PYP Enhancements: An Agentic Perspective Shift


These are indeed fascinating and envigoring times in the PYP as the PYP Review is about to be published and as the PYP Review team has chosen to use the trickle down teaser style communication model:

PYP Enhancement timeline

This has created some excitement, a buzz in the social media and blogosphere as we received the first Key Communication outlining what we can expect from the launch of the enhanced Primary Years Programme (PYP) in October 2018! The buzz and excitement is focused quite rightly around the term: Agency


But first an important clarification:

This is our graphic illustrating the new organizing structure for the enhanced ; not the new programme model. 1

I would like to focus first to the origin of where Agency, as an educational concept comes from, and on its theoretical background. This was easier said than done as there aren’t any references or links given on this key communication. Therefore this really is all speculation and somewhat hypothetical.

Social Cognitive Theory

My best guess is that the Agency that the PYP review team mean is based on Albert Bandura and his theory of an Agentic Perspective,2 which makes this enhancement really interesting as Bandura, although a cognitive psychologist, agrees quite often with B.F. Skinner.  Bandura views people as Agents (originators of experience) and Human Agency as the ability to act and make things happen. Agency is comprised of Forethought: permits us to anticipate outcomes; Self Reactiveness: allows us to motivate and regulate actions; Self Reflectiveness:  the ability to reflect on our thoughts and behavior and make changes.

What is Agency? Agents act, we are agents

  • We have needs and goals. 
  • We also have motives, wants, & desires 
  • We have intentions and are volitional in our actions 
  • We interpret & evaluate our actions and their consequences 

From our actions (actual & symbolic), we learn: 

  • Contingencies (personal, general, environmental)
  • Personal beliefs about own capabilities

Agency is a sense of personal empowerment 

  • Knowing what it takes and whether one’s got it

The Development of Agency order for us to fully empower our students and enable agency we, therefore, need to facilitate/mediate/guide students to be Autonomous, Competent, and Socially skilled. In other words to foster something that children already by default have but what our processes inhibit: Curiosity, Playfulness, and Creativity. When students have their voice, they then can create their own choices, a have an authentic ownership of their learning.

IB PYP on Twitter. Twitter. Accessed November 1, 2017.
Bandura A. Social cognitive theory: an agentic perspective. Annu Rev Psychol. 2001;52:1-26. [PubMed]
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Cyber-bullying and Digital Citizenship, Privacy and Safety

Let’s empower our students to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions online.

We at KIS in collaboration with ICT department and our Libraries will celebrate KIS Digital Citizenship Week October 16-20, 2017. The celebration is part of an ongoing effort to teach students how to make safe, smart, and ethical decisions in the digital world.  Internet safety? Creative copyright? Fake news? With so many topics on our “to teach” list that goes above and beyond the core curriculum, it’s essential to have a game plan.

A provocation from #whatischool twitter chat keeps us relevant and vigilant, what is our game plan?

Cyberbullying, Privacy and Safety, are just some of the digital dilemmas challenging the world’s schools. At the same time, technology continues to expand and enhance the ways students can learn, connect, create, and collaborate. How do we help instill a sense of global citizenship, of civic-mindedness, and respect on the internet? What are some of the best strategies you have seen in practice in your school communities?


These are the questions we all need to have answers and a common language to be able to facilitate digital citizenship forward at KIS.

  1. What does digital citizenship look like in a school?
  2. How do we effectively teach digital citizenship in a sustainable fashion?
  3. What are the BIG issues in schools in regards to digital citizenship?
  4. What does your ‘digital citizenship curriculum’ look like?
  5. What strategies are used to engage the whole school community in digital citizenship best practice?
  6. What is the difference between digital citizenship and global citizenship?


These are my understandings of the matter and yours should be different, I do however state that these answers are the bare minimum, a starting point if you wish, towards something that we will build together.

Digital Citizenship is the new citizenship, we keep the digital in it mainly to highlight it to us older people. There it should be always present in everything we do.

9 Elements of Digital Citizenship

9 Elements of Digital Citizenship

At school, we need to address a wide array of topics to cover all aspects of digital citizenship. How are we able to do it in a sustainable fashion; it needs to be authentically embedded into everything we do. Digital Literacy and Etiquette need to be an internal part of our Literacy and Numeracy Curriculum in order for our students and parents to have access to it. Therefore I propose that instead of a complete and prescribed external curriculum we need to enhance our Units of Inquiry to have digital citizenship as a related concept and indeed a part of the inquiry. Digital Agreements, Hour of Code, awareness weeks like this one, are a great way to advocate and educate our community of the importance of Digital Citizenship. In order for our students to have access to a global audience through global read aloud, mystery skype and other initiatives it is indeed crucial for us to define what is Global Citizenship.


Here are some resources for the upcoming week from common sense media and Google

Digital Citizenship @ KIS

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From Substitution to Redefinition


Digitalization has been a buzzword for an awhile now in education, so much in fact that it already is having a negative connotation as well. To me, it has always been rather empty, and I haven’t seen it to have any real value as a standalone norm. But as we applied as a part of a pedagogical framework like SAMR and TPACK, things and opinions change.  In our context, it means that we need to take a good look at our learning environment in order to manage the inevitable change; integration and implementation of digital tools (physical and non-physical) into our everyday learning.


This year we have started to utilize four separate, but essentially intertwined digital products that will have an impact on how we see, visualize and understand learning.

We already know that in order to integrate these tools into our practice we need to understand how we can implement them in our learning environments that they either Modify or Redefine our teachingSAMR-model


These tools are Seesaw, Google Classroom, Google Sites and Skype Classroom.

Seesaw is a digital portfolio platform:

Seesaw empowers students to independently document their learning with built-in creative tools, and provides an authentic audience for their work.

At KIS this tool is used to Redefining learning experiences that were not possible before. Students are able to collect, curate, communicate and create a hybrid portfolio that not only showcases their understandings but empowers them to think about their thinking regardless of their age and literacy skills.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom streamlines assignments, boosts collaboration, and fosters seamless communication to make teaching more productive and meaningful.

At KIS this tool is used to Modifying learning experiences by redesigning tasks into completely new. Students are able to utilize their knowledge and individuality in the virtual environment that allows for discreet differentiation, centralized communications, and instantaneous feedback. (as a bonus: as it is paperless, it also saves trees).

Google Sites

Collaboratively create engaging, high-quality sites for your team, project or event. The sites look great on every screen, from desktop to smartphone. All without learning design or programming.

At KIS this tool is used to Redefining learning experiences that were not possible before. Teachers are able to not only share information but also embed completely independent platforms whilst connecting with a global audience. Our classes are currently contacting their global read aloud partners by using their Google Sites with Padlets

Global Read Aloud website for G3

Global Read Aloud website for G3

Skype Classroom

The global guessing game that gets kids learning about geography, culture, and the similarities and differences of how children live all over the world.

At KIS this tool is used to Redefining learning experiences that were not possible before. Students are able to connect with Authors, Explorers and other Students all around the world and communicate with them directly by asking new, personal questions, questions that are meaningful to them.


What makes these platforms and applications so powerful that they would be the ones that empower our students and makes them improve their learning more than others? In my opinion, it is their flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility. All these products adjust to users needs, enhancing and simplifying the user experience, thus enabling all users to connect and utilize them to their full potential. All these applications can also be hacked to be used creatively to cater a special, personal requirement. These aspects enable and generate a learning environment where student centered learning thrives.

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Provocations are an Invitation to Learning

Nature doesn’t need people.

People need nature.

Continue reading

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