Approaches to learning
Our focus on approaches to learning is grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s education.
The five categories of interrelated skills aim to empower IB students of all ages to become self-regulated learners who know how to ask good questions, set effective goals, pursue their aspirations and have 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.
The same five categories of skills span all IB programmes, with the skills then emphasized in developmentally appropriate ways within each programme. The five categories are:
• thinking skills, including areas such as critical thinking, creative thinking and ethical thinking
• research skills, including skills such as comparing, contrasting, validating and prioritizing information
• communication skills, including skills such as written and oral communication, effective listening, and formulating arguments
• social skills, including areas such as forming and maintaining positive relationships, listening skills, and conflict resolution
• self-management skills, including both organisational skills, such as managing time and tasks, and affective skills, such as managing state of mind and motivation.
The development of these skills plays a crucial role in supporting the IB’s mission to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners. Although these skills areas are presented as distinct categories, there are close links and areas of overlap between them, and these categories should be seen as interrelated.