What Learning Looks Like at SCOPE Academy
"I imagine a school system that recognizes learning is natural, that a love of learning
is normal, and that real learning is passionate learning. A school curriculum that
values questions above answers... creativity above fact regurgitation... individuality
above conformity... and excellence above standardized performance... And we must
reject all notions of 'reform' that serve up more of the same: more testing, more
'standards', more uniformity, more conformity, and more bureaucracy."
~ Tom Peters, Author, 'Re-imagine'
It comes as no surprise to any of us how much education has changed in the last
20 years, even in the past 10 years. Where once the emphasis was placed on the final
product or end result has shifted to a focus on honoring and understanding the learning
process children enter while at school. We as parents and educators can learn more
about a child, their interests, preferences, skills, and knowledge, by observing
the learning process. Within the learning process, children develop their skills
in all important areas of development and academics while they are engaged in activities
that are meaningful and relevant to them. Such a learning process can only occur
when children are given the gift of time, leadership to choose activities that are
of interest and motivating to them and adults available to ensure support when needed.
What seems like simply play can be an amazing example of the power of learning!
When SCOPE Academy was established, we set out to provide children with the
time to develop their process of learning within all that they do with us throughout
the day. Our program’s curriculum and assessment provide us clear outcomes, skills,
and concepts that we know children must work towards to set the foundation for future
educational success. These outcomes represent skills and concepts in the areas of
social development, communication, daily routine skills, math, science, social studies,
and literacy. Each week, teachers select outcomes they will work on with children
in their classroom and use these outcomes as a guide every time they interact with
children, arrange the environment, plan a classroom activity, or select resources
to be present in the classroom. Every decision teachers make is aligned with these
outcomes to ensure that every child work towards these important concepts and skills.
What exactly does this type of learning process look like? It can range from a child
independently building in the block area with building materials selected for the
week, children working together in the dramatic play area to create a restaurant,children
developing a blue print for a new area in our outdoor learning environment, to a
small group looking at the books that were placed on the table with the art materials
as they work on an amazing creation. All of these scenarios represent a process
that leads to learning. What you will not see in our program is learning confined
to a worksheet or experiences dictated by the adults. Our children are engaged in
projects that embed their interests and our outcomes for learning in experiences
that are meaningful to them.
Our teachers observe and document the learning process to ensure that all children
are making progress towards the targeted outcomes. By intentionally designing the
environment, resources, and activities aligned with the outcomes the process of
learning results in positive outcomes for children. Teachers focus heavily on the
process of learning where they take the role of facilitator during play or engaging
classroom activities to ensure success for every student. Through ongoing documentation,
our teachers understand where every child is at and are able to support their individual
learning goals. Our instructional approach has proven year after year to support
the progress and development of our students.
At SCOPE Academy, We Cultivate Thinkers - Come See How!