Approaches to learning
How students learn is as important as how you teach
In addition to reflecting on how we teach it is equally important to consider how students learn. We need to help them build up their learning skills and encourage them in their learning. In many ways approaches to teaching and approaches to learning are intertwined. Both process when done well complement each other. It is worth remembering that the IB is about lifelong learning so teachers are also learners. What we should be aiming to do is provide our students with the skills to not only achieve a good final grade in Diploma Chemistry but also to help them excel at their university studies and in the world of work. Hopefully the days of teachers just lecturing from the front of the classroom and students just memorising information are long gone. The focus should be on encouraging students to think for themselves, to question critically and take responsibility for their own learning.
The IB recognises the importance of teaching and learning by including it in the Diploma ' 'Dart board'. They have prepared a booklet on Approaches to Teaching and Learning (you can download this from the Resources Centre on My IB) which contains much that is worth reflecting upon, although a good teacher will be doing all (or at least most of it) anyway.
Approaches to Teaching and Learning © IBO
The 'Approaches to Learning' part of the booklet focuses on five main skills:
You will need to consider how you will incorporate these skills into your teaching and they will need to be addressed in any unit plans you may be required to produce. My thoughts on each of these five skills together with an additional skill - reflection - are given on the accompanying pages.