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IB MYP- Interdisciplinary Learning

Interdisciplinary learning can take place between different subject groups and between different disciplines within a subject group to encourage broader perspectives on complex issues and deeper levels of analysis and synthesis. Interdisciplinary connections must be meaningful.

In the MYP, interdisciplinary learning is the process by which students come to understand bodies of knowledge and modes of thinking from two or more disciplines and then integrate them to create a new understanding. Students demonstrate this by bringing together concepts, methods or forms of communication to explain a phenomenon, solve a problem, create a product or raise a new question in ways that would have been unlikely through a single discipline.

Students demonstrate interdisciplinary understanding when they bring together concepts, methods, or forms of communication from two or more disciplines or established areas of expertise so that they can explain a phenomenon, solve a problem, create a product, or raise a new question in ways that would have been unlikely through a single discipline.


Younger learners often make connections naturally between different areas of knowledge, in order to understand the world around them. In some cases, this is because they have not yet been socialized into the disciplinary perspectives that organize the academic world.

Even though secondary education usefully organizes learning into disciplinary compartments as a response to increasing specialization, our ever-changing world also demands education that empowers people to integrate disciplines in novel and creative ways.

As knowledge and information multiply, critical thinkers must successfully integrate disciplinary perspectives to understand complex issues and ideas.


Aims of the Course

According to the subject brief, the aims of interdisciplinary learning in the MYP are to-
• Develop a deeper understanding of learning skills and apply them in meaningful contexts
• Integrate conceptual learning, ways of knowing and methods of inquiring from multiple disciplines
• Inquire into compelling issues, ideas and challenges by creating products or explaining phenomena
• Reflect on and communicate understanding of the interdisciplinary learning process
• Experience the excitement of intellectual discovery, including insights into how disciplines complement and challenge one another

Curriculum Overview

The MYP interdisciplinary curriculum is developed across a continuum in which disciplines borrow from each other, share common threads, combine in formal units of study or are organized into discrete courses.

The MYP promotes interdisciplinary inquiry by integrating discipline-based conceptual understanding within the following global contexts.
• Identities and relationships
• Orientation in space and time
• Personal and cultural expression
• Scientific and technical innovation
• Globalization and sustainability
• Fairness and development

There is no set number of interdisciplinary learning hours in each year of the MYP, but MYP subject-group teachers are responsible for developing meaningful and ongoing interdisciplinary teaching and learning opportunities throughout the programme.

Assessment Criteria

Each interdisciplinary learning objective corresponds to one of four equally weighted assessment criteria. Each criterion has eight possible achievement levels (1–8), divided into four bands with unique descriptors that teachers use to make judgments about students’ work.

1. Criterion A: Disciplinary grounding
Students must understand disciplinary concepts and skills—as framed by MYP subject-group objectives. This disciplinary grounding provides the foundation for interdisciplinary understanding.

2. Criterion B: Synthesizing
Students integrate knowledge from more than one discipline in ways that inform inquiry into relevant ideas, issues and challenges in order to explain phenomena or create products.

3. Criterion C: Communicating
Students select, integrate or innovate communication forms and strategies to explain the results of their inquiries. They develop the capacity to communicate effectively and responsibly with a range of audiences.

4. Criterion D: Reflecting
Students evaluate the role of disciplines, weighing their relative contributions and assessing their strengths and limitations in specific interdisciplinary applications. Students also explore various areas of knowledge and ways of knowing, and reflect on their ability to construct understanding across disciplinary boundaries.



Students seeking IB MYP course results or the IB MYP certificate must demonstrate their achievement of the above objectives by completing an end-of-programme on-screen examination. On-screen examinations are formal external assessments.

Prior to the examination, the IB announces one global context and two disciplines from language and literature, individuals and societies, sciences or mathematics to provide the foundation for the on-screen examination. While grounding in the selected disciplines is assessed, examinations emphasize interdisciplinary thinking.

Examination blueprints define the structure of tasks that simulate, replicate and sample formative internal assessments. MYP interdisciplinary learning on-screen examinations comprise three tasks.

These tasks are-

1. Disciplinary grounding
Assesses relevant knowledge and skills from the perspective of MYP language and literature, individuals and societies, mathematics or sciences.
(Criterion A)
Marks- 30

2. Synthesis and communication of interdisciplinary understanding
Assesses students’ ability to synthesize disciplinary knowledge in order to address a real-world challenge (Criterion B), using effective strategies to communicate interdisciplinary understanding. (Criterion C)
Marks- 30+30= 60

3. Reflecting
Assesses students’ ability to evaluate the benefits and limitations of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses as interdisciplinary learners.
(Criterion D)
Marks- 30

On-screen examinations for interdisciplinary learning help students prepare for the Diploma Programme interdisciplinary courses and theory of knowledge.

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IB MYP- Interdisciplinary Learning
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