This is the first installment of a series titled IB Continuum Transitions. This entry focuses on parents. There will be two more installments: PYP-MYP students; and MYP-DP students. The experience described in these installments is based on my experience as MYPC at Qingdao Amerasia International School, in Qingdao, China.
The objective of the PYP-MYP parent transition is to support parents whose children have concluded PYP at QAIS to become aware of the connections between PYP and MYP, as well as the most significant differences between both programs. For parents whose children are not part of QAIS PYP, a differentiated IB jargon-friendly session is planned.
Historically, QAIS PYP-MYP parent transition was conducted by the MYP Coordinator and is orchestrated in collaboration with the PYP Coordinator and the PYP5 homeroom teacher. Organizing this process in this manner allows all stakeholders to be aware of goals, dates, and necessary arrangements that may be needed.
A key takeaway, if not the most important, is for parents to finalize this session with the understanding that both PYP and MYP are similar in essence. Parents should become aware that, at the core, both programs, focus on the student, are implemented by placing special value to approaches to teaching and learning, as well as service as action. Likewise, it is important to help parents understand how while instruction in the MYP will move towards a more subject-based approach, explicit instruction and demonstration of skills for success, conceptual understandings, and service as action learning outcomes, and IB LP-related dispositions will still be at the chore of the learning experience.
For this reason, as the MYP Coordinator shares information with parents, s/he will need to help parents understand that ATL skills, Service as Action Learning Outcomes and the IB Learner Profile Attributes are all brought to life through the curriculum, which constitutes the one element that differentiates the MYP from other Middle School Frameworks. Similarly, it will be important for the MYP Coordinator to help parents begin to understand that the MYP believes in assessment for learning; that assessment in the MYP is criterion-based, that each subject has 4 different assessment criteria with specific demands, and that, therefore, assessment across MYP subjects will look different.
Since the academic year 2016-2017, parents are invited to attend a presentation that showcases the similarities and differences between the PYP and the MYP. This presentation is supported by as a set of slides that includes purposefully targeted translations in Chinese and Korean in order to support parents’ understanding, and so that they do not have to solely rely on the live translation.
The items parents are provided with during this presentation are cited below:
- A folder that provides information about the MYP model. The information printed on the folder is printed in Chinese to provide access to Chinese-speaking parents.
- A document (in English and Chinese), which presents the findings of MYP research conducted by the IB. This report presents successes in implementation and successes in the transition to DP and university.
- A handout with the slides, so that they take notes as they participate in the presentation.
- A document (shared electronically) titled: Understanding the MYP: A guide for QAIS parents, which is available in English, Chinese, and Korean.
The table below shows the suggested timeline for planning the PYP-MYP parents:
An excerpt of the MYP Parent Ed Institute Calendar for the Academic year 2018-2019 can be seen below, as an example.