The MYP Personal Project is an essential part of the Middle Years Programme (MYP) and provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge, research, and problem-solving skills that they have acquired during their studies. It encourages students to take ownership of their learning, allowing them to pursue an individual investigation on a topic that interests them. During the project, students should use the MYP’s key skills to develop a product or outcome that showcases their understanding of the topic.
This could be a physical object such as a model, a digital resource such as a video, or a written work such as an essay or report. The goal of the MYP Personal Project is to provide a meaningful and challenging learning experience for students, helping them to develop essential critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills in an enjoyable and engaging way.
At the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS), we inspire our students to face challenges and cultivate a passion for learning.
The question arises then, how does the MYP Personal Project develop attributes of passion and challenge? In his book ‘Creative Schools’, Robinson discusses preparing students for the future. Here, he suggests that we should prepare students to enjoy challenges and cope with challenging circumstances and events. Challenge is a key ingredient for nurturing a love for learning. Thus, the challenge is essential, and what is more significant, is the personal nature of this challenge. We expect our students to develop their efficacy and independence, by developing their personal projects independently.
In the WISS Projects Guide, students must pick Personal Project goals that allow them to pursue exciting topics and build on their prior knowledge. According to Serin in his article ‘The role of passion in learning and teaching’, passion is about learning something new and has the ability to motivate students into action. Therefore, when a student feels passionate about their learning, they are more motivated to get active in that learning.
Contribution by Martin Mathieson, IB Middle Years Programme Coordinator at the Western International School of Shanghai.
This year’s Personal Project Exhibition was a display of 25 student-driven, reflective projects featuring a wide range of fields, including 3D Design, Aeronautics, Animation, Music, Sports, and Sustainable Lifestyles, among others.