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What are the PYP Key Concepts


What are the PYP Key Concepts?

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) is driven by eight key concepts which give the inquiries direction and meaning.

"The concepts that drive the PYP are timeless (factual examples change, but not the core understanding), universal (so students can apply understandings across cultures, situations and disciplines) and abstract (so students engage in higher order thinking to grapple with central ideas).”
-Shannon O’Dwyer


The eight key concepts for the PYP program are:


Key Concept Question Definition
Form What is it like? The understanding that everything has a form with recognizable features that can be observed, identified, described and categorized.
Function How does it work? The understanding that everything has a purpose, a role or way of behaving that can be investigated.
Causation Why is it like this? The understanding that things do not just happen, that there are causal relationships at work, and that actions have consequences.
Change How is it changing? The understanding that change is the process of movement from one state to another. It is universal and inevitable.
Connection How is it connected to other things? The understanding that we live in a world of interacting systems in which the actions of any individual element affect others.
Perspective What are the points of view? The understanding that knowledge is moderated by perspectives; different perspectives lead to different interpretations, understandings and findings; perspectives may be individual, group, cultural or disciplinary.
Responsibility What is our responsibility? The understanding that people make choices based on their understandings, and the actions they take as a result do make a difference.



Kris Stewart, IB Coordinator