M.E. Foster Elementary School (PK-5) is committed to developing the Primary Years Program (PYP) transdisciplinary approach to learning, which focuses on developing an internationally minded learner. The PYP curriculum framework consists of six transdisciplinary themes that are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Grades PK and K explore four themes to support their understanding of self and their role in the community. Grades 1-5 will explore all six themes to expand their understanding of the world around them.
The six transdisciplinary themes are:
- Who We Are: an inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.
- Where We Are in Place and Time: an inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.
- How We Express Ourselves: an inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of the aesthetic.
- How the World Works: an inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.
- How We Organize Ourselves: an inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.
- Sharing the Planet: an inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution
To support the learning through the six transdisciplinary themes, we use the seven key concepts in the PYP. The key concepts are big ideas that help learners to make connections between various content areas to make generalizations. This allows for the transfer of big ideas to new learning situations. The key concepts are:
In the PYP, we focus on 2-3 key and related (supporting) concepts in each unit of inquiry to add depth and connections between our learning. Some concepts will repeat throughout the year to further support understanding through a new lens.