The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Curriculum Development Model for Standards Alignment
Current educational practice, such as focusing on high-stakes testing and a narrowing of the curriculum, have not been successful. To be successful in the future, students need to be lifelong learners who can think critically and creatively to adapt and solve problems. Curriculum integration, through programs such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP), can facilitate the development of students with these skills. With the expansion of public IB schools in the United States, IB teachers must carry out the IB program and curriculum as they teach according to national, state, and district standards. The ultimate goal for public school IB educators is to develop engaging, meaningful, student-driven units of inquiry as they meet standards. The question that leads this project is: What strategies for IB unit design does an IB PYP educator utilize when local or federal standards change? The purpose of this project is to develop a how-to guide for educators that outlines the steps to take when designing new standards-aligned IB units. The project contains five sections that cover unpacking and mapping the standards; creating a unit’s central idea, lines of inquiry, and essential questions; authentic assessments; daily instruction and inquiry-based instructional strategies; and project tuning sessions and collaborative planning. This project also provides teachers with a model for the how-to guide and a sample unit aligned with kindergarten Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for math and language arts.