For every learner in P1-5, Passion Project is a weekly time set aside to inquire into individual passions, interests and wonderings. As a demonstration of agency, learners take a question or interest and develop it into a more formal inquiry. This allows them to show key elements of the PYP – skills, conceptual understandings, the Learner Profile, knowledge – through an interest of their choice. The Passion Project structure becomes increasingly formalized as learners move towards P5 but at the heart of this time is fun! This is a time to immerse themselves in learning and the time seems to always go too quick!
As MIS’ vision states, we are an “empowered” “community of learners”; allowing learners to choose an inquiry helps them drive their own learning as they gain understandings, knowledge and skills through the PYP framework. The Passion Project time also allows learners to demonstrate responsibility for their learning, a clear link to one pillar of our Mission – “encourage responsibility.” Through MIS’ definition of learning, we know that learning happens best when it is learner centric, contextual and emotive. Our Passion Project directly links to all three of these aspects as learners have agency in the learning process, the inquiry is relevant to the learners as they have ownership of the inquiry and they have positive feelings towards the inquiry as it is an interest of their choice.
In addition, Passion Project gives them a chance to further practice some of the skills that will be required in the P5 Exhibition. The culminating PYP experience – the Exhibition – learners design their own unit of inquiry into a passion while documenting the process and sharing their learning at the end. In addition to our Units of Inquiry, Passion Projects further cultivate these foundational skills at age-appropriate levels to help support the development of all the skills required for the Exhibition.
Let’s take a peak at just a few of the Passion Project passions and inquiries as we celebrate the diversity of our interests and learning in the PYP.
By Carla Swinehart, PYP Coordinator