Thursday, February 22, 2018

The PYP Attitudes are going away!

Before the roll out of the official Enhanced PYP documents last fall, rumors started to swirl within the IB World Community about what changes to the program would be coming from the IB. One such rumor was that the IB was doing away with the PYP attitudes.

Last fall when The learner in the enhanced PYP was released, one line mentioned what was happening to the attitudes: "'Attitudes’ in the PYP have now been subsumed within the descriptors of the learner profile," (p. 4).

It is important to point out that although the PYP attitudes will no longer be articulated as a separate list of dispositions we want students to feel, value and demonstrate, the PYP is still committed to and focused on "the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning, attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group," (p. 24 of Making the PYP Happen).

Subsuming the PYP attitudes within the descriptors of the learner profile aligns the focus of the development of international-mindedness and reinforces how central the learner profile is to not only the PYP, but to all programs under the IB umbrella.

Special note: If some of you are like me and have never heard the word 'subsumed' before, it is defined as "to include or absorb [something] in something else". :)

In order to "see" where these attitudes are within the descriptors of the IB learner profile attributes, I created a poster (based on the IB learner profile poster) which highlights the attitudes in the PYP.

Tolerance is the only current PYP attitude which doesn't appear by name in the descriptors of the IB learner profile attributes, although students obviously work on being sensitive about differences and diversity in the world and being responsive to the needs of others as they develop many of the attributes of the IB learner profile.

My hope is that being able to see the attitudes highlighted in this way within the descriptors of the attributes, teachers, students and families will be able to easily understand how the development of the PYP attitudes support the students' development of the attributes of the IB learner profile.


  1. Thanks for highlighting this and sharing your poster Ryan, greatly appreciated.

  2. Thank you for connecting profiles to attitudes to understand easily

  3. IMHO this change takes away some of the possible growth and understandings that we as educators need in order to truly engage into shifting of our pedagogical practises. Before we were able to use the attitudes as a springboard into the attributes and construct our own understanding of what those attributes mean to us in our context. Now I feel that this subsumed version just hands us a "correct" interpretation, no thinking required. (Plus they missed Tolerance)

    1. Niko,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Here's what I'm thinking:

      The descriptors for the IB Learner Profile have been around for about 5 years. I don't think you'd have to change your practice constructing your own understanding of the attributes in your context, with yourself or your students. As 'thinker' is one of the attributes, I think the IB still is a strong advocate for thinking :)

      The idea of tolerance is also an interesting one. As I mentioned in the post, tolerance is the only attitude not mentioned by name. HOWEVER, someone pointed out to me that tolerance seems like a low expectation. We don't simply want to advocate for "tolerating" others that have different perspectives, but rather "acceptance" might be more of a worthy goal. Demonstrating the attitude of "acceptance" certainly is present when one is open-minded, risk-taking, inquirers, communicators, principled, etc.

  4. Thanks for sharing this and putting the poster together. I'm working on a presentation to give teachers an idea of what is coming up and I'm sure your poster comes in handy.

  5. Hello
    Thank you for sharing this its really helpful. I'm working on the IB learner profile and how to use the attitudes to support the learner profile. can you give me any links that can be helpful.
    thank you :)

  6. Thank you for the clarification. Indeed “acceptance” is a more powerful mindset than “tolerance.”

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  8. Thank you. This helped me to make the connections.

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