The Middle Years Programme is an International Baccalaureate programme designed for students age 11 -16. Within the Middle Years Programme (MYP) of the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) the areas of interaction have a central role. Recent developments show a ‘shift’ in the importance the IBO has assigned the use of the areas of interaction. The IBO wants teachers and schools to pay more attention to the use of these areas of interaction while teaching and planning. This ‘shift’ becomes apparent when comparing the new MYP guide (MYP: from principles into practice) with older guides. The difference is in the wording; in the new guide the usage of the word: ‘must’ appears throughout the text. Schools and teachers now ‘must’ follow certain guidelines. This also applies to the use of the areas of interaction. The areas of interaction ‘must’ now be mentioned explicitly while teaching. This ‘shift’ is confirmed by Alexandra Perticato, an independent consultant for the IBO who recently visited AIS to evaluate the MYP programme. When asked if the IBO’s guidelines regarding the use of the areas of interaction has changed over the years, she answered: “In the past they [the areas of interaction] could be used explicitly, but they didn’t necessarily have to be explicit. Now they do. The reason for this is that many people asked why in the MYP are there the areas of interaction?” Besides mentioning them explicitly in class, the areas of interaction also have to feature in the planners. MYP coordinators at MYP schools are supposed to check the usage of the areas of interaction by there teachers. The MYP coordinators at Arnhem International School (AIS) and Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest (RLO) expressed a desire to gain insight into the practical application of the areas of interaction at their school. For the researchers it provided an opportunity to become more familiar with the programme themselves. This research, therefore, aims at looking at the practical application of the areas of interaction at two schools in the Netherlands: Arnhem International School and Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest thereby providing insight into the practice at these schools. This article aims at providing students educators with practical research advice and suggestions for further research into this topic. Furthermore it is meant for BITEP students and beginning MYP teachers interested in doing research about MYP
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