A Platform for Lifelong Learning
I recently had the opportunity to attend curriculum presentations at three different Moore County schools. It was very enlightening.
I am impressed with the progress being made in our schools, which have much more advanced curriculums than when I was a student growing up in the area. It is very interesting to see the somewhat overwhelming myriad of ideas and philosophies that modern education systems have to choose from as they design their curriculums.
One curriculum platform stood out. I have always loved the motto of the Episcopal Day School: “Educating the Mind, Body and Spirit.” I left their recent curriculum presentation genuinely excited about a concept that truly provides their educators the ability to build a platform that will be useful for students’ lifelong learning.
EDS teachers are using “Thinking Maps” in an integrated way throughout different classes and subjects to develop decoding and communication skills that have a broad array of applications for organizing thoughts, developing study habits and writing.
The concept itself is impressive (I already plan to use it in my own work), but what was most exciting was seeing the concept in action. Presentations of students from first to fifth grade showed that developing and then applying the Thinking Maps helped them produce written work that seemed well beyond their years. The students very clearly grasped the concepts and their application seemed intuitive.
In this era of “teaching to the test,” it seems there is an emphasis on covering material rather than learning how to process information and how to communicate. It is refreshing to see EDS’s curriculum centered around the integration of concepts that will give students skills that they can use for the rest of their lives regardless of the grade, subject or situation.
Dr. Jefferson K Kilpatrick
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