The Akita Instructional Model or AIM is a method for the development of students’ knowledge, skills, and mindsets so as to enable them to discover the issues or problems on their own. It is an inquiry-based method.
Within the model, the students are also expected to communicate, interact so as to deal with the problem or issue and deal with it by themselves – enhancing their agencies. They are expected to ask questions and seek out help and support their classmates or from other sources such as the Internet.
The key components of AIM are: Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Criticality, and Responsibility. They are responsible for their own learning.
The emphasis is on self-discovery and support by peers and teachers.
There are four main stages:
1) Students are encouraged to observe phenomena – natural and social
2) students then develop their own ideas – through reading and setting hypotheses
3) students work in small groups discussing the issues – seeking more stimuli
4) students reflect on their learning – They review the lessons and the learning methods.
Example: The teacher may ask or show the class a photograph of a polluted canal. It can be a short video clip. The students watch the video and observe the phenomenon.
Salient Features of AIM:
– Active participation – students actively participate in the learning process
– Process-based – Learning is a process
– Cooperation as a value
– Self-discovery (SATORI moments)