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Teaching & Learning

While inquiry is at the heart of learning at AIS, developmentally-appropriate learning outcomes at each grade level guide teachers in nurturing students as they develop how and what they know. The written curriculum of AIS is informed by research-based standards and guided by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB) guides for the Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programmes (PYP, MYP, DP). The AIS curriculum standards include grades PK – 12 as well as the IBDP. Each unit is designed with a focus on learning expectations, performance assessments, and concept-based classroom instruction. This format is used for framing all curriculum units. All agreed upon units are documented in the AIS Atlas Rubicon system and are written, revised, edited, or changed by teachers in consultation with Teaching Teams, Heads of Department, the Curriculum Coordinator, IB Coordinators, and divisional Principals.

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While the IB guides inform how to teach and assess, the AIS curriculum standards documents inform what to teach and assess (e.g., skills, content knowledge). Students develop knowledge and skills in a progressive, developmentally appropriate manner. Research-based standards documents, paired with IB programme guides, provide teachers at AIS with a solid road map to guide the learning journey they take with students during a school year in a particular subject area. Standards enable AIS to fulfill the expectations of the IB to “ensure that students experience coherence in their learning regardless of which teacher has responsibility for them at any particular point in time.” (IB Standards and Practices guide). Over time a consistent approach serves to narrow and eliminate gaps and redundancies in student learning. Grade specific learning expectations along with programmatic lines of inquiry inform and guide unit planning.

Planning for instruction is key to guiding student inquiry. Students must have a knowledge base to support inquiry. Students might possess necessary background knowledge to support inquiry, but growing the knowledge base is part of the learning that occurs during the course of a unit. The conceptual inquiry and supporting inquiry questions will determine what students need to know. This will inform which standards to address during a unit and in the resulting assessment(s). The skills outlined in the AIS curriculum standards documents are key to leading students into inquiries that result in deeper understanding of the concepts and contexts of a unit.

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