At All Saints, we believe the aim of education is to change the world. We want our students to be able to make a positive difference – not at some point in the future
, but now
. Even students as young as three years old can be empowered to make a difference, and can experience the powerful connection between what we’re learning, and why we’re learning it.
As I write this, our Pre-K Valentine’s Day Post Office, a treasured tradition at All Saints, is in full swing. For two weeks each February, Pre-K students take on the responsibility of helping to improve community life by creating a process whereby students, teachers and parents send one another hand-written notes. Like every milestone project at All Saints, the Valentine’s Post Office may be celebratory and enjoyable for the community, but its real purpose is to teach important skills - such as community service, social interaction, responsibility, hard work, cooperation and empathy – which will serve them well throughout their lives.
Another current example is our year-long Fourth Grade Action Research project, now at the culmination of data collection. Students have been looking at critical challenges related to bike safety in our city, and will be taking what they’ve learned through surveys, research and interviews and creating a presentation to be shared with members of the Hoboken City Council at one of their upcoming meetings. The purpose for this work is to effect positive change in our community – in this case, increasing education around bike safety.
This aspect of our school’s vision and philosophy – that young children can be empowered to make positive contributions to the world – is one that elegantly synchronizes with the aims of the IB Middle Years Program. IB states that it “encourages students aged 11 to 16 to make practical connections between their studies and the real world, preparing them for success in further study and in life.”
According to a university research study
conducted on the impact of the IB Middle Years Programme, students who participate in the MYP Program experience significant benefits. Below is a list taken from the IB website’s summary
of the study:
- build confidence in managing their own learning
- learn by doing, connecting the classroom to the larger world
- outperform non-IB students in critical academic skills
- consistently have greater success in IB Diploma Programme examinations
- thrive in positive school cultures where they are engaged and motivated to excel
- develop an understanding of global challenges and a commitment to act as responsible citizens
This important connection between our respective missions is one of many compelling reasons All Saints has decided to pursue this exciting direction. As John Dewey said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
Questions? Comments? Ideas? I’d love to hear them! Email me: email@example.com