How do we think about learning?
Often we are told what we need to be able to know by the end of a unit, but often times we neglect to think about what skills we need to learn to be able to use that knowledge. When we look at the rubric with which we are assessed, often imbedded within them are many skills we need to use. To help students and teachers recognize these skills, IB looked at all the subject rubrics and determined over a hundred different skills that students need to learn over the course of the year. Of course you will not be learning all of these skills at once, but slowly in all of your different classes at different times throughout the year.
These skills can be grouped into different types of skills. IB calls the bigger groups "categories" and the more smaller groups within these categories "clusters." There are five main categories of skills:
Many of the different skills you learn can be used in more than one class or outside of school in your daily life, so it is important to think about how you can practice and when you can use them to really develop these skills. Since you will be working on developing these skills throughout all years of the Middle Years Programme, don't be discouraged if you do not excel at a skill right away. Everyone learns at their own pace. For some skills, you might find that you are a competent practitioner right away. For others, you might find that you are a novice and needs more practice. The main thing is to not get discouraged, but rather to think about how you can work on developing your skills and who you can seek for extra support (a teacher, parent, counselor, coach, friend, etc.)
Reflecting on how we use these skills is important, and to help you do so, download the ATL Skill Self-Evaluation form below. You can keep track over the years of how and when you are becoming more proficient at these skills and use the form to help you start conversations with others when you need further support with one of them.
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Approaches TO Learning