philosophy centers around five themes.
Hands-on active learning.
Use the best tools for effective teaching.
best when the activities are hands-on and active. When children
are active learners they retain what is taught at a much higher
rate and are more motivated to complete the activies. These types
of activies include:
- Problems that
deal with real life issues
instruction is very important in student motivation and acheivment.
Individualized instruction provides each student with the lessons
that best fit his current needs. The one-on-one attention that each
receives promotes life long learning by tailoring his activities
to subjects that interest him and provide the right amount of challenge
without overwhelming him. At the same time, the teacher can closely
monitor his progress and easily adapt the activities to suit his
Each subject is
interrelated. It is close to impossible for a student to do well
in math and science if she cannot read or write. An integrated curriculum
shows students that all of the different subjects that she learns
about are closely connected. A science problem can relate directly
to good writing skills by completing a research report on the condition
of the Salmon River. The skills of area and perimeter directly relate
to the skills involved in interior design and architecture. By teaching
these diverse subjects in an integrated way, students see the benefits
of each subject while gaining a better understanding for why we need
the best tools for effective teaching.
Too often education
fixates on one tool to solve all of education problems. There is
not one "best" tool for every student and teaching situation.
It is very important to use the tools that best fit that student
at that point
in time. Teachers also need to realize that the same tool may not
work in the future on the same student or on different students in
their classrooms. It is necessary to be skilled in a variety of tools
such as technology, manipulatives and project-based learning so that
the teacher can easily move from one strategy to another based on
each student's needs.
In order for the
previous four themes to be effective, teachers must continuously
assess their student's progress toward specific goals. This assessment
Formative assessments, such as quizzes, homework, observations
and daily activites, are used to monitor students day-to-day performance
and the effectiveness of the
Summative evaluations such as end of unit exams and standarized tests
are used to judge the overall performance of both the student and
the teaching strategies used. It is important to use both types of
assessment because no one form of assessment is going to give teachers,
parents and administrators an accurate account of student progress.
It is imperative that once these assessments are given that teachers
honestly evaluate the progress of each child and the teaching strategy
used, then modify the lessons accordingly.