- Linking all subject learning to a conceptual theme
- Responding to the specific developmental needs of 11-14 year olds
- Working towards understanding through a personal and global perspective
Linking all subject learning to a conceptual theme
Each IMYC unit of work follows a conceptual theme known as the big idea. Neuroscientists say the brain learns ‘associatively’, always looking for patterns and linking to previous learning. In primary schools, teachers often find these links for students and regularly mention links between discreet subjects’ learning.
The organisation of secondary school teaching and learning is often within departments, resulting in students suddenly having the responsibility of finding their own links in their learning. The aim of the IMYC is to help students develop the habit of identifying links in their learning for themselves through linking all learning with the Big Idea. The IMYC links the knowledge, skills and understanding of each subject to the most appropriate Big Idea.
Responding to the specific developmental needs of 11-14 year olds
The adolescent brain is undergoing major changes, mainly maturation of the prefrontal cortex and specialisation. This involves ‘pruning’ connections between brain cells and changed behaviours. We typically see increased risk taking, Increased sensation seeking, and greater peer affiliation according to Dr Jay N Giedd (MD), currently Chief of the Unit on Brain Imaging in the Child Psychiatry of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) USA at their conference in New York.
The International Middle Years Curriculum has been designed to respond to these specific needs of the adolescent brain. As a result, each IMYC unit of work provides opportunities for students to work with and learn from peers, to lead their own learning and to take risks, to tackle a wide range of self-directed investigation, to experience security and familiarity through a consistent learning process, to reflect upon their learning and to connect their learning to the world around them.
Working towards understanding through a personal and global perspective
Journaling throughout IMYC units help students to reflect and link their subject learning throughout the unit developing understanding and making personal meaning from the perspectives of ‘self’ and ‘other’. Students then represent what the Big Idea means to them personally and from a global perspective through their creative media project exit point.
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