As our culture continues to shift around us, so should the way we prepare our children to enter it. While there may be a hot debate within the educational community as to how to prepare our children for success, the main purpose of elementary education is to foster the growth of crucial cognitive and social abilities that will be further developed later on in their educational careers. This not only includes shifting the traditional paradigm of the classroom but also embracing teaching methodologies that put a renewed focus on inclusion and problem-solving.
In this article, we discuss three current trends in education that can help boost student success. While there will always be differing viewpoints as to the best teaching methods, our affordable private elementary school in Clearwater, FL, will continue to monitor the latest innovations in teaching to create the absolute best environment for your children to thrive in.
One of the issues at the forefront of elementary education is how to keep young minds interested and engaged in STEM education, which focuses on the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. According to the U.S. News and World Report,“by the time students reach fourth grade, a third of boys and girls have lost an interest in science. By eighth grade, almost 50 percent have lost interest or deemed it irrelevant to their education or future plans.”
Many believe that the way to combat this lack of interest is to promote inquiry-based learning from the beginning. As opposed to traditional methods, inquiry-based learning promotes active learning by posing questions or problems in which the student is given the tools to figure the answer out themselves, not just listening to the teacher tell them the answer and try to retain that information. This is the basis of how STEM knowledge is taught, so when the time comes for them to be introduced to it, they will be more ready.
Think back to your elementary school days — remember the discomfort of being broken into small groups for projects and being forced to work with classmates you didn’t know too well? At first, you may have been a little uncomfortable working in groups that didn’t always include your closest friends, but, over time, you discovered that these other students had lots of important lessons to teach you. The five key elements of cooperative learning are:
This method of education tries to steer away from the “in one ear, out the other” issue commonly found in education. Many young students believe that they will never need school-related lessons outside of the classroom, so why bother retaining the information? PBL addresses this issue by introducing a dynamic approach to learning in which students develop knowledge by exploring real-world problems or scenarios for an extended period of time, allowing for authentic discoveries that they arrive at by working through the issue. This method is different from simply assigning projects during the semester because the project is the semester, not simply an assignment meant to break up classwork.
If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, one of the best private elementary schools in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.