The importance of learning how to learn!

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Learning to learn is not a catch phrase! Educators with great pedagogical insight, an understanding of brain-based learning and solid teaching practices hold fast to the old adage: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

At Académie de la Capitale, the emphasis has always been to encourage our students to learn to how learn, to risk making mistakes and to learn from the mistakes rather than, to encourage the perfect churning out of bits of knowledge and/or to seek the right answer, only.

Our inquiry-based approach incites questioning and supports the development higher-order-thinking skills (conceptual thinking) from the get-go, that is…from age 3 on! We work with a 3D curriculum, which focusses on concepts, using related knowledge and skills as tools to gain more profound understanding of content (Concept-Based Learning and Teaching, IB Position Paper, H. Lynn Erickson 2012). Through questioning and inquiry, learners analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, all the time. Our educators and our students, from preschool to secondary school, teach and learn in an environment which compels them to think critically, divergently, and creatively!

Having decided to establish a school, back in the late 1990’s, using a curriculum with a heavy-duty emphasis on learning how to learn, it was reassuring for me to read Chris Hadfield’s description of his high school enrichment programme. And, if I am to make the correct inferences, learning how to learn, a direct outcome of this enrichment programme, is one of the life skills that would determine the kind of person he’d become. (An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, Chris Hadfield, 2013.

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