District 11 is pleased to offer all three strands of the International Baccalaureate Program (IB), presenting students and parents with a full K-12 continuum of International Baccalaureate philosophy and interlocking academic challenge. Each of the three strands is committed to educating the whole child, placing equal value on intellectual, personal, emotional and social growth as well as encouraging the development and love of at least one foreign language, the arts, physical education and the core academics.
IB is a world-renowned program that has been in existence for over three decades; it currently exists in 1,742 schools in 122 countries and offers three challenging programs to over 200,000 students ages 3 to 19 years. The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is a school-wide (K-5) program at Midland International; however, students must apply for and be accepted into the Middle Years Program at North Middle School and the Diploma Program at Palmer High School.
About International Baccalaureate (IB)
Developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, over 40 years ago, IB programs throughout the world deliver international academic standards in local schools. IB can be the perfect fit for students identified as gifted and talented. IB Diploma holders are recruited by some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States and throughout the world. While not all students in the program will receive a diploma, Palmer High School’s diploma rate is significantly higher than the national average. Historically, Palmer’s IB Diploma rate has ranged between 70% and 85%. IB Diploma students are encouraged to be well-rounded individuals through participation in extracurricular activities and community-based activities. Through IB, students are taught study skills and how to prioritize, which allows them to have an active life outside school. IB students can elect to take Advanced Placement (AP) exams, but AP students are not eligible to take IB exams. IB encourages students to maximize their potential, become responsible citizens of their community and the world, and develop a life-long passion for learning. Additional information can be found at www.ibo.org.
Midland Elementary School
The Primary Years Program - The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IB PYP) is an international curriculum, a philosophy and a way of teaching, developed by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO). The IB PYP is designed for all students in the primary grades. At Midland, the IB PYP is offered in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. The IB PYP is unique in that its focus is on the development of the whole child, affecting hearts as well as minds, while addressing social, physical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to academics. The IB PYP schools ultimately promote creating citizens who are well-balanced individuals.
The Academic Philosophy of the IBO
The academic philosophy of the International Baccalaureate Organization is identified in its mission statement, which was adopted in 1996:
Through comprehensive and balanced curriculum, coupled with challenging assessments, the International Baccalaureate Organization aims to assist schools in their endeavors to develop the individual talents of young people and teach them to relate the experience of the classroom to the realities of the world outside. Beyond intellectual rigor and high academic standards, strong emphasis is placed on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship, to the end that IB students may become critical and compassionate thinkers, lifelong learners and informed participants in local and world affairs, conscious of the shared humanity that binds all people together, while respecting the variety of cultures and attitudes that makes for the richness of life.
What are the expectations of an IB student?
What are the goals of the IB PYP?
What is the IB PYP curriculum like?
What are the teaching methods used in IB PYP?
How are the content areas connected to the IB PYP?
How is the IB PYP connected to the arts?
How can I support my child's learning in the PYP?
The Process of Inquiry
The IB PYP curriculum is formulated around five essential elements in education: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and action. Through using a standard framework referred to as, "A Program of Inquiry", each IB PYP school designs units of inquiry that are relevant and meaningful to a child’s education. The framework consists of six organizing themes. These organizing themes address a body of knowledge which the International Baccalaureate Organization considers necessary for all students around the world to acquire.
The IB PYP places an emphasis on transdisciplinary, inquiry based learning. This means that, each year at Midland International, your child studies a range of topics that are designed as "units of inquiry". Through these units, the teacher teaches science, social studies, personal and social education, as well as some of our mathematics and language curricula. The teacher endeavors to integrate as many subjects as possible into each of the units of inquiry, ensuring that the children are able to identify the connections between subjects and the relevance of each subject to their lives. Children’s interests and questions are incorporated into each of the units so that the children learn how to ask constructive questions, plan investigations, solve problems and find the answers to their questions.
Through the process of inquiry, or asking questions, IB students are able to construct meaning from their learning experiences. The eight fundamental concepts, which are expressed as key concept questions, drive the process of inquiry. They are wide-ranging in scope and are designed to categorize ideas. These ideas guide the units of inquiry, which are the basis of our school’s Program of Inquiry. These units, also referred to as "planners", are written/revised, taught and reflected on periodically by the teachers at Midland International.
The key concept questions are:
Form- What is it like?
Function- How does it work?
Causation- Why is it like it is?
Change- How is it changing?
Connection- How is it connected to other things?
Perspective- What are the points of view?
Responsibility- What is our responsibility?
Reflection- How do we know?
The aims of the IB PYP are expressed as a series of desired attributes and dispositions that characterize successful, globally minded young people. At Midland International, we are striving to become:
Inquirers - They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning and this love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.
Knowledgeable - They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad range of disciplines.
Thinkers - They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.
Communicators - They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively and willingly in collaboration with others.
Principled - They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.
Open-minded - They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities. They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are willing to grow from the experience.
Caring - They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others. They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment.
Risk-takers - They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.
Balanced - They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.
Reflective - They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their learning and personal development.
In the IB PYP schools, all primary aged children enrolled in an IB PYP school are considered IB students. While IB students are expected to take an active role in their learning of necessary concepts, knowledge and skills, the IB PYP also focuses on the importance of instilling positive attitudes within its students. Through encouraging the development and application of the following positive attitudes, the IB PYP helps to create successful citizens of the world.
We expect our students to develop and apply the following attitudes:
Appreciation: appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world and its people
Commitment: being committed to their learning, preserving and showing self-discipline and responsibility
Confidence: feeling confident in their ability as learners, having the courage to take risks, applying what they have learned and making appropriate decisions
Cooperation: cooperating, collaborating and leading or following as the situation demands
Creativity: being creative and imaginative in their thinking and in their approach to problems and dilemmas
Curiosity: being curious about the nature of learning and the world, its people and cultures
Empathy: imaginatively projecting themselves into another’s situation, in order to understand his/her thoughts, reasoning and emotions
Enthusiasm: enjoying learning
Independence: thinking and acting independently, making their own judgments based on reasoned principles and being able to defend their judgments
Integrity: having integrity and a firm sense of fairness and honesty
Respect: respecting themselves, others and the world around them
Tolerance: feeling sensitivity towards differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others