I am delighted that my school has decided to dedicate one home room session per week (which is 40 minutes) to the teaching of approaches to learning skills. This post is going to explain how my school is moving forward with this opportunity but also to ask for advice from any schools further down this path. Now for those not aware of this IB Middle Years programme (MYP) jargon; these are a set of useful transferable skills sets which have been identified as underpinning successful learning in the MYP, and can include organisation, information literacy, collaboration, communication, reflection, problem solving and transfer. Now it is clear that these represent an important range of transferable skills and I am confident that they will really help the diverse learners found at my school – if it wasn’t really my style I would place a smiley face emoticon here to indicate my happiness with what is going on.
In response to this need my school has procured copies of the teacher and student versions of “Approaches to learning: A practical guide”. The teacher book has plenty of guidance and most usefully a very thorough set of clearly explained lesson plans for stand alone teaching of the key ideas. Plus additional content relating to the integrated teaching within specific subjects and or clusters. For my school I think that the described lessons will really help both keep the pressure off the teachers and provide a consistent template for us all to follow. Imagine another smiley face here.
So moving forward I hope that a well organised set of shared folders relating to what is being taught will also provide a place for related resources to be shared and and the opportunity for the identification of some school wide best practice tools which will, in the future, help both teachers and students with the added consistency – at least that is the plan. I can see this all taking quite a lot of time but am in no rush and if there ends up being 4 years worth of content then all the better in my book.
So please let me know if there is anything which I am missing or any issues your school has come across or even any better ways of doing things. Help us on this journey.