Skills Development in the MYP: Shaping Entrepreneurial Minds at an IB School
Education during the Secondary School years (ESO in Spain) is crucial for the development of skills and competencies that will prepare students for an increasingly dynamic and challenging future. At Alegra, an IB school since 2016, the Middle Years Programme (MYP) is implemented, employing a unique methodology aimed at fostering critical thinking and the holistic growth of students. In this article, we will explore how the MYP, with its focus on skill development, is shaping entrepreneurial minds and global citizens.
The MYP at Alegra IB School: Beyond Traditional Education
The MYP is an educational program designed for students aged 11 to 16, aiming to enhance not only their academic performance but also their personal and social development. One of the fundamental pillars of the MYP, and of IB schools in general, is its emphasis on active inquiry, driven by what is known as inquiry statements.
In Alegra’s classrooms, starting from MYP 1 (6th Grade), students immerse themselves in a process of questioning, investigating, and reflecting. Inquiry statements are open-ended and challenging questions that stimulate critical thinking and promote active research. These questions guide students to explore and delve deeper into the topics they are studying.
Inquiry Statements: The Key to Skill Development in the MYP
Inquiry statements are a powerful tool in the MYP. They not only drive knowledge acquisition but also foster the development of crucial skills. For example, in an Entrepreneurship and Economics class, an inquiry statement could be: “How do entrepreneurial mindsets interact with economic systems, and how do they shape personal expression, culture, and economic growth?”
This question not only invites students to consider economic theory but also motivates them to explore how these decisions impact their everyday life and local environment. Students develop analytical skills, critical thinking, and informed decision-making through research and reflection.
Skills Development in the MYP: Key Objectives
The MYP does not solely focus on academic skill acquisition; it also has broader objectives aligned with life skills development in students. Some of the key objectives of an IB school include forming students who:
- Take an active role in their learning: By fostering critical thinking, through the exploration of inquiry statements, students learn to question, analyze, and evaluate information critically. This skill is essential in an ever-changing world.
- Possess an international mindset: The program aims to develop globally conscious citizens who are aware of the challenges and opportunities in an interconnected world. This is crucial for shaping leaders who address global issues with vision and understanding, a vital skill in any professional field.
- Can empathize with others: By developing effective communication skills, students can express their ideas clearly and persuasively, while being open to debate and listening to others.
- Have the intellectual capacity and skills to give their lives purpose and meaning: The MYP fosters intellectual curiosity and students’ ability to seek answers independently. This attitude of continuous learning is a hallmark of entrepreneurial minds.
Practical Application in Economics Class
To illustrate how skills development is applied in practice at Alegra IB School, let’s consider the first Economics class of the academic year. Students begin by exploring an inquiry statement related to economic decision-making, as mentioned earlier.
As students investigate and reflect on the inquiry statement, they engage in enriching debates that allow them to consider different perspectives. Throughout the course, they also have the opportunity to embark on a practical project where they must make simulated economic decisions. This experience allows them to apply their knowledge and skills in a real-world context, reinforcing their holistic development.
Preparation for an Ever-Changing Future
The focus on skills development in the MYP of IB schools in Secondary (MYP) prepares students to face an ever-changing future. The International Baccalaureate equips them with the tools to be critical thinkers, excellent communicators, and globally conscious citizens. Ultimately, this methodology promotes the comprehensive growth of students and empowers them to become the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.