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International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme

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13800 Pierrefonds Boulevard, Pierrefonds H9A 1A7

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Assessment - Individuals and Societies

Table 1

Here are the key concepts to be explored across the MYP. The key concepts contributed by the study of individuals and societies are change, global interactions, systems and time, place and space.

Aesthetics Change Communication Communities
Connections Creativity Culture Development
Form Global Interactions Identity Logic
Perspective Relationships Systems Time, place and space

These key concepts provide a framework for individuals and societies, informing units of work and helping to organize teaching and learning.


Change is a conversion, transformation, or movement from one form, state or value to another. Inquiry into the concept of change involves understanding and evaluating causes, processes and consequences. For individuals and societies, the concept of change allows examination of the forces that shape the world: past, present and future. The causes and effects of change can be natural and artificial; intentional and unintentional; positive, negative or neutral.

Global Interactions

Global interactions, as a concept, focuses on the connections between individuals and communities, as well as their relationships with built and natural environments, from the perspective of the world as a whole. For individuals and societies, global interactions focuses on the interdependence of the larger human community, including the many ways that people come into conflict with and cooperate with each other, and live together in a highly interconnected world to share finite resources.


Systems are sets of interacting or interdependent components. Systems provide structure and order in human, natural and built environments. Systems can be static or dynamic, simple or complex. For individuals and societies, systems thinking provides a powerful tool for understanding both natural and human environments, and the role of individuals within them.

Time, place and space

The intrinsically linked concept of time, place and space refers to the absolute or relative position of people, objects and ideas. Time, place and space focuses on how we construct and use our understanding of location (“where” and “when”). For individuals and societies, time is not simply the measurement of years or time periods but is a continuum of significant events of the past, present and future. Place and space are complex concepts, the definitions of which are fluid. These concepts also include the social, economic, and political processes that interact through or across space, resulting in patterns and networks arising, such as migration or trade flows.

Assessment Information

Assessment for individuals and societies courses in all years of the programme is criterion-related, based on four equally weighted assessment criteria:

Criterion A Knowing and understanding Maximum 8
Criterion B Investigating Maximum 8
Criterion C Communicating Maximum 8
Criterion D Thinking critically Maximum 8

Copyright IBO 2014
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