i-Biology | Reflections

Usually more questions than answers…

The MYP: Becoming its own ‘Baccalaureate’?

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This is just a thought at the end of a couple of weeks of readings and responses to Bath MA International Education Curriculum Studies tasks.

The term baccalaureate has diverse meanings, with examples such as in context of the IB Diploma, French, European or Advanced Placement International Diplomas. Generally they are seen as school-leaving (post-16) or college-prep programmes.

A baccalaureate can be seen as the outcome of a broad and balanced curriculum. In some educational systems post-16 schooling (and therefore an equivalent of IB Diploma) is not compulsory. This makes the final two years of MYP the end of compulsory schooling for many of its students, so is it serving them well? How does it measure up to the iGCSE, the other commonly-used international post-14 qualification?

As the MYP moves into the Next Chapter it becomes better-designed, more consistent between subjects and a more coherent programme in its role between the PYP and DP. Assessment appears to be coming under better control, more streamlined and therefore more reliable (the validity perhaps more down to classroom implementation). In the push to become more focused and gain recognition, it should gain more currency as a HS qualification – and perhaps be a stronger competitor with the iGCSE, a collection of discrete subject-specific certificates with little total-curriculum coherence.

Yet the MYP is still a single award at the end of a course of study: one which encompasses multiple disciplines and encourages the emergent properties of a philosophy-first, total curriculum framework.

It seems as though the MYP is growing up and is maturing into its own baccalaureate.

References:

The Baccalaureate: a model for curriculum reform (Chapter 2 by Jim Cambridge, Mary Hayden, Jeff Thompson)

- Bath MA Curriculum Studies resources

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Responses to the Curriculum Studies readings:

1. What do we mean by ‘Curriculum? 

- Stick ‘em with the pointy end.” Curriculum Studies, Game of Thrones and the MYP

2. Knowledge and the Curriculum

- Now that’s what I call Curriculum.” The MYP as a greatest hits album

3. Culture and the Curriculum

- “Whose Culture? Whose Curriculum?”

- IB Education: Internationalism or Globalism? 

4. Contrasting approaches to the Curriculum

- Philosophy First: Contrasting approaches to the Curriculum

5. Approaches to developing the Curriculum & 6. Teachers and the Curriculum

- All Change: Teachers, Developers, Curriculum

7. Evaluating the Curriculum

- “Not everything that counts can be counted.” Edvaluating the Curriculum

8. Current issues in Curriculum Studies

- A pedagogy of personalised learning

- The MYP: Becoming its own ‘Baccalaureate‘? (this post)

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Author: Stephen

MYP HS Science & IBDP Bio teacher, HOD Science & MYP Coordinator at Canadian Academy, Japan. Moderator of #MYPChat (@IBiologyStephen). Author of i-Biology.net. MA International Education student, through the University of Bath. Married dad of two cross-culture kids (Indonesian & British).

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