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Inquiry: Establishing the purpose of the unit

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Laura England

on 2 January 2016

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Transcript of Inquiry: Establishing the purpose of the unit

Notes
Ideas
Ideas
Ideas
Inquiry: Establishing the purpose of the unit
Why this Prezi?
I have put this together for everyone after hearing our very own wonderful Amanda Petersen commenting in a mid-year PD, “I used to fill in the boxes because that's what we had to do, but now I know why and it makes much more sense.” I’ve put this together in the hope that this will enhance our, already very effective, planning, teaching and assessment at Good Shepherd.

Using a current Language and literature unit -
'Books can take us to another world'
, we will endeavor to unpack the first section of the MYP Unit planner and enhance current understandings of just how we as educators teach within the MYP framework and encourage students to strive to be the Learner Profile qualities given by the International Baccalaureate.

The Learner Profile
The Learner Profile underpins all teaching and learning within the MYP. The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognising their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.

IB learners should strive to be
Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Communicators, Thinkers, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced
and
Reflective.

The Concepts
The MYP has always been a concept-based curriculum, but this is beginning to be articulated more specifically. The more specific nature of the concepts is that our concepts include a
Key
concept,
Related
concept and a Statement of inquiry that is synergistic (the effect of synergy – the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect from or greater than the sum of their individual effects).

If you would like a great blog to read that has a section of conceptual MYP teaching aligning with the new ACARA curriculum here is a great blog: http://thinkedu.net/blog/
The Context
Teaching and learning within the MYP involves understanding concepts in context. All effective learning is contextual. A learning context is a specific setting, event or set of circumstances, designed or chosen, to stimulate learning. Learning that occurs out of context (that has no relationship to the learner, the learner’s interests and identity, or the learner’s future) is often shallow and short-term in character. In the MYP, learning contexts should be (or should model) authentic world settings, events and circumstances.
Inquiry Questions
The inquiry questions frame the scope of a unit of study without limiting student-initiated inquiries. Inquiry questions are drawn from the statement of inquiry and are grounded in the discipline. A teacher might choose three to five inquiry questions based on the statement of inquiry in order to ensure adequate conceptual depth can be attained from the inquiry.

Examples of inquiry questions from our unit
'Books can take us to another world'
consist of a
factual
question, a
conceptual
question and a
debatable
question.
In conclusion ...
From this we can see the importance of meaningful planning of the initial stage of the MYP Unit Planner.

The Concept + Context + Inquiry Question + Approaches to Learning all are vehicles in which our students have the opportunity to strive to be Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Communicators, Thinkers, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective – the
IB Learner Profile
that
underpins
what we wish to achieve as an
IB World school.

Key Concepts
Key
concepts are broad, organizing, powerful ideas that have relevance within the subject group but also transcend it, having relevance in other subject groups.

Key
concepts facilitate disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning, as well as connections with other subject groups.

Key
concepts provide a transferable focus for any unit and are a powerful tool of inquiry.

Key
and
related
concepts are used to create “big ideas” that the students need to retain for the future.

While the
key
concepts provide breadth, the
related
concepts provide depth to the unit being taught.

Related Concepts
Related
concepts emerge from the discipline and provide conceptual focus and depth to the understanding of disciplinary content.

Related
concepts deepen an understanding of the subject discipline while providing further opportunities to make connections throughout the learning, from one subject to another, and between disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning.

Statement of Inquiry
These
key
and
related
concepts are used to write the Statement of inquiry (SOI). SOI are clear statements about the relationship between two or more concepts; they facilitate synergistic thinking.

Statements of inquiry transfer through time, across cultures and across situations, and can provide universal understandings.

A good place to start when creating your SOI is with the phrase: “Students will understand that …”

Language and literature Example
The
Key
concept in the Language and literature unit is Perspective.

The
Related
concepts are: Change and Creation.

Our
SOI
: ‘Students will understand that authors can initiate
change
in
perspective
through
creating
alternate worlds.’

Our Key and Related concepts have been bought together to create our concept statement.

These concepts are used to enhance students understanding of the
Learner Profile
and develop the fundamental characteristics of a person who is an
Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Communicator, Thinker, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-taker, Balanced and Reflective
. In particular this unit focuses on developing the
Principled
and
Caring
qualities of our students through using the genre of Fantasy Literature.
The context provides teachers and students with the “Why?” What is the purpose of the inquiry? Why is this concept important and relevant for students?
The global context for our Language and literature unit is Identities and relationships. The area of exploration is
moral reasoning, beliefs and values.
This will provide the real world context and purpose for our inquiry. We can then extend our Statement of Inquiry (SOI) by either contextualizing our SOI or simply including our global context as part of the SOI. For example: Authors can initiate
change
in
perspective
through
creating
alternate worlds and characters that teach us to
reason morally
and question our
beliefs and values.
Our students are provided with an opportunity to explore the perspective of each character and the values of the various archetypes (an original model of a creature who represents the most typical features we expect to see, e.g., villain, hero, etc). Understanding the values of a variety of character types to help students become more
Principled
and
Caring
, developing as an IB learner.
Teaching and learning contextually is an avenue in which teachers can help students develop the fundamental characteristics of a person who is an
Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Communicator, Thinker, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-taker, Balanced and Reflective
– the
IB Learner Profile.
Our Inquiry Question - MYP Unit Question:
How can that which is created impact the perspective of individuals?

This question draws together the global context and concepts
(Key and Related).
The question is transferable and can be used in multiple disciplines.
Inquiry Questions can be Subject Specific, for examples this is the Language and literature subject-specific question:
How can authors change their readers perspective?
We then chose three questions that follow an inquiry cycle and guide our learning experiences throughout the unit:
Factual
What is a fantasy novel?
(Students can develop an
AWARENESS and UNDERSTANDING
of the content of this unit).
Conceptual
How does a fantasy novel change our view of the world?
(Students can begin to
REFLECT
on their awareness and understanding and draw from a variety of other learning experiences to formulate their answer).
Debatable
Is it through the escape fantasy provides, that change comes?
(Students can place into
ACTION
their awareness and understanding and the various understandings they have from reflection on the key and related concepts of the unit.)
Inquiry questions should engage and show that the inquiry itself is worth inquiring into. They are for the teacher to use in designing the inquiry for students. The learning experiences and inquiry questions are used to engage the students in the study. Students are encouraged to develop their own questions in order to satisfy curiosity and deepen understanding.

Our Inquiry questions are designed in such a way for students to develop as
Caring
and
Principled
learners who can have a clear understanding of just how that which is created, in this case a Fantasy world, has a profound impact on the perspective of individuals.

If students understand the "why?" and values of a variety of characters their understanding of people in their community and the decisions people make is broadened. Hopefully giving them a greater sense of empathy and an broader understanding of the perspectives of others. This will allow students to develop and become more
Caring
and
Principled
as individuals.

Teaching within an Inquiry model and encouraging students to continually inquire helps to develop the fundamental characteristics of the
Learner Profile
- a person who is an
Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Communicator, Thinker, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-taker, Balanced
and
Reflective.
Approaches to Learning
Approaches to learning (ATL) skills represent general and subject-specific learning skills that the student will develop and apply during the programme and beyond. The focus of this area is on teaching students how to learn and on helping them to find out about themselves as learners so that they can develop learning skills.

The aim of ATL is to produce self-regulated learners who have been explicitly taught the skills of effective thinking and learning, from information processing to managing emotions.

In addition to cognitive and metacognitive skills, students benefit from learning the affective skills that enable them to gain some control over mood, motivation and what we tend to call attitude.

These are the skills needed for students to build resilience in learning, to learn to deal effectively with any setbacks and difficulties, to learn how to respond positively, make changes and persevere—the skills of the self-regulated learner. Teaching and practising affective skills is one way to develop a range of learner profile attributes.


Both parts of the summative assessment task – the novel summary and the alternate ending – provide opportunity for the students to develop and apply their Thinking skills during their MYP schooling years and beyond.

The end result of this unit is that students have an understanding of how something that is created impact the perspective on individuals – our Statement of Inquiry.
The Approach to Learning chosen for this unit is
Thinking: Critical thinking – inquiring in different contexts – including changing the context of an inquiry to gain various perspectives.
Opportunity to develop and foster the chosen ATL should be evident in the summative assessment task. To use this ATL to further develop the Learner Profile attributes of
Principled
and
Caring,
the summative assessment task is a Novel Summary of a fantasy novel chosen by the student and an alternate ending to the novel.

The Novel Summary follows the inquiry cycle of Awareness and Understanding, Reflection and Action - allowing students to inquire in different contexts – in this case the context of Identities and relationships - moral reasoning, beliefs ad values.

The alternate ending to the fantasy novel is where students change the context of inquiry, in this case the context is changing the impact of innovation on individuals and creating their own impact on a novel to change the perspective of the reader.

A variety of learning experiences in the classroom prior to this summative task involve teachers writing alongside the students creating alternate endings for classic fairy tales, posing real world scenarios to students in which they have to examine from a variety of perspectives and real world and fictional scenarios where students can examine the impact of creation and innovation on individuals. The learning experiences are used to explore the global context, concepts and inquiry questions.
Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery we were born into."
- Albert Einstein
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