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Our Definition of Learning

Mahindra International School defines learning as

A process that leads to change, which occurs as a result of experience and increases the potential of improved performance and future learning

(Ambrose, et al., 2010)

We believe learning happens best when it is framed around the following 9 principles.

Learner Centric

  • All students have the potential to learn
  • Student readiness varies at times and ages
  • Students learn better when they have agency in the learning process
  • Students learn in different ways


  • Learning is organized in fundamental big ideas that facilitate transfer.
  • Concepts are enduring understanding that a learner is more likely to retain in the long term by creating a long-lasting cognitive structure.


  • Learning is made meaningful through context and purpose
  • Learning should be relevant to the learners, the environment where learning happens and intended results


  • The cycle of Experience – Reflect/Observe – Conceptualize – Test/Experiment (Kolb) is a fundamental inquiry process.  
  • Learning is an active process and cannot occur without the intellectual involvement of the learner.
  • Meaningful practice enhances learning


  • Learners build on previous learning in constructing new meaning.
  • Conceptual and mental organization of learning influences how students learn and apply learning


  • Full understanding is demonstrated through the application of knowledge of skills, through transfer to new contexts and synthesis of new ideas.  


  • Learning is mediated through different types of thinking
  • Awareness of the learner’s own thinking enhances capability to learn effectively. 
  • Identifying, regulating and monitoring cognitive processes enhances learning.


  • Influenced by the interactions and relationships between the learners, the teachers, and others in the social environment.

Emotional/ Emotive

  • Attitudes and values play an important role in learning and enhancing motivation.
  • Learning is strengthened when the emotional response to the learning context is positive.

IB Learner Profile

  • As we work to implement the Mission and Vision and our Definition of Learning, we seek to develop the traits of the IB Learner Profile for all community members. Learners become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective. 

Ambrose, S. et al., 2010. How Learning Works: Seven Research Based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.