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PYP Key Concepts and Related Questions

FORM:

KEY QUESTION

  • What is it like?

DEFINITION

  • The understanding that everything has a form With recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected because the ability to observe, identify, describe and categorize is fundamental to human learning within and across all disciplines.

EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

  • Properties, structure, similarities, differences, patterns

FUNCTION:

KEY QUESTION

  • How does it work?

DEFINITION

  • The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or a way of behaving that can be investigated.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected because the ability to analyze function, role, behavior and the way in which things work is fundamental to learning within and across all disciplines.

EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

  • Behavior, communication, pattern, role, systems.

CAUSATION:

KEY QUESTION

  • Why is it like it is?

DEFINITION

  • The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected because of the importance of prompting students to ask “why?” and of helping them to recognize that actions and events have reasons and consequences. The analysis of causal relationships is significant within and across all disciplines

EXAMPLES OF RELATED

  • Consequences, sequences, pattern, impact

CHANGE:

KEY QUESTIONS

  • How is it changing?

DEFINITION

  • The understanding that change  is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected, not only because it is such a universal feature of all existence, but also because it has particular relevance to students developing international- mindedness who are growing up in a world in which the pace of change, both local and global, is accelerating.

EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

  • Adaptation, growth, cycles, sequences, transformation

CONNECTION:

KEY QUESTION

  • How is it connected to other things?

DEFINITION

  • The understanding  that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected because of the importance of appreciating that nothing exists in a vacuum but, rather, as an element in a system; that the relationships within and among systems are often complex, and that changes in one aspect of a system will have consequences, even though these may not be immediately apparent; that we must consider the impact of our actions on others, whether at the immediate, personal level or at the level of far- reaching decisions affecting environments and communities.

EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

  • Systems, relationships, networks, homeostasis, interdependence.

PERSPECTIVE:

  • KEY QUESTION

What are the points of view?

  • DEFINITION

The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary.

  • RATIONALE

This concept was selected because of the compelling need to develop in students the disposition towards rejecting simplistic, biased interpretations, towards seeking and considering the points of views of others, and towards developing defensible interpretations.

  • EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

Subjectivity, truths, beliefs, opinions, prejudice.

RESPONSIBILITY:

KEY QUESTIONS

  • What is our responsibility

DEFINITION

  • The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected because of the need to develop in students the disposition towards identifying and assuming responsibility, and towards taking socially responsible action. This concept is directly linked to the action component, one of the essential elements in the PYP curriculum.

EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

  • Rights, citizenship, values, justice, initiative.

REFLECTION:

KEY QUESTION

  • How do we know?

DEFINITION

  • The understanding that there are different ways of knowing, and that it is important to reflect on our conclusions, to consider our methods of reasoning, and the quality and the reliability of the evidence we have considered.

RATIONALE

  • This concept was selected for a series of interrelated reasons. It challenges the students to examine their evidence, methods and conclusions. In doing so, it extends their thinking into the higher order of metacognition, begins to acquaint them with what it means to know in different disciplines, and encourages them to be rigorous in examining evidence for potential bias or other inaccuracy.

EXAMPLES OF RELATED CONCEPTS

  • Reviews, interpretations, evidence, responsibility, behavior

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