How Children Learn
The core values of learning at North Park are communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking – the 4 C’s. As we continue to find new ways to promote these skills within our students - and ourselves - we must keep in mind the important role making mistakes plays in learning. We are committed to providing a student-centered environment where all students and teachers feel safe to take risks and make the mistakes required to maximize learning.
In an education landscape dominated by getting the correct answers on high stakes tests it has become increasingly difficult to accept the importance that trying, failing and trying again plays in learning. As teachers, we are working diligently to allow our students to explore and take ownership of their own learning - providing ample opportunity for mistakes and short-term failure along the way. These failures are learning at its best. Click this link for an article that articulates this concept quite well.
In order to create such a learning environment our professionals lean heavily on collaborating with one another to determine the needs of each learner and how to creatively meet them. In our primary grades, this will look like teams of teachers working together to provide practice in foundational skills such as basic reading, writing and math literacy. In addition, students will learn basic technology skills in Kindergarten and 1st grades such as logging into a device and Google. Students will begin to learn how to use applications to create documents and forms and manipulate photos, video and audio. These skills will prepare them to create their own web pages in 2nd grade to serve as their electronic portfolios used to curate their most important learning artifacts.
Learners in the intermediate grades at North Park do their work in Learning Studios. In these flexible spaces collaboration intensifies and integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) become central to how students learn. Each of our learners continues to work in the more traditional content areas of reading, writing and math, but their instruction is more personalized and many of them are able to work autonomously. This provides enough flexibility for our teachers to provide direct support individually and in small groups for students who learn best in such a format. For a more detailed description of how our Learning Studios work, please visit our Learning Studio page.