Teachers today are faced with challenges that didn’t exist when we were younger. Kids are so tuned into technology and gadgets that it’s harder than ever to hold their attention. The model of a teacher standing in front of a classroom and lecturing just does not work anymore. They need an interactive learning environment that holds their interest. At Shady Oak Primary School, we use a child-centered curriculum that keeps kids engaged and makes them responsible for their own learning.
The idea is more about thought process teaching: teachers are there to provide support, but children choose their own learning path. Teachers will help guide a student to figure out his or her own curiosities, interests and passions. A child allowed to eagerly pursue his or her interests in a learning environment is one who will develop a lifelong love of learning.
In each subject, our curriculum focuses on teaching kids four main concepts: how to collaborate, think critically, problem solve, and communicate. And we do this with project-based, student-led learning. Instead of a teacher explaining how something works, they might start with a question. The students will together talk through the question, learning and collaborating with each other to come up with a solution. They will end the process by producing something – such as a book, a graphic, or an advertisement – outlining their solution. The students will then present this piece to an adult in the community; someone different from the teacher, co-students, and parents.
This approach works so well in helping a student grow in our four focus areas, and it also teaches them how to properly and intelligently present themselves and speak in public. At the same time, as we watch the presentation we can monitor the student’s progress to determine in which areas the student needs improvement.
We’ve found that a child-centered curriculum makes for a more “sticky” education. Children learn and retain knowledge that will take them into middle school, high school, and beyond. It also helps create students who are empowered, independent, and involved in their own education. And it’s a heck of a confidence builder!
Let me show you how child-centered curriculum works. Schedule a tour of Shady Oak Primary School today by contacting me at Debbie@setthemupforsuccess.com.
See you soon!