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.