21st Century Learning and Resources

Richland Academy / 21st Century Learning and Resources (Page 13)

Understanding our Bodies through Spatial Awareness

Spatial Awareness is an organized awareness of our body’s position in space.  It is a concept closely related to Kinesthetic Identification and studies suggest that there are strong links between a well-developed sense of spatial awareness and artistic creativity; as well as success in math. Spatial awareness is essential to the development of abstract thought. In Drama, our objective is to find out how Kinesthetic Identification gives us the ability to organize and classify abstract mental concepts through discovery of ourselves.

An Ethic of Excellence

This Summer, our staff and Faculty had the opportunity to read and reflect on Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence: Building a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students. Drawing from his own experience as a veteran classroom teacher, Ron Berger gives us a vision of educational reform that transcends standards, curriculum, and instructional strategies. He argues for a paradigm shift- a schoolwide embrace of an “ethic of excellence.”

The Freedom to Learn in the Conceptual Age of Schooling

As we move into what is being called the “creative” or “conceptual” age, success in a few narrow core subjects will no longer prepare students for this world.

To provide youth with the tools and knowledge to successfully handle future challenges and opportunities, a change in educational philosophy is necessary. Learning and thinking must be considered subjects in and of themselves if we are to adequately prepare students for their futures. Students need opportunities to work collaboratively and think critically and creatively about ideas and issues across a range of disciplines, while developing a solid academic foundation and enhancing their intelligences, including “soft skills” such as understanding, empathy, collaboration and communication skills. Schools must grant students the right to take ownership of their work and engage them in the decision-making process, so that they may build their intellectual character while exploring ideas and solutions.

The Reggio Philosophy: A Journey to Life-Long Learning

The Reggio Emilia approach is an educational philosophy that inspires students to become life-long learners. It is a movement that has made way for schools filled with questions instead of answers and learning instead of teaching; schools where children are asked what they think and where teachers plan and implement curriculum based on child-initiated activity. It acknowledges children as competent and capable learners that are full of potential and able to communicate with or without words. It is evident that this approach will continue to open doors of endless possibilities for children.

Recognizing that the journey to becoming a life-long learner begins with the awareness of, and appreciation for, curiosity, it was a clear choice for Richland Academy to adopt a Reggio-inspired approach to inquiry learning beginning three years ago. We find that this philosophy better allows us to follow the natural development of children, as well as the close partnerships they share with their parents, teachers, and the environment.

Reggio: Observations from the Untrained Eye

With not a hint of knowledge about the Reggio Emilia philosophy, I began my journey at Richland Academy on September 13th as the newest member of this welcoming community. From the moment I set off, I instantaneously entered a world of discovery, reflection and amazement: Children communicating with or without words, teachers supporting critical and creative thinking, parents partaking in classroom activities, and signs of nature both inside and outside the classrooms. As the days go by, I am astounded at how congruent the philosophy embraced by the school is to the Chinese Proverb displayed in each classroom: ‘Tell me, and I may forget. Show me, and I might remember. Involve me, and I will understand.’