Approaches to learning (ATLs)
Approaches to learning concerns the way knowledge is received. In order to receive information effectively the student must be capable of using the following skills:
- cognitive - thinking skills, problem solving, understanding concepts.
- meta-cognitive - an awareness of the different thought processes required for different tasks, thinking about thinking.
- affective - handling emotions and behaviour.
The IB document Approaches to teaching and learning classifies these skills into 5 overlapping areas:
- thinking skills
- communication skills
- social skills
- self management skills
- research skills.
This means that when designing a unit as well as individual lessons we must consider how these skills can be developed. For this reason I try wherever possible to include as many of the following into my lessons as possible:
- a section where by new information is transmitted
- a part of the lesson which asks the students to relate the information to a given scenario, such as via a discussion point
- a reflective element in the form of a question
- a research element where the students themselves will investigate and find information for themselves.