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WAB Faculty & Staff

MYP & DP ATL: Thinking

Approaches to Learning

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)"