- Upper School
Inside the IB: Personal Project
An inside look at the International Baccalaureate curriculum in an International School of Indiana classroom
In the ever-evolving education landscape, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program stands out for its commitment to fostering holistic development among students. One of the distinctive components of the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) is the Personal Project – an initiative that empowers students to explore their passions, develop critical skills, and make a positive impact on the world around them.
Students at the International School of Indiana (ISI) participate in a universal International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, meaning every student, from our youngest learners to our seniors, engages in the holistic course of study that most U.S. schools reserve for only their top five percent or fewer of students.
What is the MYP Personal Project?
The MYP Personal Project is an independent and significant piece of work completed by students in grade 10. It allows students to showcase their skills, talents, and personal growth while engaging with real-world issues they care about. The project spans several months, during which students work independently to plan, execute, and reflect on their chosen endeavors.
The Personal Project is an essential piece of student-led learning. Participants are encouraged to choose a project that aligns with their interests, values, and aspirations. This could range from creating a piece of art, designing a website, conducting scientific experiments, writing a novella, or even launching a community service initiative. The key is for the project to reflect the student's identity and an avenue for self-discovery.
The journey begins with a thorough planning phase where students outline their objectives, set goals, and establish criteria for success. Teachers and supervisors play a crucial role during this stage, guiding students in refining their ideas and ensuring they meet the project's academic and ethical standards.
Once the planning is complete, students begin the execution phase, putting their plans into action. This stage demands self-discipline, time management, and resilience as students navigate challenges and setbacks. Alongside the practical work, students are required to maintain a detailed process journal, documenting their thoughts, decisions, and reflections throughout the project.
The culmination of the Personal Project is the final exhibition—an opportunity for students to showcase their achievements, share their experiences, and reflect on the impact of their projects. This event is not just an assessment but a celebration of the diverse talents and accomplishments of the students. Students also create a report of up to 15 pages to send to the IB for assessment moderation.
All ISI grade 10 students complete their own Personal Projects. Below are some excellent examples of previous Personal Projects by ISI students:
Key Learning Outcomes
The IB Personal Project is more than just a graduation requirement; it is a transformative experience that equips students with invaluable skills for the future. Here are some key learning outcomes:
- Self-Management: Students learn to set goals, plan effectively, and manage their time to meet deadlines, as well as document their progress throughout the project. These skills help students succeed through their final two years at ISI and as they move on to universities.
- Research Skills: Students develop strong research skills by investigating and executing their projects, learning to gather and analyze information and sources independently.
- Communication Skills: The final exhibition challenges students' ability to articulate their ideas, experiences, and the impact of their projects to diverse audiences. Students also have to work with a staff supervisor throughout the project. The supervisor helps give advice and gets students used to the concept of office hours, which will help them in a college setting.
- Critical Thinking: Problem-solving and critical thinking skills are enhanced as students navigate the challenges inherent in their chosen projects.
- Global Awareness: Many projects involve a global perspective, fostering an understanding of the interconnectedness of our world and the responsibility to make a positive impact.
The IB Personal Project is a testament to the IB philosophy of nurturing well-rounded individuals who are not only academically capable but also socially conscious and personally fulfilled. The IB Personal Project is a stepping stone for these students as they embark on their journey towards becoming the leaders, innovators, and changemakers of tomorrow.