Our Educational Philosophy and Methodology
Kids Growing Strong aims to help children develop a knowledge base that will enable them to build confidence in themselves and learn how to become contributing members of their communities. We believe there is a truly a disconnect between children and the “real” world. By removing children physically and spiritually from the natural world. It diminishes their practical understanding of nature along with their dependency. Kids Growing Strong programming, and the methodology used to pursue knowledge, allows children to get back to their “roots” and helps children connect with nature, in all of its beauty, complexity and fragility, contributes greatly to their creative, intellectual and emotional development.
Our Educational Philosophy
We believe that children can best create meaning and make sense of their world experience in the real-world, encounters with material objects, through relationships between people, and exposure to new ideas and the ways of considering and expressing ideas.
Based upon a respectful image of every child as capable and competent and a constructor of their own knowledge, Kids Growing Strong approaches each child as resourceful, curious, imaginative and inventive individual possessing a desire to interact and communicate with others.
In the words of Chris Wink, founder of the Blue Man Group, “on a metaphorical level, the traditional model of education is that children are freight cars and the school is a grain silo. It fills each of the kids up and then moves them down the track.”
The programs developed by Kids Growing Strong aim to help children create their own foundation of skills, knowledge and inspiration; a launch pad that will rocket them on a path of discovery that will last a lifetime.
Science as a method of thinking
as opposed to just learning facts and theories, or heating stuff in test tubes, provides children with a skill that will be useful throughout their lives. Concepts such as logical deductions and inference, parsimony, and not accepting arguments (or dismissals) based on authority but from evidence, and skepticism are very necessary in this day of digital charlatans. Teaching young people how to appraise and evaluate conflicting evidence, and detect any bias in that evidence, will be useful ‘life skills’ for everyone. Making the right decisions in life often comes down to the ability to spot patterns, work out reasons for them, and to spot errors and mistakes: how can learning these skills not be unimportant?
Our Educational Methodology
We believe that our programs must foster the development of the whole child in relationship to himself and to the world around him. The methodology used in developing programs for Kids Growing Strong is inspired by Co-Constructivist theory and the Reggio Emilia Approach. These methodologies are based upon the following tenets:
- that to prepare children for their future life means to prepare each child for command of himself. To do so, children must have some responsibility and a sense of some control over the direction of their learning;
- that children develop a relationship with material objects in the world and must be allowed to discover and explore material things;
- that children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
- that educational content must be presented in a way that allows each child to relate the information to prior experiences, thus creating a framework within which to store knowledge and deepen connections with new knowledge;
- that children have a relationship with other children, their communities and their culture and that that these relationships are mutually influential;
- though part of a group, that each child is a unique individual, with individual skills and limitations, so must be afforded an unlimited variety of ways and opportunities to learn and to express him/herself.
We believe that physical environments, media influences and sensory encounters have a great impact on a child’s development. We take great care in creating physical spaces, educational materials and learning experiences that are designed to create a sense of community, awaken the senses, spark the imagination and inspire a quest for life-long learning.