Because you can’t help but inquire

Recently, Stephen Taylor over at has been on what he calls a “cycle diagram frenzy,” creating graphic representations of inquiry cycles in science and PHE. He also shared a version of the service learning cycle his school is exploring based on the work of Catherine Berger Kaye.

The nature of cycles are that they are iterative approaches to learning. When learners use a cycle to learn, they must necessarily take the approach of an inquirer, launching off knowledge and understanding to apply, analyse, synthesize, evaluate and create using the iterative process within the cycle.

When we think about these cycles and where their conceptualization begins, we might find that within the MYP framework resides a clear set of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, which compel the learner to inquire.

Will the choir please open any subject guide to the section that has Objective/Criterion B and its strands?

Criterion B, any of them, contains inquiry.

  • In Sciences, Criterion B contains the experimental cycle, the process by which scientists know and understand.
  • In Mathematics, it holds investigation at its core practice to find logical relationships between elements.
  • In Language and literature, it is about ways to organize thinking.
  • In Individuals and societies, Criterion B is about the process of research.
  • In Language acquisition, it is about processes or actions (reading, interpreting, finding evidence and examples from text), by which the learner uses language to access knowledge and understanding.
  • In Arts, it is about actively pursuing ideas through skills and techniques, and applying these through a process.
  • In PHE, it is the process of designing a performance.
  • In Design, it is the process of clarifying and justifying the expectations of a design, much like a designer would as he or she investigates its feasibility.
  • In the Projects, Criterion B includes planning for a process of implementation, planning for a way to monitor action, and using skills.
  •  In Interdisciplinary learning, it is about the process of synthesis and application.

Criterion B holds inquiry in itself through descriptions of how students must think, plan, design, use process.

The similarity of the thinking that students must necessarily rehearse in tasks described by Criterion B in any subject in the MYP helps us to integrate a cyclical, iterative inquiry approach in every subject.

If you teach MYP learners, you can’t help but approach learning through inquiry.

Author: alavina

Cognitive Coach and author. I simplify personal power so you can use mental resources and find pathways to your goals, be more productive and feel in control every day.

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