Transdisciplinary Teaching & Learning

PYP transdisciplinaryAt the heart of the PYP curriculum is transdisciplinary teaching and learning. Transdisciplinary teaching and learning operates from the belief that there is knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes and actions that transcend subject area boundaries and forge the curriculum into a coherent transdisciplinary whole that is engaging, relevant, challenging and significant.

The importance of the traditional subject areas is acknowledged. Indeed, the subject areas of language, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and personal, social and physical education (PSPE) are specified as components of the PYP curriculum. However, it is also recognized that educating students in a set of isolated subject areas, while necessary, is not sufficient. Of equal importance is the need to acquire skills in context, and to explore content that is relevant to students and that transcends the boundaries of the traditional subjects.

To be truly educated, a student must also make connections across the disciplines, discover ways to integrate the separate subjects, and ultimately relate what they learn to life. (Boyer 1995)

There are six transdisciplinary themes that are considered essential to promote international-mindedness on the part of our students.

Student’s engage in all science and social studies through these units. Other subject areas are transdisciplinary within these units where there is an authentic connection to the learning. The themes are:

  • Who we are
  • Where we are in place and time
  • How we express ourselves
  • How the world works
  • How we organize ourselves
  • Sharing the planet