Developing a Transdisciplinary POI

Transdisciplinary POI: Summary

The Program of Inquiry (POI) serves as a framework for our curriculum and illustrates the major concepts that students will be exploring. It is made up of six units per grade level that help students gain an understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Transdisciplinary learning is the exploration of a relevant concept, issue or problem that integrates the perspectives of multiple disciplines in order to connect new knowledge and deeper understanding to real life experiences.

Source: / Magellan International School

Revised Transdisciplinary Theme Descriptors

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The transdisciplinary themes remain the same and continue to be central to the structure of the program of inquiry (POI)
What has changed?The descriptors have moved from commonalities of human experience to a balance between human and natural worlds.
*** Schools can begin using the new theme descriptors now – by September 2027 all PYP schools will be required to be using the new descriptors

PYP Transdisciplinary Themes Posters

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Source: Rachel Parker - Facebook

Transdisciplinary POI Elements

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The programme of inquiry consists of transdisciplinary units of inquiry that include:


PYP Framework

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PYP Elements

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Podcast: Developing a Programme of Inquiry

Angeline Aow

Podcast - Developing a POI - Angeline Aow.mp3
Created by RACHEL FRENCH FRENCHSource: Professional Learning International - 44:52 - Nov. 12, 2018

In this episode, Sarah Gilmore interviews Angeline Aow about developing a Programme of Inquiry.  Angeline has been a PYP educator since 2002 when she worked in Nanjing International School, the first full IB continuum school in China. Since 2005 she has worked at Berlin International School and has been a homeroom teacher, music specialist, and PYP coordinator. For more than a decade, Angeline has been a PYP workshop leader, team leader for visits and in these roles, she has worked in the Asia-Pacific, European, Middle-East and African regions.

Collaborative Planning

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UOI Elements

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Candidate Schools - Creating and Revising Your Program of Inquiry

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What's included in this resource:
  • Strategies and processes you can use to both create and refine your curriculum.
  • Learn what is included in a POI?
  • Learn how to create your first POI?

Candidate Schools - Creating & Reviewing your Curriculum (POI)

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In this video, you will:
  • Get a cheat sheet of what is required in your POI
  • Access a step-by-step guide for developing a year one outline
  • Explore 3 types of curriculum review with tips and things to consider
  • Ask questions and get specific advice on how to get started!

Developing a UOI

Guided Student Journal to Support Inquiry in the PYP

Tap/Click on image to download the 61 pg journalSource: Toddle

Toddle's Chris Gadbury has created a wonderful guided inquiry journal for PYP students. It is a collection of thinking tools that will encourage students to ask questions, reflect, and apply their understandings and skills. 

The guided student journal includes:

Designing Rigorous Learning Experiences

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Planning - I used to Think - Now I Think

Website Source: Toddle

Unit of Inquiry Idea Banks - Resource

The team at Toddle has created a few units of inquiry that are ubiquitous across school POIs. To help you plan these units better and make deeper connections the following detailed idea banks come complete with resources, best practices and strategies. Use these idea banks to identify transdisciplinary focus, design central ideas, unpack concepts and more!

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UOI Planning Process & Resources

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Source: Micheal Hughes
This wonderful resource created by Micheal Hughes includes a wide variety of planning/teaching/learning resources that teachers can use while creating a Unit of Inquiry.

Evaluating a PYP Unit of Inquiry

Run Time: 6:19 - Apr 23, 2022
As a PYP site visitor, programme leader for PYP, a workshop leader, and independent business owner, I evaluate curriculum for schools on a global scale.  I have put together this video based on current IB PYP criteria to help school evaluate the programme of inquiry on their own.  It does take a working knowledge of concept-based curriculum and instruction.  
by Robin Long - Let Them Learn website

Better World Project - Unit

Run Time: 6:54 - June 25, 2018
This video features an inspiring Better World Project accomplished by the Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication (ISAAC) in New London, CT, an EL Education school. It was one of 18 winning Better World Projects selected by a committee of EL Education students, teachers, and leaders, from submissions across the country. 
EL Schools are not IB schools, but this project is an example of what an IB UOI could look like - truly transdisciplinary, inquiry & concept based with student voice and choice and connect to being internationally minded - what is means to be human. 
** View More EL Better World Projects

UOI Resource Video

Run Time: 8:23 - Nov 19, 2021
This video is both impactful and highly valuable for an in-depth exploration with grade 4-8 students. It serves as a compelling resource, especially when delving into topics such as migration, equity, global citizenship, human rights, ethics, and more. The narrative follows the journey of two polar bears forced into exile by global warming, as they seek to coexist with brown bears they encounter along the way. Beyond the significance of the content, the film-making technique employed provides an additional avenue for inquiry and discussion.

Developing a Central Idea

Crafting Central Ideas - Podcast

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In this session you will

Developing a Central Idea - Podcast

Click/Tap on Image to View Podcast**Access the checklists in Kirsten’s presentation HERE. 

Crafting Central Ideas Video

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Crafting Central Ideas Booklet 

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Central Idea Guidance

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Central Idea Poster

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Source: Managebac

Essential Questions Explained

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Megalist of Essential Questions

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