Glossary of Terms

Approaches to Learning (AtL)

AtL is one of the 5 Areas of Interaction. It is about metacognition – thinking about thinking. Key questions are how do I learn best; how do I know; and how do I communicate my understanding. There are seven categories: organization, collaboration, information literacy, reflection, transfer, communication, and thinking.

ATL skill categories

MYP skill clusters


I. Communication


II. Collaboration

Self management

III. Organization

IV. Affective

V. Reflection


VI. Information literacy

VII. Media literacy


VIII. Critical thinking

IX. Creative thinking

X. Transfer

Evaluating, judging, appraising student work through various tasks. Formative assessment tasks are those ongoing evaluations used in the process of the lesson or unit to check for check for understanding or to guide teaching strategies. These might include homework, raising hands to answer a classroom question, group work, etc. Summative assessment tasks are culminating activities designed to provide information on the student's achievement level against specific objectives.

Assessment Criteria
Criteria against which a student's work in the classroom is judged. MYP believes work should be criterion-related -- evaluated against specific standards that the students are made aware of in advance, not against other students' work or subjective point systems. Each subject guide in MYP provides the four criteria for the subject in rubric form.

Assessment Rubric

An evaluation tool that contains specific descriptors and levels of achievement so that the teacher is able to give effective and concrete feedback to the student about an assessment task. Students receive the rubric prior to the assignment being given and are then able to understand the expectations of that particular assessment task.  

Global Context

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.

International Baccalaureate (IB)
International Baccalaureate: the “parent” organization whose current headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland, also referred to as IBO.

IB Continuum

The development of clear consistency in the broad base of the three IB Programmes (PYP - Primary Years Programme, MYP - Middle Years Programme, DP -Diploma Programme, CP-Career Program), working towards a coherent and connected program of international education.

IB Americas (IBA)

International Baccalaureate Americas. There are other regions in the world as well. IBA includes the North and South American continents and the Caribbean. Offices are currently in Bethseda and Buenos Aires.

Inquiry Questions
Inquiry questions are drawn from and inspired by the statement of inquiry. Teachers and students develop these questions to explore the statement of inquiry in greater detail. Students can develop their own questions in ways that satisfy curiosity and deepen understanding. The strands of subject-specific objectives can also be helpful in formulating inquiry questions.  Inquiry questions give shape and scope to a unit of study, and they help to scaffold the objectives that students should strive to achieve. As the unit progresses, both teachers and students can develop additional questions to explore.

Key Concepts 
Key concepts are powerful, abstract ideas that have many dimensions and definitions. They have important interconnections and overlapping concerns. Key concepts engage students in higher-order thinking, helping them to connect facts and topics with more complex conceptual understanding. Key concepts create “intellectual synergy” (Erikson 2007) and provide points of contact for transferring knowledge and understanding across disciplines and subject groups.

The MYP identifies 16 key concepts to be explored across the curriculum. These key concepts, shown in Table 1 represent understandings that reach beyond the eight MYP subject groups from which they are drawn.










Global interactions





Time, place and space


Learner Profile
These are traits students in the IB Programmes (PYP, MYP and DP) strive to embody: inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, balanced, principled, caring, risk-takers, open-minded, communicators and reflective.

Middle Years Programme (MYP)

IB's discrete 5-year program designed for grades 6-10.


The procedure by which all students' work is first marked/assessed internally by the teachers, then reviewed externally by IB to ensure quality. The process ensures that assessment has been carried out according to criteria and standards set at an international level such that all MYP schools worldwide operate at the same level of rigor. Per-student fees are associated with this process.


Required for programme evaluation.  Monitoring requires schools to send samples of student-assessed work to IB moderators to receive feedback. This ensures quality and alignment with IB standards worldwide. The RMS/CHS MYP is doing monitoring, not moderation. Most programs in the U.S. and many programs in the world choose this option.  Per-subject fees are associated with this process.

MYP Certificate

This document states that the MYP student has successfully fulfilled the requirements of the programme, including the Personal Project in Year 5 (grade 10). Schools that choose IB validated grades for students through programme moderation receive an official IBMYP certificate. Schools that choose monitoring generate school-based certificates.

MYP: From Principle into Practice

The ultimate teacher and administrator resource for the programme.  It encompasses all that is required to successfully implement an MYP.

MYP Unit Planner

The curriculum writing format for the classroom teacher. It includes all essential elements of the MYP and best-practice curriculum planning. 


The subject-specific learning targets set for the subject. They define what the learner will be able to do as a result of studying the subject. They describe skills, knowledge, attitudes and understanding that will be assessed in the course.

Personal Project

The cumulating and required project representing a student's experience and participation in MYP over the five years. The student will reflect on his/her experience with the Areas of Interaction and create an independent, year-long project that is an exploration of a personal passion. Students in Year 5 (grade 10) select a supervisor with whom to work over the year.

Programme Evaluation

This process occurs every five years after the school has been authorized. It is a mandatory process whereby IB ensures the continuing quality of the programme. Fees and a visit by IB-trained evaluators are components of the process.

Related Concepts
Related concepts promote depth of learning and add coherence to the understanding of academic subjects and disciplines. They are useful for exploring key concepts in greater detail. Inquiry into related concepts helps students to develop a more complex and sophisticated understanding. Related concepts may arise from the subject matter of a unit or the craft of a subject—its features and processes. For each unit, teachers identify one or more related concepts that extend learning, lead to deeper understanding, or offer another perspective from which to understand the identified key concept.

Subject Groups
The MYP curriculum includes eight subject groups: Mathematics, Sciences, Arts (visual and performing), Physical and Health Education, Individuals and Societies, Language and Literature, Language Acquisition (French or Spanish) and technolofy. A minimum of 50 hours of instruction in the subject are required for students in each of the subject groups each year of the programme.