Skills: what do we want students to be able to do?
The construction of meaning and, therefore, of understanding is complemented by the students acquiring and applying a range of skills. These skills are best developed in the context of authentic situations such as those offered through the PYP units of inquiry.
The following skills suggested by the PYP are valuable, not only in the units of inquiry, but also for any teaching and learning that goes on within the classroom, and in life outside the school.
Acquisition of knowledge: Gaining specific facts, ideas, vocabulary; remembering in a similar form.
Comprehension: Grasping meaning from material learned; communicating and interpreting learning. Application: Making use of previously acquired knowledge in practical or new ways. Analysis: Taking knowledge or ideas apart; separating into component parts; seeing relationships; finding unique characteristics.
Synthesis: Combining parts to create wholes; creating, designing, developing and innovating.
Evaluation: Making judgments or decisions based on chosen criteria; standards and conditions.
Dialectical thought: Thinking about two or more different points of view at the same time; understanding those points of view; being able to construct an argument for each point of view based on knowledge of the other(s); realizing that other people can also take one’s own point of view.
Metacognition: Analyzing one’s own and others’ thought processes; thinking about how one thinks and how one learns.
Accepting responsibility: Taking on and completing tasks in an appropriate manner; being willing to assume a share of the responsibility.
Respecting others: Listening sensitively to others; making decisions based on fairness and equality; recognizing that others’ beliefs, viewpoints, religions and ideas may differ from one’s own; stating one’s opinion without hurting others.
Cooperating: Working cooperatively in a group; being courteous to others; sharing materials; taking turns.
Resolving conflict: Listening carefully to others; compromising; reacting reasonably to the situation; accepting responsibility appropriately; being fair.
Group decision- making: Listening to others; discussing ideas; asking questions; working towards and obtaining consensus.
Adopting a variety of group roles: Understanding what behaviour is appropriate in a given situation and acting accordingly; being a leader in some circumstances, a follower in others.
Listening: Listening to directions; listening to others; listening to information.
Speaking: Speaking clearly; giving oral reports to small and large groups; expressing ideas clearly and logically; stating opinions.
Reading: Reading a variety of sources for information and pleasure; comprehending what has been read; making inferences and drawing conclusions.
Writing: Recording information and observations; taking notes and paraphrasing; writing summaries; writing reports; keeping a journal or record.
Viewing: Interpreting and analyzing visuals and multimedia; understanding the ways in which images and language interact to convey ideas, values and beliefs; making informed choices about personal viewing experiences.
Presenting: Constructing visuals and multimedia for a range of purposes and audiences; communicating information and ideas through a variety of visual media; using appropriate technology for effective presentation and representation.
Non-verbal communication: Recognizing the meaning of visual and kinesthetic communication; recognizing and creating signs; interpreting and utilizing symbols.
Gross motor skills: Exhibiting skills in which groups of large muscles are used and the factor of strength is primary.
Fine motor skills: Exhibiting skills in which precision in delicate muscle system is required.
Spatial awareness: Displaying a sensitivity to the position of objects in relation to oneself or each other.
Organization: Planning and carrying out activities effectively.
Time management: Using time effectively and appropriately.
Safety: Engaging in personal behavior that avoids placing oneself or others in danger or at risk.
Healthy lifestyle: Making informed choices to achieve a balance in nutrition, rest, relaxation and exercise; practicing appropriate hygiene and self-care.
Codes of behavior: Knowing and applying appropriate rules or operating procedures of groups of people.
Informed choices: Selecting an appropriate course of action or behavior based on fact or opinion.
Formulating questions: Identifying something one wants or needs to know and asking compelling and relevant questions that can be researched.
Observing: Using all the senses to notice relevant details.
Planning: Developing a course of action; writing an outline; devising ways of finding out necessary information.
Collecting data: Gathering information from a variety of first- and second-hand sources such as maps, surveys, direct observation, books, films, people, museums and ICT
Recording data: Describing and recording observations by drawing, note taking, making charts, tallying, writing statements.
Organizing data: Sorting and categorizing information; arranging into understandable forms such as narrative descriptions, tables, timelines, graphs and diagrams.
Interpreting data: Drawing conclusions from relationships and patterns that emerge from organized data.
Presenting research findings: Effectively communicating what has been learned; choosing appropriate media.