schools and teachers need to pause from time to time and go back to these elements of IB education and reflect on to what extent we are implementing these essential elements.
二．中学项目连贯一致的课程 A coherent curriculum in the MYP
MYP: From Principles and Practice, a key document guiding the implementation of the MYP curriculum, makes clear that a coherent curriculum for MYP programs includes three interrelated components: written curriculum, taught curriculum, and assessed curriculum. These three curricula are of equal value in the Programme. In the diagram, the two-way arrows indicate that the development, implementation, and examination of the school's written, assessed, and taught curricula is a holistic process.
The written curriculum is a formal, comprehensive and school-wide document developed by each school that describes what will be taught in each subject at each grade level and defines the framework for worthwhile content; the taught curriculum provides students with learning experiences that give purpose to their learning through inquiry and conceptual teaching; and the assessed curriculum is developed with consideration of a combination of the written and taught curriculum which are used to assess teaching and learning. For the IB MYP, these three components complement each other and are coherent and consistent.
（一）书面课程 Written Curriculum
The overview of the written curriculum in From Principles and Practice includes key concepts, global contexts, ATLs, and subject objectives. Each school is expected to develop its own written curriculum in accordance with the IB requirements.
SWIS has completed its first five years of IB Evaluation in November 2020, and after five years of practice and exploration, SWIS is focusing on updating and improving the written curriculum, which consists of four components: Curriculum Calendar, Scope and Sequence, Standard checklist, and unit plan.
The Curriculum Calendar is what and when each grade level, each subject, and each unit is taught; Scope and Sequence is required by the IB for each school and includes key concepts, related concepts, statement of inquiry, ATLs, and knowledge/skills; Standards Checklists are the knowledge and skill objectives for each unit; a unit plan is the overall design of a unit. These four documents need to be shared with students and parents so that they can be reviewed at any time.
Why do we need a standard checklist? As we know, except for the national curriculum that bilingual schools are required to complete, there are few international schools that use a textbook. Without a textbook, and with the instability of Expat and Chinese teachers, how can we ensure the continuity and uniformity of the curriculum and the articulation of knowledge and skills between different grades?
SWIS参考美国的Common Core Standards和英国、澳大利亚等国家的其他课程体系标准，中学的每个学科每个单元都制定好了单元目标，有了这些知识技能目标，不论哪个老师教授，或者即使改变单元的学习材料，也能够保证这些知识技能目标不变，因此就能确保课程的连续性和统一性。
SWIS refers to the Common Core Standards from the United States along with standards from countries such as the UK and Australia to make the standard checklist for each unit. With the standard checklists, no matter which teacher teaches the subject, or even if the learning materials of the unit are changed, it ensures the knowledge and skills objectives remain unchanged, thus there will always be continuity and uniformity of the curriculum.
（二）教学课程 Taught curriculum
The taught curriculum is about teaching and learning, and it contains a wide range of components. These are mentioned in From Principles to Practice for the teaching and learning curriculum: learning goals, connecting prior knowledge and present understanding, inquiry-based learning, conceptual understanding, and interdisciplinary learning. These are all very big and broad ideas or theories, and the specific implementation will vary from school to school, depending on the school's own particulars.
SWIS教学原则 Teaching and learning principles at SWIS
Based on the IB requirements for teaching and learning, the SWIS Secondary Division has developed a set of teaching and learning principles, the first of which is that the learning environment needs to be accommodating to all students, allowing students to learn in a safe learning environment; learning should be authentic, connected to students' inter-connected world, and able to engage students actively; teaching should motivate students to reach their full potential through differentiation; teaching should be based around ATLs and developing lifelong learning skills; teaching must be based on concepts and inquiry; teaching should also include a continuous reflection process. Teaching should be centered on learning methodological skills and developing students' lifelong learning skills.
To enhance teaching and learning among teachers, SWIS encourages teachers to enter other teachers' classrooms for observation and learning. Teachers are recommended to plan with different emphases, such as differentiation, student grouping, visible outcomes, student-centeredness, connecting to the real world, and using high-order command terms. This visual exchange of learning walks among subject teachers did help to improve teaching through the sharing of best practices.
基于概念的单元教学设计 Concept-based teaching plan
The topic of concept-based teaching has become very popular in recent years. Concept-based teaching is not just about learning concepts; it requires the integration of concepts into the teaching of specific unit knowledge and skills, which is closely linked to the unit objectives, knowledge, skills, and assessments.
When designing a unit educators must first identify a unit's objectives, key and related concepts, global context, and statement of inquiry.
After defining the direction of inquiry for the unit, the next immediate step is to envision a summative assessment for the unit, where concepts are integrated into the summative assessment.
Once the final summative assessment for the unit is determined, we need to break down the comprehensive assessment and see what students need to do step by step to complete the final assessment.
Teachers work to design a series of formative assessments and activities that are centered around the concepts, so that they can scaffold the students step-by-step learning toward the summative assessment. In this way an entire unit is designed based on the concepts, and through structured lesson activities, students will have a deeper understanding of the concepts in the unit.
（三）评估课程 Assessed curriculum
Programme Standards and Practices states that assessed curriculum are used to provide feedback to improve learning, teaching, and future assessment. Assessment should be varied, needs to focus on student learning and understanding of concepts, must be standardized. Each school is expected to develop its own assessment policy based on the IB's requirements for assessment.
MYP Teachers need to consider many aspects when designing assessments, especially summative assessments for units, such as what to assess? How to assess? How closely does the summative assessment relate to the unit's inquiry statement and reflect students' understanding of the concept? How can assessment be made authentic and valid? How and when can standardization be done? How and when should teachers and students reflect on the results of the assessment?
真实有效的评估 Authentic learning assessment
How can we motivate and inspire students to become independent learners? Assessments that provide students with real-life situations where they can relate to the world around them and engage in real-world inquiry and thinking will keep students more engaged. The GRASPS method is a good choice that supports this way of teaching. Take a unit assessment of an 8th grade design class for example. First, there is a clear goal (G) to be met - you want your model to be approved for display in a store; the student's role (R) is no longer a student, they are transformed into a designer, and they want to win a internship at IKEA Schools. The Situation(S) of the assessment was that the IKEA school asked a group of young designers to come up with a concept/idea for a game, play space or play object/toy/furniture. The final presentation(P) was a shark tank, which is similar to some of our domestic creative investment variety shows, where the CEOs of some companies are invited to be the judges. By assessing the design unit in this way, the students' interest and participation are greatly increased and they will very much look) forward to the final presentation.
学生作品时间表 Student work timeline
(G7 Science Unit: Earth Systems, created by Ms. Fritha Jameson)
Many MYP assessments are not completed in one class, but take a longer period of time, so a more detailed timeline is necessary for students. After students have completed the appropriate task objectives for each mini-phase, students can self-assess and then the teacher can also make a note of this list accordingly. This timeline not only helps students to improve their self-management and complete specific tasks at each stage, but also helps our teachers to plan their teaching progress more clearly and keep track of students' learning.
三．服务与行动 Service as Action
Service and action is a very important element of the MYP, as part of the programme educational philosophy and as a practicial outcome of student learning. There are seven learning outcomes for Service as Action that clarify the essence of student self-reflection on what they have completed. It is the responsibility of each school to develop a school-appropriate Service as Action plan that gives students the opportunity to participate in community service.
Above are the Service as Action learning expectations that we have developed at SWIS. Each grade level is required certain number of service activities, as well as a minimum number of service action learning outcome. The learning outcomes can be accumulated throughout the five years from grades 6-10 until all service action learning outcomes are completed in grade 10.
MYP SERVICE at SWIS
At SWIS, there are two major categories of Service as Action, one is service as action in curriculum learning, that is, service and action is integrated with or extended from subject learning. The other type is service as action that is not so closely related to subject learning, such as after-school activities(ASA). Students can join these service after-school activities, organize or participate in a variety of community service activities, and complete service action learning outcomes.
服务与行动记录To document Service as Action
在实施服务与行动过程中，相信很多学校都比较头疼一点，就是如何追踪记录学生的服务与行动。SWIS设有SA facilitator，负责总体计划、学生总体培训指导、教师PD、家长workshop，然后还有SA supervisor，监督指导服务与行动过程、评价学生SA；另外还有SA advisor负责追踪学生SA记录、对学生学期/学年服务与行动进行评价。这样不同的职责分工，使得学生能够顺利完成服务与行动以及做好各项记录，达到参与社区服务的要求。
In the process of implementing Services as Action, I believe many schools have the issue of how to track and document student experiences. At SWIS, we have a SA facilitator who is responsible for the overall planning, training and guidance for students, launch PD for teachers, and workshops for parents. We also have SA supervisors who oversee the service as action process and evaluate the student's work. The SA advisor is responsible for tracking student SA records and evaluating student services and actions during the semester/year. This division of responsibilities allows students to successfully complete their service as actions and keep records to meet the requirements of community service.
The implementation of the MYP curriculum requires the joint efforts of IB schools. We hope that more and more IB schools will join CISA, and through the platform of CISA, we can exchange and share practical experiences, discuss the implementation, development and improvement of the IB curriculum, and help the IB program to take root and sprout in China.