Approaches to learning (ATLs)

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.
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