Climate and Competencies
- A seeker has to be enchanted by the subject material. Enchantment feeds off of pleasure that comes from a sense of accomplishment and belonging. Engagement is a useful barometer of this cycle of learning and enchantment. Every child needs gifted education to keep this cycle well-oiled.
- Since the potential for cognitive development depends upon the "zone of proximal development“ (Vygotsky), environment is an essential learning component.
- In addition to scaffolding, environment provides the raw material that nourish our body and mind and the experiences that feed our curiosity. Curiosity then opens up channels of information for us. Our cognitive abilities process the information we receive and relate it to what we already know. 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. Ambition is our potential to stretch our abilities and pursue one or more of the possibilities offered by our judgment. Creativity, on the other hand, takes us beyond known possibilities and entices us to march ahead in new directions even when there is no inkling of a solution to the problem at hand. 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.
- As you review our curriculum for preschool and elementary programs, it should become clear that our objectives are not simply aspirational. We do walk the talk. Our curriculum is indeed designed to cultivate the environment, fuel curiosity, enhance cognition, build empathy, activate ambition, nurture creativity, sharpen communication and monitor engagement. We also offer assessments to evaluate the climate and these competencies so programmatic adjustments can be made as needed.
- In the end, we only respect what we love, we love only if we understand and we need to experience to truly understand. Environment/climate is the medium that delivers these experiences.