PSPE in the PYP

How PSPE practices are changing

Structured, purposeful inquiry is the main approach to teaching and learning PSPE in the PYP. However, it is recognized that many educational innovations (or, more accurately, educational reworkings) suffer from the advocacy of a narrow, exclusive approach. The PYP represents an approach to teaching that is broad and inclusive in that it provides a context within which a wide variety of teaching strategies and styles can be accommodated, provided that they are driven by a spirit of inquiry and a clear sense of purpose.

The degree of change needed to teach PSPE in this way will depend on the individual teacher. For those teachers who have grown weary of imposed change for which they see little point, it should be stressed that teachers are not expected to discard years of hard-earned skill and experience in favour of someone else’s ideas on good teaching. It is suggested, rather, that teachers engage in reflection on their own practice, both individually and in collaboration with colleagues, with a view to sharing ideas and strengths, and with the primary aim of improving their teaching to improve student learning. In doing so, they will be modelling the skills and attitudes that have been identified as essential for students.

As an aid to reflection, the following set of examples of good practice has been produced. It is believed that these examples are worthy of consideration by anyone committed to continuous improvement.

PSPE strands

What do we want students to know?

 

Identity

An understanding of our own beliefs, values, attitudes, experiences and feelings and how they shape us; the impact of cultural influences; the recognition of strengths, limitations and challenges as well as the ability to cope successfully with situations of change and adversity; how the learner’s concept of self and feelings of self-worth affect his or her approach to learning and how he or she interacts with others.

Related concepts: autonomy, character, diversity, ethnicity, fulfillment, gender, heritage, image, initiative, perseverance, resilience, self-regulation, sexuality, spirituality, trust.

 

Active living

An understanding of the factors that contribute to developing and maintaining a balanced, healthy lifestyle; the importance of regular physical activity; the body’s response to exercise; the importance of developing basic motor skills; understanding and developing the body’s potential for movement and expression; the importance of nutrition; understanding the causes and possible prevention of ill health; the promotion of safety; rights and the responsibilities we have to ourselves and others to promote well-being; making informed choices and evaluating consequences, and taking action for healthy living now and in the future.

Related concepts: aesthetics, biomechanics, body control, body form, challenge, competition, energy, flexibility, flow, growth, goal setting, improvement, leisure, mastery, overload, physiology, power, rest, spatial awareness, strength and endurance, stress.

 

Interactions

An understanding of how an individual interacts with other people, other living things and the wider world; behaviours, rights and responsibilities of individuals in their relationships with others, communities, society and the world around them; the awareness and understanding of similarities and differences; an appreciation of the environment and an understanding of, and commitment to, humankind’s responsibility as custodians of the Earth for future generations.

Related concepts: belonging, citizenship, community, conflict, conformity, control, culture, discrimination, fair play, interdependence, justice, leadership, peace, preservation, reparation, safety, stereotype, team work.

 

Overall expectations in PSPE

The Personal, social and physical education scope and sequence (2009) aims to provide information for the whole school community of the learning that is going on in PSPE. It has been designed in recognition of the fact that learning is a developmental process and that the phases a learner passes through are not always linear or age related. For this reason the content is presented in continuums for each of the three strands of PSPE—identity, active living, and interactions. For each of the strands there is a strand description and a set of overall expectations. The overall expectations provide a summary of the conceptual understandings and subsequent learning being developed in each phase within a strand.

These expectations (outlined here) are not a requirement of the programme. However, schools need to be mindful of practice C1.23 in the IB Programme standards and practices (2005) that states, “If the school adapts, or develops its own scope and sequence documents for each PYP subject area, the level of overall expectation regarding student achievement expressed in these documents at least matches that expressed in the PYP scope and sequence documents.” To arrive at such a judgment, and given that the overall expectations in the Personal, social and physical education scope and sequence (2009) are presented as broad generalities, it is recommended that the entire document be read and considered.

 

Identity

Phase 1

Learners have an awareness of themselves and how they are similar and different to others. They can describe how they have grown and changed, and they can talk about the new understandings and abilities that have accompanied these changes. They demonstrate a sense of competence with developmentally appropriate daily tasks and can identify and explore strategies that help them cope with change. Learners reflect on their experiences in order to inform future learning and to understand themselves better.

Phase 2

Learners understand that there are many factors that contribute to a person’s identity and they have an awareness of the qualities, abilities, character and characteristics that make up their own identity. They are able to identify and understand their emotions in order to regulate their emotional responses and behaviour. Learners explore and apply different strategies that help them approach challenges and new situations with confidence.

Phase 3

Learners understand that a person’s identity is shaped by a range of factors and that this identity evolves over time. They explore and reflect on the strategies they use to manage change, approach new challenges and overcome adversity. They analyse how they are connected to the wider community and are open to learning about others. Learners use their understanding of their own emotions to interact positively with others. They are aware that developing self-reliance and persisting with tasks independently will support their efforts to be more autonomous learners.

Phase 4

Learners understand that the physical changes they will experience at different stages in their lives affect their evolving identities. They understand that the values, beliefs and norms within society can impact on an individual’s self-concept and self-worth. Learners understand that being emotionally aware helps them to manage relationships. They recognize and describe how a sense of self-efficacy contributes to human accomplishments and personal well-being. Learners apply and reflect on strategies that develop resilience and, in particular, help them to cope with change, challenge and adversity in their lives.

 

Active living

Phase 1

Learners show an awareness of how daily practices, including exercise, can have an impact on well-being. They understand that their bodies change as they grow. They explore the body’s capacity for movement, including creative movement, through participating in a range of physical activities. Learners recognize the need for safe participation when interacting in a range of physical contexts.

Phase 2

Learners recognize the importance of being physically active, making healthy food choices, and maintaining good hygiene in the development of well-being. They explore, use and adapt a range of fundamental movement skills in different physical activities and are aware of how the body’s capacity for movement develops as it grows. Learners understand how movements can be linked to create sequences and that these sequences can be created to convey meaning. They understand their personal responsibilities to themselves and others in relation to safety practices.

Phase 3

Learners understand the factors that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. They understand that they can enhance their participation in physical activities through developing and maintaining physical fitness, refining movement skills, and reflecting on technique and performance. Learners are able to identify different stages of life and understand that rates of development are different for everyone. Learners understand that there are potential positive and negative outcomes for risk-taking behaviours and are able to identify these risks in order to maximize enjoyment and promote safety.

Phase 4

Learners understand the interconnectedness of the factors that contribute to a safe and healthy lifestyle, and set goals and identify strategies that will help develop well-being. They understand the physical, social and emotional changes associated with puberty. They apply movement skills appropriately, and develop plans to help refine movements, improve performance and enhance participation in a range of physical contexts.

 

Interactions

Phase 1

Learners interact, play and engage with others, sharing ideas, cooperating and communicating feelings in developmentally appropriate ways. They are aware that their behaviour affects others and identify when their actions have had an impact. Learners interact with, and demonstrate care for, local environments.

Phase 2

Learners recognize the value of interacting, playing and learning with others. They understand that participation in a group can require them to assume different roles and responsibilities and they show a willingness to cooperate. They nurture relationships with others, sharing ideas, celebrating successes and offering and seeking support as needed. Learners understand that responsible citizenship involves conservation and preservation of the environment.

Phase 3

Learners understand that group work can be enhanced through the development of a plan of action and through identifying and utilizing the strengths of individual group members. Learners reflect on the perspectives and ideas of others. They understand that healthy relationships are supported by the development and demonstration of constructive attitudes towards other people and the environment.

Phase 4

Learners understand that they can experience intrinsic satisfaction and personal growth from interactions with others in formal and informal contexts. They understand the need for developing and nurturing relationships with others and are able to apply strategies independently to resolve conflict as it arises. They recognize that people have an interdependent relationship with the environment and other living things and take action to restore and repair when harm has been done.

Source: Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education (2009)

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