The scheduled IDU days @TIS were observed from Wednesday to Friday last week. IDU stands for Interdisciplinary Unit. The IDU days occur when the Secondary school timetable is collapsed for 3 days to allow all MYP students to take part in an Interdisciplinary Unit of work. Interdisciplinary learning supports students to understand knowledge taken from two or more disciplines or subject groups. The criteria for success in this unit have been created to allow students to integrate the subjects for the unit and to create new understanding, or a new product (as Grade 8 discovered). The IDU also challenges teachers to plan collaboratively and seek relevant, authentic interpretations of their subject content which students will use to create the new understanding mentioned earlier. This January the IDUs were developed as follows:
Grade 7: PHE and Design
Grade 8: Integrated Science and Language Acquisition (French and Spanish) Grade 9: Mathematics and the Arts (Drama, Music and Visual Art)
Grade 10: Language and Literature (English) and Individuals and Societies (Geography, History and Economics)
Interdisciplinary units of work are an important part of what the MYP stands for and there is a compulsory Interdisciplinary Learning e-assessment for students wishing to achieve the IB MYP certificate at the end of MYP5. For this reason and for improving students’ understanding for where their chosen subjects are placed in a bigger learning picture, TIS has been running IDU days for several years. This year has been no exception. Despite social distancing and having some of our students at home and online, the IDU days have taken off as usual.
All students at home and at school had to join in. In one session this week, it was great to hear our offsite students over the class speakers discussing disciplinary understanding. Above on the right, offsite students Malik Nyanin in the UK and Ohemaa Asibuo in Accra are seen on Mr Louis’ laptop joining in a Grade 10 IDU activity on the first day. On the left, in another session, Grade 9 students at TIS could hear their mates Jeremy Sunkwa-Mills in Qatar, Dzidzor Mac-Deh and Jessie Ofori-Appiah in Accra putting forward their views on their set IDU activity.
In Grade 8, the synthesis of learning about nutrition in integrated science and learning about culture in Language Acquisition created new understanding which was nutritious and culturally diverse.
The IDU, as with all units of work in the MYP, has 4 criteria: A) Disciplinary grounding, B) Synthesis (integrating disciplinary knowledge), C) Communication (of interdisciplinary learning) and D) Reflection (the benefits and limitations of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge).
Our students know that if they bring together concepts and forms of communication from two or more disciplines to solve a problem, create a product, or raise a new question in ways that they would not have done using a single disciplinary means, then they will have demonstrated interdisciplinary understanding.
At the end of the IDU days, there will be summative assessments to evaluate students’ understanding of the activities of their IDU for all MYP grades.
Grade 10 have one other opportunity to take part in an interdisciplinary learning assessment. This will be in February for their mock examinations.
This is an example of the creativity which is possible with MYP even under COVID-19 constraints. We all look forward to further creativity in our next round of IDU days.
Well done to all students at school and at home who took part in the IDU days to make it a great experience!!