Transdisciplinary Themes

What do we want students to know about?

Each year, all PYP students will conduct in-depth inquiries based on transdisciplinary
themes considered essential in the context of a program of international education.
These themes:

  • Have global significance – for all students in all cultures.
  • Are locally relevant – for all students living in the Mainfranken area.
  • Offer students the opportunity to explore the commonalities of human experience.
  • Are supported by knowledge, concepts, and skills from the traditional subject areas but utilize them in ways that transcend the confines of these subjects, thereby contributing to a transdisciplinary model of teaching and learning.
  • Will be revisited throughout the Primary School, so that the end result is immersion in broad-ranging, in-depth, articulated curriculum content.
  • Contribute to the common ground that unifies the curriculums in all PYP schools.

PYP Transdisciplinary Themes:

Who We AreAn inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal,
physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships,
including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and
responsibilities; what it means to be human.
Where We Are In
Place And Time
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories;
homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of
humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of
individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
How We Express
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas,
feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we
reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the
How The World
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between
the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how
humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact
of scientific and technological advances on society and on the
How We Organize
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and
communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal
decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind
and the environment.
Sharing The PlanetAn inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite
resources with other people and with other living things; communities
and the relationships within and between them; access to equal
opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.
Transdisciplinary Themes

Students inquire into and learn about, globally significant issues in the context of units of inquiry, each of
which addresses a central idea relevant to a particular transdisciplinary theme. Lines of inquiry are identified in
order to explore the scope of the central idea for each unit.
These units collectively constitute the school’s program of inquiry. The full program of inquiry at ISM is
dynamic and subject to minor changes as teachers adapt and plan collaboratively to meet the needs of their
students and the changing context of the world around them.

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