The Japan PYP Meet:
Deepening Inquiry through
Concept-Based Learning

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Miho Nishita & Rachel French
2 min read

About the Meet-Up

Join us for a thought-provoking virtual meet-up designed for PYP schools in Japan. Come be a part of expert-led discussions on topics most relevant to you, take-away actionable insights, and expand your local professional network.

About the Sessions


Session 1

Exploring the Power of Concept-Based Inquiry in the PYP

3:30- 4:30 pm JST | 60 minutes

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Are we robbing students of the opportunity to do the thinking by sharing the central idea with them from the get-go?  Join Rachel French in this engaging webinar that will change how you think about what is possible in a PYP classroom. Build your understanding of concepts, how they can be used to promote deeper transferable understanding, and the potential for units as you move beyond one central idea.

Together we will explore these questions:

  • What are concepts and how do we use them in curriculum design?
  • How can we leverage the power of inductive teaching?
  • Why is a single central idea limiting the scope of your unit?

Rachel French

Session 2

Concepts and Conceptual Understandings in the PYP 

4:30- 5:30 pm JST | 60 minutes

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In the PYP, conceptual understanding is the goal of the inquiry unit. Miho Nishita’s session, entirely in Japanese, acknowledges the paradigm shift between the more traditional ‘fact-based learning’ and the theory and practice of ‘concept-based learning’ for Japanse educators. 

In ‘concept-based learning’, students use knowledge and skills to guide their own thinking and transfer their understanding to gain a greater understanding of society and the world. Miho will discuss how students explore concepts through their central ideas in inquiry units. 

To develop thinking children, it is first important that teachers are thinking adults. Concept-based inquiry, where there is no single answer but a myriad of ideas, naturally generates many insights and ideas through dialogue with children from different values and cultures. It is also a tool for us teachers to grow as lifelong learners.

Together we will explore these questions:

  • What is a concept-driven curriculum?
  • How can we use questions to develop an understanding of key concepts?
  • Why should the PYP scope and sequence document be utilised to meet conceptual understanding?
Miho Nishita

Know your speakers

Disclaimer - This webinar is organised independently of and not endorsed by the IB. Toddle's events and webinars are organised to enable exchange of practices and ideas within the educator community and are not a replacement for the IB official workshops. Views and opinions expressed by the speakers are their personal views and should not be construed as official guidance by the IB.

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Miho Nishita
Miho is an experienced language teacher and IB PYP workshop leader. She trained as a bilingual workshop leader in 2012 and has facilitated numerous workshops in both Japanese and English on behalf of the IB. Miho's depth of knowledge and wealth of experience enables her to bridge and create connections between the IB and the Japanese community. She is a key figure in implementing the IB PYP in Japan. Miho has completed a Master's Degree in Linguistics from Monash University, Melbourne.

Rachel French
Rachel French, MA Ed., is the Director of Professional Learning International and a certified independent Concept-Based Consultant with over 12 years of experience in innovative curriculum design and transformative teaching practices. Mentored by Dr. H Lynn Erickson and Dr. Lois A. Lanning, the founders of Concept-Based Curriculum, Rachel holds exclusive worldwide rights to provide the Erickson and Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction (CBCI) Trainer Certification Institute.