Student thinking and learning in the PYP transdisciplinary framework (2016)

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Carol McGuinness, Robert Swartz and Liz Sproule—Queen’s University Belfast and the Center for Teaching Thinking

This study focuses on how the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) transdisciplinary framework can advance deep thinking and learning for PYP students aged 3–12. The study extends prior research by the authors to examine the relationship between thinking and learning, as well as how progression in thinking might best be articulated. To conduct the study, the researchers used a combination of a literature review, theoretical analyses and empirical findings from seven PYP case study schools around the world. The case study schools differed in the degree to which they prioritized thinking as an explicit curriculum objective, and whether thinking was given specific instructional attention above and beyond the other PYP transdisciplinary skills. The most common approaches that the researchers observed for developing student thinking skills in the case study schools utilized: questioning, thinking organizers, metacognitive thinking and collaboration among students. The authors conclude with a series of recommendations for further strengthening thinking and learning practices within the PYP.

Research summary (PDF, 180 KB)

Full report (PDF, 2.1 MB)