Belle Wallace’s Thinking Actively in a Social Context (TASC), approach to learning is a way we help to develop children’s thinking and problem-solving skills. Belle explains the key principles below:
'All children can think, but thinking can be enhanced and developed through appropriate practice, like a gymnast trains and perfects complex movements so that they become automatic and controlled but also highly flexible and creative.
Every child needs to be an active thinker! We can’t ‘do thinking to a child’!
We need to engage children in activities that demand thinking and problem-solving, letting them see that these thinking activities are qualitatively different from rote learning and practice, important though these activities are.
Children are so good at teaching each other! We are social beings and when we are communicating, we are crystallising ideas. Children can and do teach each other, often explaining and making meaning amongst themselves in a far more comprehensible way than when teacher explains.
When learning is in the context of real life experience, then learners can identify with the topic and develop ownership, and also relate to the learning in a personal way because it has relevance.'
The TASC framework is presented in the form of a wheel where each section of the wheel represents a different opportunity to revise and develop thinking skills.
Working in groups, students make their way clockwise around the wheel, moving through eight stages, which are "Gather and Organise", "Identify", "Generate", "Decide", "Implement", "Evaluate", "Communicate" and "Learn from Experience".
At The Gateway Primary Academy we incorporate the inclusive nature of the TASC approach into our topic lessons. This could take the form of designing a Roman chariot for a Roman emperor or creating new ideas to develop a local outdoor playground. These projects are enjoyed by the children and give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in their learning while using and applying skills from across the curriculum. Have a look through the class pages to view some of the projects the children have experienced.