The Five Essential Elements

The Five Essential Elements of the IB Curriculum

1. Concepts- There are 8 fundamental concepts expressed as key questions, which drive inquiry and research.  They also have relevance within and across all subject areas (transdisciplinary). The 8 concepts are:

  • Form: What is it like?
  • Function: How does it work?
  • Causation: Why is it like it is?
  • Change: How is it changing?
  • Connection: How is it connected to other things?
  • Perspective: What are the points of view?
  • Reflection: How do we know?

2. Skills- There are 5 sets of transdisciplinary skills acquired in the inquiry process. These are:

  • Thinking
  • Communication
  • Social
  • Research
  • Self-Management

3. Attitudes- The PYP promotes attitudes that we want our students to feel, value, and demonstrate.

  • Appreciation
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Cooperation
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Empathy
  • Enthusiasm
  • Independence
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Tolerance

4.  Action- IB includes action as an essential element because we believe that education must extend beyond the intellectual to include thoughtful and appropriate action.  An expectation is that inquiry and the learning process will naturally lead a student to initiate responsible action.

5. Knowledge- The PYP has identified 6 themes, which are used to organize the 6 Units of Inquiry, taught from kindergarten through sixth grade. These Units of Inquiry provide the framework for a wide variety of resources to be explored.  The six 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