PYP studies

The impact of the PYP exhibition on the development of international-mindedness, critical thinking and attributes of the IB learner profile (2017)

Jane Medwell, Lucy Cooker, Lucy Bailey and Emily Winchip
School of Education, The University of Nottingham

This study investigated the impact of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) exhibition on the development of students’ international-mindedness, critical thinking and attributes of the IB learner profile. The exhibition takes place in the final year of the PYP and is the culmination of a substantial piece of research involving group collaboration, inquiry, social action and a presentation to an audience. The study involved interviews; student, parent and teacher surveys; observation and document analysis in seven case study schools across five countries (Russia, China, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Kenya). Researchers found the PYP exhibition to be a valuable and pivotal experience in the life of the schools, families and students who were involved. Participants believed the exhibition helped to develop students’ critical thinking, international-mindedness and learner profile attributes. The reflections of teachers, mentors and students were at the heart of continual improvement of the PYP exhibition experience. However, it was clear that experienced schools were better able to manage the process to give students an optimum experience.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf

School leadership in the Primary Years Programme (2016)

Christopher Day, Andrew Townsend, Rupert Knight and Katherine Richardson
School of Education, The University of Nottingham

This study explored the links between school leadership and the implementation of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP). The research was conducted in six schools, with different histories of PYP use, located in six different European countries: Austria, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden. The researchers employed a mixed method, multi-perspective case-study design, using staff surveys and in-depth interviews. Findings suggested that the leaders in the six schools demonstrated a firm and passionate commitment to IB values. Moreover, schools in which principals have themselves had experience of teaching the PYP are more likely to model PYP values and practices. Results also indicated that the PYP coordinator was generally seen as being more directly involved in the work of teachers and PYP implementation while the school principal was perceived as being responsible for the overarching strategic elements of leadership. Lastly, the success of the PYP is likely to be enhanced when the PYP coordinator is part of a core senior leadership team and is provided with appropriate “time to lead” the induction and continuing professional development of PYP teachers.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf

International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in Aotearoa New Zealand: A case study in whole-school innovation (2016)

Saville Kushner, Acacia Cochise, Matthew Courtney, Claire Sinnema and Gavin Brown

Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

This study examines the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Aotearoa New Zealand. At the time of the study, there were 14 public and private PYP schools in New Zealand. All but one of these schools included student populations of high relative economic status. Researchers undertook classroom observations, interviews with students and educators, document analysis, an analysis of achievement data and workshops with principals and coordinators to verify the data. The results from the standardized test analysis indicate that achievement in the PYP schools generally exceeds achievement among other high decile schools nationally. Additionally, while the New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) and PYP are largely compatible, there were a few points of difference, notably an emphasis on international-mindedness, inquiry and action in the PYP. Researchers highlighted a number of key findings based on school observations, specifically the emphasis on inquiry-based learning, a constructivist approach to knowledge and global/local interactions. Students also displayed a great deal of agency in their own learning and teachers tended to act as facilitators of the learning process. Lastly, the authors conclude that while most of the PYP schools serve populations of relatively high decile students, an inquiry-based curriculum would also likely benefit low decile schools and students.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in Victorian Government primary schools, Australia (2014)

Annette Gough, Brian Sharpley, Sandra Vander Pal and Michele Griffiths, RMIT University

The aim of this research study was to examine the impact of the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) on student outcomes, pedagogical practice and school culture in the 13 Victorian Government primary schools that have been authorized to offer the PYP. National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) data from all 13 Victorian Government PYP schools was analysed in this study. To complement the publically available NAPLAN data, the research team also developed a principal, teacher and student survey. Lastly, to offer a richer picture of the implementation and impact of the PYP in the Government schools, three case studies were conducted. PYP student outcomes on the Year 3 and 5 2012 NAPLAN reading and numeracy tests in the 13 schools were higher than the Australian average, except for in one school in numeracy. Both principals and teachers in participating schools believed that the PYP has contributed to student learning, particularly academic achievement, student development of learner profile attributes and student motivation. Students were also positive about their learning opportunities, teacher impact and school environment.

Research summarypdf
Full reportpdf
 

Early years education in the Primary Years Programme: Implementation strategies and programme outcomes (2014)

Anne-Marie Morrissey, Elizabeth Rouse, Brian Doig, Edlyn Chao and Julianne Moss, School of Education, Deakin University

This mixed-methods study investigated implementation strategies and child learning outcomes in early years education in the Primary Years Programme. Researchers from Deakin University evaluated processes and outcomes in four early years programmes, two in Singapore and two in Melbourne, Australia. Researchers collected qualitative data through classroom observations, drawings and writing produced by children, and interviews with educators, coordinators and parents. Quantitative data was collected through assessments of children’s literacy, developmental school readiness and learning skills. Three of the early years programmes appeared to support the development of learner profile attributes through inquiry-led learning and play-based approaches, while one site in Singapore was still in a developmental stage of implementing the programme. The study suggested that literacy skills at all sites were fairly developed; that children were performing at levels commensurate with or better in terms of school readiness; and that children were developing learning skills at higher rates than a comparative sample.

Research summarypdf
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Comparative analysis of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the context of the Indian education system (2016)

The National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC)

The International Baccalaureate (IB) commissioned the National Recognition Information Centre for the United Kingdom (UK NARIC) to undertake a comparative analysis of two of its programmes—the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP)—within the context of the Indian education system. The purpose of this study was to compare the underpinning philosophies, aims and principles of the IB and Indian education systems. The researchers conducted a desk-based document analysis, using Indian and IB-published curriculum guides, syllabuses and assessment framework documents. Overall, the findings from the three analyses undertaken by the researchers demonstrate clear similarities between the PYP and MYP and the Indian education system. Moreover, there are many shared principles and aims, as well as framework compatibility, that should enable IB World Schools in India to deliver the PYP and MYP in a way that is well-matched with the aims, values and curriculum requirements of the Indian National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and central education boards.

Research Summarypdf
Full Reportpdf
 

A mixed-methods case study of International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programmes in four Colombian schools (2015)

Jessica Nina Lester and Chad R Lochmiller, Indiana University

This mixed-methods case study aimed to explore the perceptions of teachers, students and administrators as well as ways of working and learning within four PYP schools in Colombia. The research team conducted individual interviews and focus groups with administrators, teachers and students; observed classrooms and school facilities; collected documents; and administered a survey to a sample of students aged 10 to 12 years. Administrators noted that it was challenging to find teachers qualified to teach effectively in a bilingual, transdisciplinary and inquiry-based programme. Administrators therefore perceived teacher supervision and ongoing professional development to be essential to successful implementation. Teachers echoed this need for sustained support and resources, particularly with regard to bilingual instruction within the PYP framework. Students spoke about their teachers as the primary driver behind their positive schooling experiences, positioning the teachers’ pedagogical practices and ways of being inside and outside of the classroom as central to what made their schools unique.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf

Science in the Primary Years Programme: Alignment between the International Baccalaureate and the national Australian curriculum (2015)

Nigel Bagnall, Rachel Wilson and Agnes Hu, University of Sydney

This study investigates how schools in a number of different Australian states have incorporated the requirements of the national curriculum into the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) framework, focusing specifically on science teaching and learning. Researchers used a comparative curriculum analysis, which included both document analyses and interviews, to clarify, analyse and report on the relationship between PYP science and the Australian curriculum science learning area. The study indicated that there are no major obstacles for individual Australian primary schools to incorporate the science teaching and learning requirements of the PYP into the science requirements of the Australian curriculum from foundation to year 6. Although there are substantial differences in terms of content, mostly in relation to the large amount of content covered in the Australian curriculum, PYP science and the Australian curriculum science learning area are fairly well aligned in terms of the skills they develop in students.

Full report pdf

Characteristics and context of Primary Years Programme (PYP) students’ self-efficacy and self-regulatory development (2015)

Anastasia Kitsantas and Angela D Miller, George Mason University

The purpose of this study was to investigate the self-efficacy and self-regulatory skills of students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), particularly in relation to the study of mathematics. The study also explored the extent to which teacher practices encouraged self-regulation and impacted student efficacy beliefs. The multi-phase study used interviews, classroom observation and surveys to explore issues of self-efficacy and self-regulation in PYP classrooms in the United States. Goal setting, monitoring, collaboration and reflection appeared to be beneficial self-regulatory practices that supported student learning. Additionally, findings showed that high achievers engaged in more strategic thinking before, during and after mathematical problem-solving tasks than average and low achievers. The authors conclude with a number of recommendations for teachers and schools to enhance student self-efficacy and self-regulation in the context of mathematics learning and instruction.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf

The impact of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme on student performance: Evidence from Michigan and North Carolina (2015)

Steven W Hemelt

University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill

The goal of this study was to evaluate the effects of the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) on student performance in two states in the United States: Michigan and North Carolina. The researcher used longitudinal administrative data, covering 2005–2006 to 2011–2012, to examine the effects of exposure to the PYP on students’ academic performance in grades 3 and 5 in comparison to their non-PYP counterparts. In Michigan, there is evidence that the PYP moderately boosted third-grade math achievement. The study found no impact on reading scores in third grade. PYP and non-PYP students also performed similarly on math, reading and science achievement in fifth grade in Michigan. The evidence suggested that, in Michigan, the PYP may benefit female, and free and reduced-price lunch (FRL) students more than male and non-FRL students. In North Carolina, the PYP appeared to negatively affect math performance for students in both third and fifth grade. These impacts seem to be driven primarily by negative effects of the PYP on boys’ math achievement. There were no detectable impacts on reading for either third or fifth grade. Lastly, in both Michigan and North Carolina, exposure to the PYP increased the reading performance of economically disadvantaged third-grade students.

Research summary pdf
Full report pdf

Science literacy in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP): NAP-SL outcomes (2014)

Associate Professor Coral Campbell, Dr. Gail Chittleborough, Dr. Wendy Jobling, Professor Russell Tytler & Dr. Brian Doig, School of Education, Deakin University

This research project, by Deakin University, evaluated the science literacy of a sample of students undertaking the Primary Years Programme (PYP) in schools across Australia. This was accomplished by administering the 2012 National Sample Assessment in Science Literacy (NAP-SL) to Year 6 children in 10 schools, representing a mix of: state, urban, regional, government, and non-government schools. IB student tests were analyzed and compared with the NAP-SL 2012 results and Australian Proficiency Standards. The proficiency level of students in the PYP was generally higher than the national levels; 83.3% of IB students tested at or above the suggested Year 6 proficiency level, compared with 51.4% of national students who took the test in 2012. Gender results for PYP students were higher than both male and female national scientific proficiency levels and NAP-SL scores. The study also found that government PYP schools outperformed non-government PYP schools and that urban schools performed better than rural/regional schools. Lastly, PYP schools in all states had higher overall scores than state NAP-SL results. 

Research summarypdf
Full reportpdf
 

A critical analysis of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in India (2013)

Karanam Pushpanadham, Department of Educational Administration, the Maharaja Sayajirao University Of Baroda

This project aims to examine the impact of PYP adoption and implementation on learning, teaching and schooling in India. The mixed methods case study research utilizes surveys, interviews and observations to explore the salient factors that influence schools in India to embark on the PYP and the success factors and challenges encountered by schools. The study also examines how and to what extent the uptake of PYP contributes to school culture, pedagogical practice and learning outcomes. To achieve these objectives, 11 separate instruments were administered to a sample of 12 PYP schools. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. A total of 16 school leaders (both heads of schools and programme coordinators), 79 teachers, 368 students and 96 parents participated. Findings indicate that trust and respect exists between teachers and school leaders; teaching in PYP schools is generally rated as “good” or “effective”; teachers were generally satisfied with their positions and had high levels of disciplinary self-efficacy, while relatively less so in their ability to enlist community involvement; students indicated high levels of emotional intelligence; and parents felt involved and satisfied with the programme. Reported challenges for the PYP in India included teacher time-management issues due to heavy workload, a lack of teachers trained in international curriculum, and a need for increased recognition of the programme in the country.

Research Summarypdf
Full Reportpdf
 

PYP and MYP Student Performance on the International Schools’ Assessment: Phase II 2010-2011 (2012)

Ling Tan & Yan Bibby, Australian Council for Educational Research

In 2009 the IB commissioned ACER (Australian Council for Educational Research) to report on how PYP and MYP students performed on the ISA (International Schools’ Assessment). The ISA assesses performance in Grades 3 to 10 on math, reading, and expository and narrative writing. The reading and mathematical literacy portions are based on the internationally endorsed frameworks of the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). As a follow up to this study, IB again commissioned ACER to further document student performance on the ISA from 2009-11, as well as investigate perceptions, attitudes and wellbeing of IB students through student questionnaires. The study sample included 270 schools (117 with the PYP and 86 with the MYP), and a total of 50,714 international students, of which 68% were IB students. An analysis of student performance showed evidence that, on a global level, the PYP and the MYP students performed better than students from non-IB schools in all 4 assessment areas at many grade levels. The grade 9 and grade 10 ISA scores of IB students also averaged significantly higher than the PISA 2009 OECD means in mathematics and reading. A multilevel analysis found that between-school variations across IB schools were smaller than the between-school variations across non-IB schools in all four ISA domains, implying that IB schools were more similar to each other than the non-IB schools with respect to the four domains of ISA performance. Across all dimensions of the primary-year and secondary-year student questionnaires, high proportions of agreement were observed among IB PYP and MYP students. 

Research Summarypdf
Full Reportpdf
 

Evaluation of International Baccalaureate Programs in Texas Schools (2010)

This study examines the impact of the PYP and MYP in Texas classrooms. No significant differences were found between IB schools and their comparison schools in math and reading achievement as measured by the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. However, structured classroom observations indicated that favorable instructional practices and student behaviors and activities occurred more frequently in IB classrooms than in non-IB Texas classrooms. Researchers concluded that while this is suggestive that the overall quality of instruction is higher at IB schools, implementation varied from school to school, and some of the favorable instructional practices are used more often in some IB schools than in others. Positive outcomes of the IB as identified by teachers and administrators in case studies included increased teacher collaboration, authentic assessment, increased student motivation for learning, development of critical thinking skills, and increased student global and cultural awareness. Challenges identified by teachers and administrators included staff recruitment and retention, balancing the IB with state and district requirements, the additional time needed for collaborative lesson planning and paperwork, the difficulty and workload for students, student mobility, and lack of support from districts parents or teachers.

Research Summarypdf
 

PYP and MYP Student Performance on the International Schools’ Assessment (2010)

Ling Tan & Yan Bibby, Australian Council for Educational Research

This study, undertaken by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), investigated how International Baccalaureate (IB) students enrolled in the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and Middle Years Programme (MYP) performed on the International Schools’ Assessment (ISA), relative to non-IB students. The ISA assesses student performance in Grades 3 to 10 across four domains: Math Literacy, Reading, Narrative Writing, and Expository Writing. The math and reading components of the assessment are based on the reading and mathematical literacy frameworks of the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). The study sample included IB students (N=23,575) and non-IB students (N=14,317) across Asia and Oceania, Europe, Africa and the Americas, who participated in the ISA in 2007/2008 and 2008/2009. On the whole, despite some regional differences, the results indicate that IB PYP and MYP students outperformed their non-IB peers on the ISA across all four domains in a majority of grade levels, with the strongest effects noted in Year 10 Math and Expository Writing. IB students’ ISA scores in Grades 9 and 10 also compare very favourably to PISA benchmarks in Math and Reading. On the other hand, there was insufficient evidence to suggest that IB schools authorized for a longer period produce better student outcomes, and no clear patterns were noted in student performance across IB full continuum schools and single or dual programme schools.

Research Summarypdf
 

The Primary Years Programme Field Study (2009)

Jori Hall, Tracy Elder, et. al., Education Policy and Evaluation Center, University of Georgia

This investigation of the authorization and implementation process of the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) in Georgia schools, which combines an online survey with in-depth case studies, was conducted to provide insights that might improve the IB’s work and guide the efforts of schools seeking to offer the PYP. With regard to how schools move from interested to candidate to authorized PYP status, it was found that district-level support was important and that schools strengthened teacher and parent buy-in by networking with other IB schools, sending teachers to IB workshops, and meeting with various stakeholder groups. With regard to PYP implementation, this study identifies six successful strategies: whole-school immersion, collaborative planning, continuous training, availability of resources, strategies to promote community involvement, and support from the school leadership. Challenges for implementation were limited resources, integration of state standards with the PYP curriculum, the transdisciplinary nature of the programme, and district and state expectations. Recommendations from schools for improving IB support, particularly during the authorization process, include systematic networking with authorized schools, additional consultative support, more training for special area teachers, and better communication regarding feedback on applications and notification of the outcome of authorization visits.

Concise research summary
Overview report