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MYP story

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by SMT dude, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Sunday evening, all homework done, no more sport on TV, every scrap of food and drop of booze in the house consumed, so just to share this with you.
    A delightful ex-colleague hails from the US of A.
    A man of many moods and facets, he can be as high-falutin' as Henry James, as down-home as Mark Twain, as pithy as Emily Dickinson, as pissy as Ernesto Hemingway.
    His new workplace is an MYP flagship where the dogma is taken very seriously indeed, a kind of IBO madrassa. He himself is an eccentric and spellbinding teacher of the old school.
    He was called in to the office of the Commissar (to change similes), a humourless lady with the purest of ideological backgrounds.
    She said, "Mr Lincoln, you need to adapt your classroom practice to the MYP. No longer do we teachers entertain and instruct the class from the front, as master of ceremonies. The children need to be the protagonists or they will never become independent learners arnd risk takers. You could start by facilitating research activities in small groups."
    "Ahhh, group work!", he ejaculated. "Jus' love it! Y'know, it ain't so very new eether - why, when I was but a cub back in Tennessee in the 60s, the good ole dame at my elementary school would go, "Chillun, get y'selves into groups of fou", and I'd be like, "Yooo, HOT DAMN, time to DICK-AROUND !"
    I have his reference ready on my desktop.
  2. Arepa

    Arepa New commenter

    Don Dude. I identify closely with your colleague. Unlike him, though, I could not cope in such an environment. I am as much an educational dinosaur as a transgendered corn cake, slowly trudging down the path to extinction. To belabour and massacre the metaphor and simile even further, we are being nibbled to death by those little rodent-like mammals who range through the educational landscape bringing down the charismatic and inspirational teacher (your colleague sounds like one) in favor of teams working at the same pace, on the same themes, promoting group work.
    To be fair to the mammals, such an evolutionary change is probably necessary. Excellent teachers, like artists, are few and far between. It is far easier for the Head Rodent to try to raise up (evolve) the average teacher through encouraging group work rather than trying to find and staff a school with only outstanding teachers ( I tried the latter and was only moderately successful). Mind you, those mammals cannot rest easy (there are cockroaches out there. I could not resist, but this is my last metaphor). As you so percipiently noted: group work has its dangers as it is often the opportunity to do nothing. Moreover, where are the students supposed to get the knowledge that they are to put into their work? Fortunately (?), the MYP does not have exams, so schools can offer the programme and not have to face the consequences until students enter the Diploma programme (any comments on this point would be welcome). A good school, therefore, has to introduce rigor into the MYP programme. An excellent teacher can do this, I believe, with a lot of effort. First, they have to plan a sequence of lessons that begins with the teacher providing the inspiration (through an essential question), the knowledge, and the skills. Then, the teacher has to plan a series of engaging activities that involve all the students during which they put the knowledge and skills to use ( I realize that I am stating the obvious (I am not trying to teach Dudes to suck eggs), but I do think I should attempt an answer to your colleague's dilemma. As one educator (Doug Lemov) put it in five succinct steps: I do, I do; you help, You do; I help, You do, You do and do an do. All this is a pain to get down into lesson plans, but once done, it is easy for the average teacher in the team to replicate. I don't think I can do this as I haven't the patience, so it is off to the bone yard for me.

  3. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A recent article in the TES about schools in the UK makes similar points.
    Independent heads allege teachers fear going ‘off piste’ and are target obsessedTop independent school heads have damned the state sector for producing teachers who have “formulaic” classroom methods and are uncomfortable teaching “off piste”.The state system produces teachers unduly focused on targets and Ofsted ratings who struggle to go beyond the syllabus to bring imagination and creativity to lessons, they have warned.Young teachers or those coming into the private sector for the first time have to be “given permission” to embrace new freedoms because they are used to following strict rules, heads said this week.The comments came with the publication of a report examining how the curriculum and assessment is affecting education in independent schools. The study, commissioned by the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), also expressed concern that state school teachers moving to the private sector were “less keen” on leading extra-curricular activities, particularly sport at the weekend.Bernard Trafford, headmaster of Newcastle Royal Grammar School and a former chairman of the HMC, said while young teachers were generally highly proficient technically they had been conditioned into “delivering” assessment goals.“This system has delivered on their set targets, but it’s the kiss of death for imaginative teaching,” he told The TES.“When new teachers come here, they sometimes need the permission that it’s OK to teach off-piste, that it’s positively desirable. They are very good on things like classroom management, but they need to be told to loosen up.”Mr Trafford blamed the reluctance of teachers from the maintained sector to take after-school activities not on laziness, but a culture brought about by the pressures of the national curriculum.Geoff Lucas, secretary of the HMC, said: “The post-national curriculum generation is very good technically at meeting the objectives that they are set and doing what’s needed for assessment. It takes quite a lot of confidence to go beyond that.”Andy Falconer, chairman of the Independent Association of Prep Schools, said that the reluctance of teachers from the state sector to take extra- curricular activities, such as sport, was partly due to the “one- dimensional” aspect of training courses. He said: “Training colleges need to get across to their students how important that is.”James Noble-Rogers, executive director of the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, said: “The very detailed teaching standards and closely prescribed content of teacher education programmes can raise the floor but also lower the ceiling. It can be a help, but also act as a straitjacket.”John Bangs, visiting professor at London University’s Institute of Education, said the PGCE was “far too short” and did not allow enough time for reflection.But he warned: “There is a nostalgia for a magic past, like in Dead Poet’s Society or The History Boys, when teachers were free to go off-piste, but those sort of teachers were the exceptions to prove the rule and there was great inequality of teaching.“We now have a system where standards for most are high across the board.”
  4. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    And the King is in the altogether! the altogether! the altogether...
    Great story, Dude. A visiting INSET (showing my advanced age again, Bobb) guru to the school where I was HT in the 1980s wrote some twenty or so educational acronyms on the whiteboard and asked how many we could interpret. I got the lot, starting with ITA and ending with TVEI 'You'll be 39, then' he told me confidently, and accurately.
    I worked at Santiago College with dear Elisabeth Fox, a pioneer of the dreaded 'Meep' who was deeply into J Bruner and all that discovery stuff not only for the kiddies but also for us. I still smile to remember a colleague muttering wearily 'Libby, just TELL us what you want us to do'.
  5. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    I'd just started teaching in the late 80s, so I remember TVEI
    We got a huge budget for it and spent it on a staff weekend *** up in Leamington Spa[​IMG]
  6. [​IMG]
    I liked the Dylan Thomas bit as well.

    Don't forget, must, could and should!
  7. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Welcome back, notyet, and I like your photo of the brilliant Maths teacher suddenly remembering that she should have done her superb lesson on a green background not a grey one...
  8. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Didn't quite catch that...
  9. Not so bloody clever now, Dude, eh? If it's not Latin, Spanish or the Queen's you are stumped! [​IMG]
    Good one, Yasi - mind you, I haven't got the faintest what it means either... [​IMG]
  10. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Hey, I was making a tasteless joke about yazza's reference to hearing loss.
    I know what "gor'n" means, it's a NSW variant of the Victorian "c'arn" as in "C'arn you Hawks!".
  11. If your programme?s scope and sequence is articulated with a proper curriculum (in our case it?s the Australian National Curriculum and New South Wales Board of Studies) and mapped backwards from all of your DP subjects (modelling assessment on internal and external DP assessment tasks, aligning DP and MYP objectives, etc.) you will have a brilliant programme. Your school's MYP will not in the least bit be compromised by doing this. A properly functioning IB continuum school can be truly amazing...the absence of archaic ?leaving exams? at the end of year 10/11 is one of the reasons why I like the programme.

    In my recent job search I looked for IB Continuum schools exclusively and stayed as far away from IGCSE gigs as possible.
  12. Might not be a paradigm shift but if you are looking for where some of the ideas in the 'The Next Chapter' come from then glance towards the PYP.
    Implemented effectively the Key Concepts and TD Skills prepare students well. As with any curriculum, framework or otherwise, implemented badly they're rubbish.
  13. karel

    karel Occasional commenter

    I totally agree with calciodirigore. The MYP is exactly what a school makes of it. If developed and implemented properly it can be whatever you want it to be. Personally I have taught DP to students having been through the GCSE, IGCSE and the MYP and I can tell you that those having been through the MYP are much better prepared for DP in many ways. They may not have covered quite as much 'content' in somethings, but they have had the opportunity to develop skills that will help them through the DP programme - investigative skills, reflection skills etc. Granted, you don't need to be formally delivering the MYP to be able to provide students with these kinds of opportunities, however without the external exam at the end of the 2 years looming you have much more freedom to spend time on these important skills. I do think there is a problem though with some schools that do run the MYP, and that it that the administration has not considered how much time is required to implement and deliver the program properly. The amount of time required on curriculum develop vertically within subject areas from MYP1 to MYP 5 and leading into DP, and horizontally across subjects is significant. There is also a constant need to collaborate with colleagues, planning IDUs and moderating internally assessments given. As a former MYP Coordinator in a school which introduced the MYP I know only too well how important and necessary it is for teachers to be given the means to do the job well. I too am only interested in schools that run all 3 IB programmes but I want to teach in a school that is committed to delivering them well.
  14. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Like any course, curriculum, programme, syllabus or scheme of work, then.
    But above and beyond stating the obvious again, that such things are only as good-or-bad as the insitiutions and individuals who deliver 'em, it's edifying to see sensible people like calcio and karel putting in cogent good words for the MEEEP.
    The programme had its fanatical promoters from the first, but these apart, it has had a dismal press here and elsewhere, so it is a sign of progress that two mainstream practitioners, rather than ideological loudhailers, should have good things to say about it.
    But it's still a tell-tale sign of a certain insecurity when you can't extol the merits of one programme without denigrating another. The nice people at our local friendly-rival MYP school like to bang on about the GCSE being out-of-date rote-learning repressive rigmarole. In good hands (again) it needn't be anything like that, and I wish they would shut up, or say 'vive la différence' and get on with bigging up their own programme rather than rubbishing ours.
    We are far too noble to rub in their faces the difference in DP scores, which favours us significantly. Why, because the MYP is less good preparation? No, because (yet again) our teachers are by and large a bit better.
    As a sincere act of homage to the MYP, we pinched some of its kit when we extended the school day for Yrs 10 and 11, and tacked on to the GCSE courses some Critical Thinking, Outdoor Education and a Group Project. All well planned and well received, with the merit of being our own, not controlled and regulated by some haughty waffly starry-eyed horizontally-articulated wholistic bossyboots from the IB.
    My current Yr12 ToK class is a hybrid. Three of the younguns did MYP, three the National Curriculum of Ruritania and six were GCSEers.
    If forced to generalise, I'd hazard that the Ruritans and GCSE folk have a little more grist to their mill when providing examples and knowledge to support opinions or illustrate concepts. They 'know' quite a lot of stuff which the holy would dismiss as 'content'. I'm all for 'content'. But the Meepies are quick on their feet and have an excellent attitude to learning.
    This is a tiny 'sample' and nothing in the paragraph above could I prove in detail or with data. They are clever and loveable teenagers without exception, they all make connections, recognise counter-claims, adapt knowledge to unfamiliar contexts, take risks and so on, because that's what bright people can do. Plus, their teacher is outstanding of course so they will all succeed and become 'lifelong learners', and it's pleasing to see people from different backgrounds working together so brilliantly.
  15. nemo.

    nemo. Occasional commenter

    Parents know the score, If your kid will fail IGCSEs as useless at exams then do MYP. Trouble is DP is old fashioned exam based! What they need is a UK style BTEC version of the Diploma. Without exams and use it for entry to lesser universities (like the former pollies in UK).

    MYP DP are galaxies apart. IBO are nuts!
  16. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Something like this, nemo?
    Whenever I say anything like this in the staff room, I get pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables.
  17. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Lead commenter

    Unlike the IB's former DP boss (Latin America )who assured me that all the best schools in the region did IGCSE. And in even greater contrast to the recently superseded IB Supremo South Asia who tried to persuade my Board that the MYP worked best in conjunction with the IGCSE syllabuses. Et tu, Farzana. Thus falls the Meeep.
  18. It's those last two years of the MYP that kill the academic kids. Same old stuff for ever and ever in the MYP world. A good dose of rigour wakes them up and the introduction of the IGCSE syllabus plus Personal Project and C and S should work wonders - for the teachers as well!

  19. It is possible to use MYP to prepare students well for the
    DP, but most schools don’t do this since it doesn’t occur to them that they
    have to make it happen – the MYP is just a framework that has to be configured
    to do whatever the school wants. But MYP saps up a lot of resources -
    management/teacher time for meetings, PD and planning - to make it work well.
    And when the staff who make this happen leave the school, the momentum may be
    lost. Although MYP students do acquire some useful transferable skills that
    might not be so readily inculcated by other programmes, it is also true that
    subject specific competences and the demands of a exam driven programme is less
    easily served. Simple cost/benefit analysis suggests that MYP is a very
    inefficient and all-to-often ineffective tool. It generally distracts from what
    needs to done because its underlying ethos is to prepare students for an
    educational future that does not yet, and may never, exist. Subject
    specialisms, universally defined curricula and examination-based assessments
    are likely to be features of all major educational systems for some time to
    come - almost certainly decades. It its almost 20 years of operation the MYP
    has not seem anything like the same level of uptake outside of the
    international system that the DP has. The tide will surely turn against this
    failed experiment.


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