- we have low student - teacher ratios, with no more than 8 children per teacher in PreK-2
- every child works off of an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) and assigned goals are monitored until goals for mastery have been met
- curriculum is designed to develop competencies through a discovery based learning process
- education is focused on development of the whole child, i.e. we look at intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth
- yoga and meditation are an integral part of our curriculum, with meditation offered to learners 6 years and older
- 3 foreign languages: Spanish, Mandarin and Sanskrit
- a counselor on staff to help support socio-emotional growth
- thoughtful and active field experiences to support classroom work
We currently serve children ages 2 to 5 in grades PreK and Kinder. We will be adding higher grades in the years to come.
Please read on if you are interested in learning more about our research based model for child development.
Growth and learning are facilitated by both our experiences and interactions with the external environment as well as our internal belief systems. Since the potential for cognitive development depends on the "zone of proximal development“ (Vygotsky), environment is an essential learning component. In addition to scaffolding, environment also provides the raw materials that nourish our body and mind. Similarly, in order to build stronger muscles for creativity, the environment should support experimentation and risk-taking, require elaboration and promote resilience and a healthy relationship with failure, Also, at the same time, the child should believe that creativity is a worthy endeavor. Environment and belief system are therefore the first step, in our mind, of a child's educational journey. In the end, we only respect what we love, we love only if we understand and we need to experience to truly understand.
The second stop in this journey is curiosity. Curiosity is a measure of how actively and independently one seeks new information. It includes both specific and diversive curiosity.
Our cognitive abilities process the information we receive and relate it to what we already know. These are the basic mental processes that hold and process different types of information. Cognition is therefore the third leg.
Do we all walk away with the same understanding from a given experience? Most likely not. Each of us has our own distinct moral compass and it is our empathy that enables the valuation of the information we process, often from multiple perspectives. This valuation helps us judge between different possibilities. This skill is essential, for example, for social interactions and emotional regulation. Empathy is therefore the next link in the chain.
While empathy and our value system help us prioritize the different opportunities, not all of us have the same ability to pursue these opportunities. Ambition is our potential to stretch our abilities and pursue one or more of the possibilities offered by our judgment. In other words, one needs the skills to set goals, deprioritize distractions and boredom (gratification deferment) and overcome obstacles with perseverance (grit).
Creativity, on the other hand, takes us beyond known possibilities and entices us to march ahead in new directions even when there is no clear solution or an inkling of a solution to the problem at hand. In fact, unlike ambition, creativity often also reveals a new problem that we did not even know existed.
Since true empowerment requires metacognition and a deep awareness of this learning process, communication skills are essential for building such awareness around our accomplishments, failures and the opportunities between them. The ability to reflect, elaborate, document and then relay these ideas is vital for accelerating one's growth and learning.
We believe early childhood education should therefore help cultivate an environment and belief system that fosters a growth mindset, fuels curiosity, enhances cognition, builds empathy, develops ambition, nurtures creativity and sharpens communication. Also, a seeker has to be enchanted by the subject of his/her investigation. Enchantment feeds off of pleasure that comes from a sense of accomplishment and belonging. Since engagement is a vital barometer of this cycle of learning and enchantment, one should monitor a child's passions to evaluate and refine a child's growth opportunites and to ensure that this cycle remains healthy.
You can also learn more on our FAQ page at: https://www.sankalpa-academy.org/faq.