TEACHING AND LEARNING AT MISK SCHOOLS
Teaching and learning at MiSK Schools is guided by the MiSK Schools Teaching and Learning Vision: the teaching and learning at MiSK nurtures a community that transforms lives through active engagement.
The teaching and learning vision supports the MiSK Schools vision of getting students ready for life, with a focus on the development of skills that will enable them to transition to life beyond school.
The “MiSK Schools Teaching and Learning Handbook” contains guidelines and procedures that will provide further information about the teaching and learning at MiSK Schools. Pedagogical approaches and strategies aligned with the vision include the following:
Approaches to Teaching and Learning (ATL): guided by IB documentation, the ATL supports the belief that it is not only what you learn but how you learn. Approaches to Teaching will be part of the academic staff appraisal process, and the Approaches to Learning for students will be reported on.
The Inquiry Cycle
The Inquiry Cycle is an instructional tool that structures student reflection and the feedback provided by teachers and teacher-librarians so that students can successfully move through inquiry as a process. It is based on the investigation of a guiding question.
Experiential Learning is a tool for reflection on “learning through doing”. The experience that is reflected on is either a life experience, or a designed experience with specific outcomes in mind. Experiential learning engages in rigorous use of the Experiential Learning Cycle as a tool for reflection.
Project Based Learning
Projects are designed based on a series of elements that incorporate inquiry and presentation of a final product to a relevant audience. The process of learning is a major component of the learning outcomes.
Technology should be a tool that teachers use to make learning more media-rich and interactive, by broadening options and by individualizing the support teachers are able to provide to students. Technology must serve the instructional vision of MiSK Schools and mimic the real world – we use what we have when we need it. Teachers, the Digital Literacy Coach and the YES! Lab Coordinator will encourage our students to take creative risks as they plan, build and problem solve using science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Instruction should never be built around the latest new tool or gadget, technology is to be used to enhance and support instruction.
Collaboration and Co-teaching
Effective collaboration encourages ongoing observation and feedback among colleagues where a culture of professional sharing, dialogue, experimentation and critique becomes commonplace. Teachers and staff members work together to ensure students are “ready for life” through the sharing of practice, knowledge and problems. As a commitment to developing collaboration, the school has scheduled grade level planning times within teaching schedules. Co-Teaching is two or more people sharing responsibility for teaching some or all of the students assigned to a classroom and can take a variety of forms.
Global Learning Center
The library/media center is a place for reading, writing, discussing and researching. MiSK students, staff and parents use the global learning center as a place to delve deeply into a wide variety of concepts. The librarian and teachers work together as they plan units involving research and work with students as they develop their research skills.
Extended Learning is part of the academic school day at MiSK Schools. The purpose of Extended Learning is to engage students in additional activities that are extensions of and have connections to the academic curriculum.
Service Learning and Action
Service Learning and Action is an integral part of the IB philosophy in action in schools. There are some issues that are difficult to address but important to learn about. Service learning, where classroom instruction is supported by activities to help the community, aims to achieve exactly this.
Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, Saudi Arabia History and Geography
MiSK Schools follow the KSA Ministry of Education requirements to teach Arabic Language Islamic Studies and the History and Geography of Saudi Arabia. Where appropriate the curriculum benchmarks will be integrated into Units of Inquiry and also taught as stand-alone subjects.
Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs. Whether teachers differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping makes this a successful approach to instruction.
ASSESSMENT AT MISK SCHOOLS
The primary purpose of assessment is to provide feedback and improve student understanding and learning. It is also for teachers to understand and determine where a student is in his/her learning journey.
MiSK Schools’ stakeholders believe that assessment should be student centered. While assessment gives teachers an understanding of the learner’s level of understanding, learners should also be a part of the assessment process. Throughout MiSK Schools, learners will be assessed on their academic, physical, social and emotional development.
Following MiSK Schools’ mission and the IB’s philosophy of assessment, effective assessment at MiSK Schools is meaningful, as it provides an opportunity for reflection and it is designed for learning. The goal is for assessment to be an honest and productive experience that promotes life-long learners who believe that a positive attitude is key to success, and who are motivated to take responsibility for their education.