Science within a transdisciplinary programme

In OurPlanet’s Primary Years Programme (PYP), science is viewed as the exploration of the biological, chemical and physical aspects of the natural world, and the relationships between them. Our understanding of science is constantly changing and evolving. The inclusion of science within the PYP leads learners to an appreciation and awareness of the world as it is viewed from a scientific perspective. It encourages curiosity and ingenuity and enables the student to develop an understanding of the world. Reflection on scientific knowledge also helps students to develop a sense of responsibility regarding the impact of their actions on themselves, others and their world.

It is recognized that teaching and learning science as a subject, while necessary, is not sufficient. Of equal importance is the need to learn science in context, exploring content relevant to students, and transcending the boundaries of the traditional subject area. The transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for a highly defined, focused, in-depth programme of inquiry, and as science is relevant to all the transdisciplinary themes, all planned science learning should take place within this framework. In return, the science knowledge and the application of that knowledge will enhance inquiries into the central ideas defined by the transdisciplinary themes.

The science component of the PYP is characterized by concepts and skills rather than by content. Therefore, OurPlanet ensures that a breadth and balance of science content is covered through the units of inquiry. The knowledge component of science in the PYP is arranged into four strands: 

  • Living things
  • Earth and Space
  • Materials and Matter
  • Forces and Energy. 

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