by Leena Palekar
September 2014 saw the introduction of the concept-based approach for IB Business Management. As a teacher having taught three Business Management syllabuses in the past 15 years, ‘concept-based teaching and learning’ was new exasperated by not having taught PYP or MYP before.
Concept-based teaching and learning is an integral part of the PYP and MYP programs. The concept-based approach introduced for Business Management not only ensures that students are able to develop a greater depth of understanding for Business Management in a global context, but also there is a continuity and progression of ATLs (Approaches to Teaching and Learning) in the continuum of IB programs.
Having undertaken Vertical Articulation at my f2f school (which is an all IB school offering PYP, MYP and Diploma) for nearly 2 years now, I can see the benefits of ATLs for my son who is still in PYP when he transitions through the MYP and Diploma IB programs.
For example, students coming from the MYP Individuals and Societies subject group are familiar with both contextualized teaching and conceptual approach to learning. Contextualized teaching is characterized through inquiry into historical, contemporary, political, social, economic, cultural, technological and environmental contexts. Conceptual approach to learning is demonstrated through the key and related concepts in the Individuals and Societies MYP subject group. These will only be further developed in the new Business Management program.
Six concepts have been identified as underpinning the new Business Management course and will form the basis of a Section C on Paper 2 for both Higher and Standard level students.
Although the six concepts were already implicit in the old syllabuses, the new syllabus focuses on developing a holistic and integrated understanding of Business Management.
Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.
Preparing our students to a rapidly changing world is the most pressing challenge we educators face today. Our students need the 21st century skills – the ability to think critically, solve problems creatively, gain information from multiple sources instead of just the textbook, amongst many.
The following diagram shows how the 6 concepts are anchored in the business management tools, techniques and theories and come alive through case studies and examples.
(Source: IB Business Management guide)
In the words of Lynn Erickson, author and consultant of Concept-based Instruction, “A conceptual mind creates connections and builds patterns to prior experience and finds relevance”.
In doing so, students:
- Can view the content of the Business Management syllabus through the lens of the 6 concepts.
- Develop creative and critical thinking skills, questioning and research skills.
- Know, learn, understand and master business ideas, rather than simply memorizing them.
- Learn to appreciate the importance of business concepts and relate these to increasingly complex and ever-changing real world situations
The foundation laid in PYP and MYP serves very useful therefore in understanding the concept-based approach in the new Business Management course.
Written by Leena Palekar, IB Business Management Teacher