Approaches of Teaching and Learning

Approaches of Teaching and Learning

By the time students reach this part of their educational journey, they should be confident users of many skills, including TBL (Thinking-Based Learning) and CBL (Concept-Based Learning). The IB Learner Profile highlights the attributes of a 21st Century global citizen. Complimenting these are the approaches to teaching and learning, which form part of the core of what we want to achieve for all our students.

Critical Thinking  - Being able to analyse and evaluate issues and ideas.

  • Developing critical thinking skills is a key feature in all the IB programmes. The teacher is seen as the facilitator who guides the student, in developing the higher-order thinking skilsof analysis and synthesis throughout the learning process. Awareness of themselves as thinkers and learners is best seen in the TOK (Theory of Knowledge) programme, providing an opportunity for students to reflect on how we know what we claim to know.

Creativity and InnovationUtilise skills and invention to create new ideas.

  • DP subjects place emphasis on the development of higher-order thinking skills rather than on simple memorisation of content. Students are encouraged to connect, extend and challenge- they process information, find patterns, build conceptual understandings, and remember key facts and ideas. Students can be encouraged to consider if there are more effective or efficient ways to achieve the same outcomes and then be encouraged to try new ways of learning and to evaluate the results.

TransferUtilise skills in multiple contexts.

  • This is being able to see the conceptual understandings and then create generalisations about these, which students can then confidently apply to a range of situations.

CollaborationWork effectively with others.

  • To get the best out of the school environment, students need to be able communication at both peer-related and teacher-related levels. It can improve understanding of facts, increase student motivation and engagement, improve academic performance and produce higher satisfaction in learning. Collaborative activities can lead to higher-order thinking. Collaborative learning achieve higher levels of thought and retain information longer.

CommunicationExchange thoughts and ideas effectively.

  • To get the best out of the school environment, students need to be able communication at both peer-related and teacher-related levels. This skill works hand-in-hand with Collaboration and is one of the attributes in the IB Learner Profile.

OrganisationManage time and tasks effectively.

  • Good time management is a key feature of self-managed learning
  • students who learn how to break down assignments into achievable steps and to timeline each step, plan out revision and study plans for tests and examinations, and build study timetables, will alleviate poor time management.
  • DP teachers can help students organize their time by coordinating their deadlines for students so that assessments are well spread throughout the school year.

Affective skillsManage their state of mind well.

  • The development of affective skills is a key part when developing of self-management skills.
  • This can enable students to gain some control over their mood, their motivation and their ability to deal effectively with setbacks and difficulties.
  • For DP students (and in reality, all students), three important affective skills that are needed to handle the challenges of this level of study are resilience, self-motivationand mindfulness.

MetacognitionReconsider what they have learned.

  • This a thinking skill that plays an essential role in learning. The value of structured reflection activities in education is widely recognised.
  • Effective reflective activities should challenge students to think more deeply, and students need to be explicitly aware of the role of the activities. 
  • These activities may be –
    • written(for example, reflective essays, reading logs, case studies),
    • oral (for example, presentations, video diaries, discussion)
    • artistic/creative(for example, photos or other images capturing scenes that can then be used to promote discussion).
  • They may also encompass elements of more than one form (for example, student portfolios).

Information LiteracyFind, Interpret, create information.

  • Information literacy is a wider term, often used to refer to the complex set of abilities “which enable individuals to engage critically with and make sense of the world and its knowledge, to participate effectively in learning, and to make use of and contribute to the information landscape” (Hepworth and Walton 2009: 10).
  • Training in information-literacy skills is vital for every student who is engaged in any form of inquiry learning.
  • Feeling overwhelmed by information is a common concern of students. By developing their research skills, students can learn to focus their researching and cope with the volume of information they produce. 
  • They are often closely linked to other skills, such as communication skills, and these can also be developed alongside any research skill practice.

Media LiteracyInteract with Media to create information.

  • Training in media-literacy skills is vital for every student who is engaged in any form of inquiry learning. Students need to be able to narrow down the scope of their researching and make sense of the volume of information they produce. This is particularly the case with internet-based research
  • Online tools such as blogs (reflective journals), wikis (collaborative web pages), digital stories and podcasts, interactive micro-blogging and social networking also offer great opportunities for both reflective activities and development of media literacy.
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