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    MYP Global Contexts


    Teaching and learning in the MYP involves understanding concepts in context. Global contexts provide a common language for powerful contextual learning, identifying specific settings, events or circumstances that provide more concrete perspectives for teaching and learning.

    When teachers select a global context for learning, they are answering the following questions.


    • Why are we engaged in this inquiry?

    • Why are these concepts important?

    • Why is it important for me to understand? 

    • Why do people care about this topic?


    MYP global contexts provide common points of entry for inquiries into what it means to be internationally minded, framing a curriculum that promotes multilingualism, intercultural understanding and global engagement. These contexts build on the powerful themes of global significance that structure teaching and learning in the PYP, creating relevance for adolescent learners.

    Global Context

    Focus question(s) and description

    Example Explorations

    Identities and Relationships

    Who am I? Who are we?

    Students will explore identity; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities and cultures; what it means to be human.

    Possible explorations to develop

    • Competition and cooperation; teams, affiliation and leadership

    • Identity formation; self-esteem; status; roles and role models

    • Personal efficacy and agency; attitudes, motivation, independence; happiness and the good life

    • Physical, psychological and social development; transitions; health and well-being; lifestyle choices

    • Human nature and human dignity; moral reasoning and ethical judgment; consciousness and mind

    Orientation in Space and Time

    What is the meaning of “where” and “when”? Students will explore personal histories; homes and journeys; turning points in humankind; discoveries; explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between, and the interconnectedness of, individuals and civilizations, from personal, local and global perspectives.

    Possible explorations to develop

    • Civilizations and social histories, heritage, pilgrimage, migration, displacement and exchange

    • Epochs, eras, turning points and “big history”

    • Scale, duration, frequency and variability

    • Peoples, boundaries, exchange and interaction

    • Natural and human landscapes and resources

    • Evolution, constraints and adaptation

    Personal and Cultural Explorations

    What is the nature and purpose of creative expression?

    Students will explore the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.

    Possible explorations to develop

    • Artistry, craft, creation, beauty

    • Products, systems and institutions

    • Social constructions of reality; philosophies and ways of life; belief systems; ritual and play

    • Critical literacy, languages and linguistic systems; histories of ideas, fields and disciplines; analysis and argument

    • Metacognition and abstract thinking

    • Entrepreneurship, practice and competency

    Scientific and Technical Innovation

    How do we understand the world in which we live?

    Students will explore the natural world and its laws; the interaction between people and the natural world; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on communities and environments; the impact of environments on human activity; how humans adapt environments to their needs.

    Possible explorations to develop

    • Systems, models, methods; products, processes and solutions

    • Adaptation, ingenuity and progress

    • Opportunity, risk, consequences and responsibility

    • Modernization, industrialization and engineering

    • Digital life, virtual environments and the Information Age • The biological revolution

    • Mathematical puzzles, principles and discoveries

    Globalization and Sustainability

    How is everything connected?

    Students will explore the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the relationship between local and global processes; how local experiences mediate the global; the opportunities and tensions provided by world interconnectedness; the impact of decision-making on humankind and the environment.

    Possible explorations to develop

    • Markets, commodities and commercialization

    • Human impact on the environment

    • Commonality, diversity and interconnection

    • Consumption, conservation, natural resources and public goods

    • Population and demography

    • Urban planning, strategy and infrastructure

    Fairness and Development

    What are the consequences of our common humanity?

    Students will explore rights and responsibilities; the relationship between communities; sharing finite resources with other people and with other living things; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

    Possible explorations to develop

    • Democracy, politics, government and civil society

    • Inequality, difference and inclusion

    • Human capability and development; social entrepreneurs • Rights, law, civic responsibility and the public sphere

    • Justice, peace and conflict management

    • Power and privilege

    • Authority, security and freedom

    • Imagining a hopeful future