At the core of MYP is the belief that education is not just about what a student learns, but rather how he or she learns it. Teachers therefore have classrooms that are inquiry-based, conceptual, contextual, collaborative, and differentiated to meet students’ needs. Teachers use explicitly teach the Approaches to Learning skills and attitudes to help students build a solid foundation for learning independently and with others, prepare and demonstrate their learning through authentic assessments, and provide a common language for students and teachers to reflect on the learning process together. Each year, students will focus on five ATL skill categories: communication, social, self-management, research, and thinking skills. These skills include general and subject-specific skills; general skills are tailored to students’ individual needs and allow them to understand how skills transfer from one subject area to another. These skills are explicitly taught, modeled, and practiced in the classroom. Students are encouraged to keep track of their progress by asking themselves:
- What are my current skills, and where to I see them?
- What skills can I improve?
- What new skills can I learn?
- Novice/beginner – students are introduced to a skill and can watch someone perform it
- Learner/developer – students copy others who have the skill and use the skill with guidance and emulation
- Practitioner/user – students demonstrate the skill confidently and effectively
- Expert/sharer – students can show others how to use the skill and accurately evaluate how effective the skill is used