In the educational process, students should be offered a wide variety of ways to learn, among which they could choose or with which they could experiment. They do not have to learn different things the same way. They should learn at a very early stage of “schooling” that learning how to learn is largely their responsibility — with the help they seek but that is not imposed on them.
Traditional education focuses on teaching, not learning. It incorrectly assumes that for every ounce of teaching there is an ounce of learning by those who are taught. This is the trap of a Teaching Environment. It is a focus on content and its delivery to learners. The model is based on the concept of modernism, a belief that knowledge resides in a specific location and is shared or transferred from the one who “knows” to the one who does not.
In order to encourage learners to leave this imitation-as-goal perspective, the Learning Environment was given form, partly because of learning research relating to the computational mind theory, partly as a response to postmodernist theories. The focus of a learning environment is on the development of concepts, patterns, and relationships. It is based on the theory that knowledge is not shared, but rather constructed within each individual through either inductive or deductive reasoning. In a Learning Environment, the presentation of content is not as important as the discovery of the underlying patterns and concepts that constructed the content. An IB classroom is a student centered learning environment. Activities are designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and to equip students with the skills to become independent learners. Structured inquiry, critical thinking, activities in which students may learn through experience are used in the classroom. The teacher is a facilitator of the learning process.