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Learning to Learn

How do you approach learning? What skills and dispositions help you to learn? How did you develop these skills and dispositions? What types of experiences best support this learning for you?

As a school, we believe it is vital to support students to develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that they will need to thrive at and beyond school. A fundamental part of this work is helping students to learn how to learn. By identifying, exploring, and applying skills that help us learn, students can have greater understanding and ownership of the learning process.

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) outlines ‘five categories of interrelated skills. That aims to support students of all ages to become self-regulated learners. Who know how to ask good questions, set effective goals, and pursue their aspirations with the determination to achieve them. These skills also help to support students’ sense of agency, encouraging them to see their learning as an active and dynamic process (IBO 2017)’. 

One of the categories of skills included in the PYP framework is self-management skills. It incorporates organisation skills such as managing self and time management, and states of mind such as resilience, mindfulness, emotional control, and self-motivation. The skills and dispositions that support students with learning how to learn are particularly crucial in our current model of remote learning. We begin the transition back to being on campus.

While the approaches teachers use to support students with learning how to learn will vary according to the age and needs of individual learners, some common ways teachers support the development of self-management skills are:

  • They are helping students to break a day, as well as specific tasks, into parts.
  • Helping students identify and manage distractions.
  • They are providing opportunities to reflect on the process of learning rather than focusing on an end product.
  • Identifying and discussing emotions and strategies to help manage them. 
  • We are working with students to set appropriately challenging and realistic goals.

The clip below demonstrates how we might learn about self-management in the classroom.

JODIE KIRCHNER
Head of Learning – PYP