"Global citizens consciously seek out experiences that will challenge their pre-existing views. Instead of rigidly attaching themselves to a worldview and shutting down enquiry, they remain open to new information and to the possibility of change."

~ M. Gerzon




  • To explain how philosophical elements relate to inquiry.
  • To explore the creation and differentiation of inquiry-based learning environments through multiple perspectives.
  • To identify how teaching and learning can engage students on how, what and why they are learning.


Standard A - Philosophy #3a, 6, 9

  • 3. The school community demonstrates an understanding of, and commitment to, the programme(s) -- (a) The school shows evidence of developing the fundamental concepts of the Middle Years Programme.
  • 6. The school promotes open communication based on understanding and respect.
  • 9. The school supports access for students to the IB programme(s) and philosophy.

Standard B1 - Leadership and structure #6

  • 6. The school has systems in place for the continuity and ongoing development of the programme(s).

Standard B2 - Resources and support #2, 4, 11

  • 2. The school provides qualified staff to implement the programme(s).
  • 4. The school provides dedicated time for teachers' collaborative planning and reflection.
  • 11. The school utilizes the resources and expertise of the community to enhance learning within the programme(s).

Standard C1 - Collaborative planning #4, 6

  • 4. Collaborative planning and reflection ensures that all teachers have an overview of students' learning experiences.
  • 6. Collaborative planning and reflection incorporates differentiation for students' learning needs and styles.

Activity 6: Working in a Fishbowl

Group A

  • You are industrial designers at a sustainable corporation who have created a new suitcase for your laptop that folds out into a chair that you can sit on, which only uses natural and recycled materials.
  • You would like your CEO to feature your suitcase-chair on the company's global advertising campaign and must put together a promo to sell the idea of your suitcase-chair.
  • You have 30 minutes to work together to create the suitcase-chair and your promo to sell the idea to the CEO.

Group B

  • You are going to observe Group A in pairs as they work on their activity. You are only to make written notes on your observations, linking your comments directly to the focus area that you have been given.
  • Once Group A has completed their activity, you and your partner will put together a very brief presentation that shares your observations and conclusions.
  • Each of the presentations will start with an image (either electronic or by hand) that you both feel represents your observations within your focus area.

Focus Areas

IB Learner Profile.jpg
Team 1 = The IB learner profile
  • How does an inquiry-based task enhance the IB learner profile?
  • How can this relationship be made more explicit for the students?

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Team 2 = MYP fundamental concept - Communication
  • What connections are there in an inquiry-based activity between the learning and the fundamental concept of communication?
  • How can these be planned for and enhanced?

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Team 3 = Teacher's role
  • What is the teacher's role in an inquiry-based project?
  • What are the potential opportunities and dangers of the teacher working in this capacity?

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Team 4 = MYP fundamental concept - Intercultural awareness
  • What connections are there in an inquiry-based activity between the learning and the fundamental concept of intercultural awareness?

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Team 5 = MYP fundamental concept - Holistic learning
  • What connections are there in an inquiry-based activity between the learning and the fundamental concept of holistic learning?

Team 6 = Differentiation
  • How can an inquiry-based classroom support students with a variety of learning styles and needs?
  • What planning and preparation needs to happen beforehand if these possibilities are to be optimised?


Team 7 = School structural supports
  • What structures might need to be put into place in order to support inquiry-based learning within the different years of the MYP?

Group A (while Group B is preparing their presentations)

  • Using the and assuming that these are Year 5 participants, what objective(s) might be relevant in order to assess this activity?
  • Which objective strands within that objective would be appropriate to measure the understanding of the learners involved?
  • What modifications to the activity might you have to make for MYP mathematics?
  • Prepare to share out with the others as Team 8.

Reflection: As a whole group

  • Reflect upon the strategies used in this session. What stages in the inquiry cycle did you observe?
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Summary: Forces behind the MYP

Need for a programme that:

  • Promote international perspectives, understanding, communication and intercultural competence [compassion and world peace]
  • Lifelong learners able to adapt to change and different employment opportunities [uncertainty about future]
  • Prepared students for the DP
  • New world order demanding new approaches
  • Better understanding of the learning process

Educational philosophy underpinning the MYP

  • "Learning how to learn and the development of the whole person are the guiding principles of this programme. The overall curriculum is designed to encourage moral development in our children and a sense of responsibility to the world community and its environment." [Part of the general statement adopted by ISA in 1982]
  • "The responsibility of educators in no longer just to prepare good mathematicians, good biologists or good historians. The mission of schools is to prepare young people - the decision makers of tomorrow - to live in a complex multicultural society undergoing a process of rapid change and opening up a new world. Of course the cognitive component of an educational system is fundamental for the acquisition of intellectual and professional skills. Even more important is the acquisition of attitudes in the learning process in a context of cultural exchanges." ~G. Renaud 1991


  • Widely accepted by late 1980's that students' construct knowledge based on their existing mental models. 'Understanding' evolves. Importance of inquiry.
  • Influenced by theories: (1) Multiple intelligences [Robert Sternberg's triarchic theory, Howard Gardner]; (2) Role of language as instrumental to learning and constructing meaning [reinforce]
  • Teachers need to become experts in educational psychology

Session understanding/reflection: Individual or in pairs

  • What are the philosophical underpinnings of the MYP and their relationship to delivering the programme through inquiry and constructivism?
  • Why is it important to appreciate multiple perspectives in developing an inquiry-based classroom?
  • How do teaching and learning in an inquiry-based classroom engage students on how, what and why they are learning?