Developing the statement of inquiry

What is important to know about developing a statement of inquiry in an IDU?

The elements involved in developing the statement of inquiry include:

  • concepts

  • conceptual understanding

  • global context and exploration.

Each MYP unit is intended to explore the meaning of an important conceptual understanding, as it applies in a specific, real-world context.

  • The conceptual understanding expresses a meaningful, dynamic relationship between two or more concepts. Developing a 'conceptual understanding' statement prior to developing the statement of inquiry is optional; however, developing this statement prior to incorporating the global context exploration can add clarity to the conceptual purpose of the unit.

  • In MYP statements of inquiry, the unit's context is described through a global context 'exploration'. The global context exploration is a word, a few words or a phrase that succinctly clarifies the real-world setting, event, circumstance or application through which the unit’s conceptual understanding and content are explored.

  • These two elements are combined to form the unit’s statement of inquiry.

In an interdisciplinary unit, the statement of inquiry needs to be meaningful and relevant to each of the subjects/disciplines participating in the unit.

Details to remember

  • Concepts

    • Select at least two concepts, one of which must be a key concept. The additional concept(s) could be a key or related concept(s).

    • Concepts can be selected from any subject (not just the subjects involved in the IDU), or a customized concept could be developed to meet the needs of the unit.

    • All concepts selected should be meaningful in both/all participating subjects.

    • The concepts that are intended to be explored by both/all participating subjects need to be clearly included in the statement of inquiry. The concepts can be included explicitly, or through clearly representative words or phrases.

    [Note: In addition to the concepts that are intended to be explored by all subjects participating in the IDU and included in the statement of inquiry, teachers may optionally identify discipline-specific related concepts that are intended to be explored only in the applicable subject in order to strengthen disciplinary grounding. These related concepts can be identified as an element of disciplinary content and do not need to be included in the statement of inquiry.]

  • Global context exploration

    • The lists of explorations provided in MYP: From principles into practice and MYP Interdisciplinary teaching and learning are examples. The words and phrases in these lists can be customized to clearly express a unit’s context of inquiry.

    • Teachers may:

      • choose one or more of the example explorations in a list

      • combine example explorations from different lists associated with the same global context

      • adjust the wording or phrasing of any example exploration

      • OR develop their own customized exploration that aligns with the intentions of the selected global context.

    • The word, words or phrase identified as the global context exploration needs to be explicitly included in the statement of inquiry. Careful customization of the phrasing of the exploration can facilitate this requirement.


In this guide, a language and literature and sciences interdisciplinary unit is used to illustrate one example of what each unit plan section could look like using the provided guidance. Below are the sections of that unit plan that identify the components of the statement of inquiry.

Check the example statement of inquiry through the descriptors (shown below) from the IB publication Evaluating MYP interdisciplinary unit plans.

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