New Parents Learn More About the PYP

18 February 2010

Article by Peter Ndung’u, Upper School Lead Teacher.

According to www.wikipedia.com, “A learning community is a group of people who share common values and beliefs, are actively engaged in learning together from each other.” This was evident this term when parents and teachers came together during a PYP Workshop at the school campus. At least 90 new parents assembled at the school grounds on …. to attend a workshop titled Inquiry in the PYP.

This workshop was organized and delivered in a way that demonstrates how children learn in a PYP school. For starters, it was set up as a carousel – centre-based learning where learners move from one group to another engaging in different tasks that appeal to different styles of learning. The centres were as follows: The PYP Philosophy (facilitated by the PYP Coordinator, Ms Stela Ghetie), Math in the PYP (facilitated by Math Coordinator, Miss Patni and Mrs Janmohamed) Language in the PYP (facilitated by the Language Coordinator Ms Kurji and Mrs Karumba), and Science and Social Studies in the PYP (facilitated by the PYP Lead Teachers, Mrs Kumar and Mr Ndung’u).

Ms Ghetie facilitated discussion on the core beliefs of the PYP and she reported that parents were very inquisitive and that they had more questions than could be answered in the short time available. The idea of seeking answers to student questions is a unique feature of the PYP.

This became very apparent to parents as this was the main focus of the Science and Social Studies Centre. Parents saw how students develop student questions on a given unit of inquiry, how the students then identify an area for further research, and ultimately how students pursue their independent lines of inquiry by developing research projects. In addition, parents were learnt more about how teachers and students develop assessment rubrics and checklists for evaluating their project reports and presentation skills.

Understandably, parents found this idea of allowing room for individual inquiry (over and above what is investigated on in the classroom) refreshingly amazing.

In the Maths and Language centres, parents were given a sneak preview into what inquiry in these areas looks like. One new – and envious, parent was overheard asking another participant whose children have been at AKJA for the past couple of years, “You mean you children have gone through this programme for the last couple of years? You mean my kids have been missing such experiences? What am I going to tell them?”

The answers to these questions from the other parent were, “Yes,” “Yes,” and, “Tell your kids that you will do everything possible to move them to AKJA as soon as possible… if there is space!”

Welcome to The Aga Khan Junior Academy.