Approaches to Teaching and Learning at DIS

ATL defines the focused-in strategies and the outlook that characterize an IB class. ATL reinforces the conviction that students are strongly influenced not only by what they learn, but also by how they learn it. ATL follows students from their PYP years throughout MYP and DP, so as to keep alive what IBO names Continuum. Continuum is meant as the uninterrupted upholding of the features described both in the IB Mission Statement and in the IB Learner Profile, whose criteria our students are called upon to meet from Primary School onwards.

Alongside ATL we find ATT (Approaches to Teaching skills), which establish and develop a class environment based upon teamwork and cooperation. ATL skills that our students are very well acquainted with are Thinking Skills, Communication Skills, Social Skills, Self-Management skills, Research Skills, whereas ATT skills basically provide for a Focused on an effective teamwork and collaboration teaching scheme, aimed at upholding the fundamental principles in an IB class. The teacher is a “Guide on a side”, not a “Sage on a Stage”, and guarantees to impart rigorous and serious teaching. Evidence of this is given by the fact that the teaching is informed by formative and summative assessment.

Constant implementation of Approaches to Teaching and Learning skills helps IB students — and our students, at that — to develop:

  • a deeper understanding of the contents
  • a stronger motivation to learn
  • a change in class culture making for a community of thinkers and students involved and interested in what they learn and in how they learn it.

During the ATL skills follow-up sessions in the Primary School, students do reflect on what learning exactly means: in Year 5, the children are given time and space to meditate on the several skills they naturally display when learning, make connections among the various subjects, and discuss the study methods applied and used also by the rest of the class. A clear example is learning the importance of source quotation — Academic Honesty —, starting with the Exhibition (Primary), going on with the Personal Project (MYP), and finally in writing the Extended Essay (DP).

 

Giovanna Rampone – ATL Coordinator
Martina Camarda – ATL and Head of Year 5