Approaches to teaching and learning (ATL) in the Diploma Programme is designed to support key values and principles of an IB education and has been developed since 2011 to align the DP with the PYP and MYP. The new ATL guide and supporting materials are intended to improve the quality of teaching and learning across all four IB programmes. As we develop Business Management programmes, teaching plans and resources, we must look to incorporate fundamental IB philosophies, represented in the Learner Profile and ATL. In a practical sense, these are represented by the six concepts underpinning the new BM guide.

January and February 2015 are timetabled for the publication for all ATL materials, which will be incorporated into all future DP professional development. ATL documents should be in IB World Schools by September 2015.

ATL publications and materials: January 2015

  •  Approaches to teaching and learning in the DP – including the guide published in a digital form
  • 26 support videos for teachers, coordinators, and heads/principals
  • 3 DP unit planner templates – a range of blank and completed samples
  • DP ATL reflection tool for teachers
  • 11 case studies from schools involved in the DP ATL pilot
  • 6 interviews with thought leaders in the field

Additional activities

The IB will also roll out in 2015, professional development workshops and webinars focused on integrating ATL in IB World Schools.

Approaches to teaching and learning in the Diploma Programme guide

The guide offers direction to teachers and coordinators on approaches and tools for teaching and learning in the DP. These approaches and tools are intrinsically linked with IB learner profile attributes and to the development of internationally minded students; a central aim of all IB programmes. Effective approaches to teaching and learning in the DP should be developed within global contexts, focusing on three key elements: global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding.

Approaches to learning

Cognitive, metacognitive and affective skills are grouped into five ATL categories: Thinking skills, communication skills, self-management skills, social skills and research skills linking closely with the attitudes and characteristics identified in the IB learner profile. Although these skills are presented in distinct categories, there are many areas of overlap between them, and it is intended that they are seen as interrelated.

Approaches to teaching

The DP has adopted a broadly constructivist and student-centred approach, emphasising the importance of connectedness and concurrency of learning.

There are six key principles that underpin all IB programmes. Teaching in IB programmes is:

  1. based on inquiry
  2. focused on conceptual understanding
  3. developed in local and global contexts
  4. focused on effective teamwork and collaboration
  5. differentiated to meet the needs of all learners
  6. informed by assessment (formative and summative).

The guide is also intended to help schools identify strategies that support their efforts to meet the IB programme standards and practices. During the process of authorisation, and again every five years at programme evaluation, schools are asked to provide evidence of their progress towards meeting the standards and practices. ATL will become a key element of this process. The ATL guide contains suggestions for teaching activities with specific examples from DP subjects, and links to other useful IB resources and publications. ATL resources are designed to provide teachers and coordinators with examples of how the ideas in the guide can translate into practice within a range of teaching and learning contexts. The ATL videos illustrate how the ideas presented in this document translate into real DP classrooms around the world.