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MYP & DP ATL: Home

Approaches to Learning

The Approaches to Learning (ATL's) skills framework supports and empowers learning across & beyond the academic curriculum. 

ATL Skills are organised in clusters, within five main areas:

ATL: Social Skills


How can students collaborate?
Working effectively with others

  • Use social media networks appropriately to build and develop relationships
  • Practise empathy
  • Delegate and share responsibility for decision-making
  • Help others to succeed
  • Take responsibility for one’s own actions
  • Manage and resolve conflict and work collaboratively in teams
  • Build consensus
  • Make fair and equitable decisions
  • Listen actively to other perspectives and ideas
  • Negotiate effectively
  • Encourage others to contribute
  • Exercise leadership and take on a variety of roles within groups
  • Give and receive meaningful feedback
  • Advocate for one’s own rights and needs

ATL Skills from "MYP: From Principles to Practice (2014)"

ATL: Self-Management Skills


How can students demonstrate organization skills?
Managing time and tasks effectively

  • Plan short- and long-term assignments; meet deadlines
  • Create plans to prepare for summative assessments (examinations and performances)
  • Keep and use a weekly planner for assignments
  • Set goals that are challenging and realistic
  • Plan strategies and take action to achieve personal and academic goals
  • Bring necessary equipment and supplies to class
  • Keep an organized and logical system of information files/notebooks
  • Use appropriate strategies for organizing complex information
  • Understand and use sensory learning preferences (learning styles)
  • Select and use technology effectively and productively


How can students manage their own state of mind?
Managing state of mind


  • Practise focus and concentration
  • Practise strategies to develop mental focus
  • Practise strategies to overcome distractions
  • Practise being aware of body–mind connections


  • Demonstrate persistence and perseverance
  • Practise delaying gratification

Emotional Management

  • Practise strategies to overcome impulsiveness and anger
  • Practise strategies to prevent and eliminate bullying
  • Practise strategies to reduce stress and anxiety


  • Practise analysing and attributing causes for failure
  • Practise managing self-talk
  • Practise positive thinking


  • Practise “bouncing back” after adversity, mistakes and failures
  • Practise “failing well”
  • Practise dealing with disappointment and unmet expectations
  • Practise dealing with change

ATL Skills from "MYP: From Principles to Practice (2014)"

ATL: Research Skills


How can students demonstrate information literacy?
Finding, interpreting, judging and creating information

  • Collect, record and verify data
  • Access information to be informed and inform others
  • Make connections between various sources of information
  • Understand the benefits and limitations of personal sensory learning preferences when accessing, processing and recalling information
  • Use memory techniques to develop long-term memory
  • Present information in a variety of formats and platforms
  • Collect and analyse data to identify solutions and make informed decisions
  • Process data and report results
  • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on their appropriateness to specific tasks
  • Understand and use technology systems
  • Use critical literacy skills to analyse and interpret media communications
  • Understand and implement intellectual property rights
  • Create references and citations, use footnotes/endnotes and construct a bibliography according to recognized conventions
  • Identify primary and secondary sources


How can students demonstrate media literacy?
Interacting with media to use and create ideas and information

  • Locate, organize, analyse, evaluate, synthesize and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media (including digital social media and online networks)
  • Demonstrate awareness of media interpretations of events and ideas (including digital social media)
  • Make informed choices about personal viewing experiences
  • Understand the impact of media representations and modes of presentation
  • Seek a range of perspectives from multiple and varied sources
  • Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats
  • Compare, contrast and draw connections among (multi)media resources

ATL Skills from "MYP: From Principles to Practice (2014)"

ATL: Thinking Skills


How can students think critically?
Analysing and evaluating issues and ideas

  • Practise observing carefully in order to recognize problems
  • Gather and organize relevant information to formulate an argument
  • Recognize unstated assumptions and bias
  • Interpret data
  • Evaluate evidence and arguments
  • Recognize and evaluate propositions
  • Draw reasonable conclusions and generalizations
  • Test generalizations and conclusions
  • Revise understanding based on new information and evidence
  • Evaluate and manage risk
  • Formulate factual, topical, conceptual and debatable questions
  • Consider ideas from multiple perspectives
  • Develop contrary or opposing arguments
  • Analyse complex concepts and projects into their constituent parts and synthesize them to create new understanding
  • Propose and evaluate a variety of solutions
  • Identify obstacles and challenges
  • Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues
  • Identify trends and forecast possibilities
  • Troubleshoot systems and applications


How can students be creative?
Generating novel ideas and considering new perspectives

  • Use brainstorming and visual diagrams to generate new ideas and inquiries
  • Consider multiple alternatives, including those that might be unlikely or impossible
  • Create novel solutions to authentic problems
  • Make unexpected or unusual connections between objects and/or ideas
  • Design improvements to existing machines, media and technologies
  • Design new machines, media and technologies
  • Make guesses, ask “what if” questions and generate testable hypotheses
  • Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes
  • Create original works and ideas; use existing works and ideas in new ways
  • Practise flexible thinking—develop multiple opposing, contradictory and complementary arguments
  • Practise visible thinking strategies and techniques
  • Generate metaphors and analogies


How can students transfer skills and knowledge across disciplines and subject groups?
Using skills and knowledge in multiple contexts

  • Use effective learning strategies in subject groups and disciplines
  • Apply skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations
  • Inquire in different contexts to gain a different perspective
  • Compare conceptual understanding across multiple subject groups and disciplines
  • Make connections between subject groups and disciplines
  • Combine knowledge, understanding and skills to create products or solutions
  • Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies
  • Change the context of an inquiry to gain different perspectives

ATL Skills from "MYP: From Principles to Practice (2014)"