Currently, I teach 18 fifth-grade males at King Robinson Inter-district Magnet School. We are a part of the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate Organization, a non-profit, Swiss educational foundation that was established in 1968. The founding schools were seeking to establish a common curriculum that could be picked up and taught anywhere in the world. They strived for a curriculum that "exposed students to a variety of viewpoints." In a way that is directly aligned with the new 2010 CT Common Core of Teaching
inquiry is the leading pedagogical approach of the PYP.
The PYP requires us to create six transdisciplinary units of inquiry around the following themes: Who are we, Where are we in place and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves, and Sharing the planet. In fifth grade, we have the distinction of substituting one unit for an exhibition, in which the students "analyze and propose solutions to a real-world issue or problem, drawing on what they have learned in the PYP."
To meet this requirement, students inquire into various global problems that interest them. In small groups, they then choose one topic to research further. At the end of the year, the students present their findings through an exhibition, which is open to the school community.