The Areas of Interaction (AoI) are the core elements that surround the student in the MYP model. They provide the framework for learning within each subject group and across the curriculum. These are also the elements that allow students to make connections between subjects and the real world. It is important for students to become knowledgeable, comfortable, and familiar with all five AoI.
Nature of the Areas of Interaction
Approaches to Learning
How do I learn best?
How do I know?
How do I communicate my understanding?
Approaches to learning (ATL) is central to the programme, as it is concerned with developing the intellectual discipline, attitudes, strategies and skills which will result in critical, coherent and independent thought and the capacity for problem solving and decision making. It goes far beyond study skills, having to do with “learning how to learn” and with developing an awareness of thought processes and their strategic use. This area of interaction recognizes that true learning is more than the acquisition of knowledge: it involves its thoughtful application, as well as critical thinking and problem solving, both individually and collaboratively.
Community and Service
How do we live in relation to each other?
How can I contribute to the community?
How can I help others?
Community and service starts in the classroom and extends beyond it, requiring students to participate in the communities in which they live. The emphasis is on developing community awareness and concern, a sense of responsibility, and the skills and attitudes needed to make an effective contribution to society. Students are expected to become actively involved in service activities.
Why and how do we create?
What are the consequences?
Human Ingenuity allows students to focus on the evolution, processes and products of human creativity. It considers their impact on society and on the mind. Students learn to appreciate and to put into practice the human capacity to influence, transform, enjoy and improve the quality of life. This area of interaction encourages students to explore the relationships between science, aesthetics, technology and ethics. It is at the core of student-centered learning, where the students themselves are placed in the position of human ingenuity: solving problems and showing creativity and resourcefulness in a variety of contexts throughout the curriculum and school life.
MYP Areas of Interaction, August 2002
Where do we live?
What resources do we have or need?
What are my responsibilities?
Environment aims to make students aware of their interdependence with the environment so that they accept their responsibility for maintaining an environment fit for the future. Students are confronted with global environmental issues which require balanced understanding in the context of sustainable development. Students also face environmental situations at home and at school which require decision making. This area of interaction places the students in a position where they take positive, responsible action for the future.
Health and social education
How do I think and act?
How am I changing?
How can I look after myself and others?
Health and social education prepares students for a physically and mentally healthy life, aware of potential hazards and able to make informed choices. It develops in students a sense of responsibility for their own well-being and for the physical and social environment. This area encourages students to explore their own selves as they develop healthy relationships with others.
While the main defining features of each area of interaction can be outlined, they should in no way be viewed as narrow categories. These broad-based areas of interaction overlap each other.
MYP Areas of Interaction, August 2002