Learning doesn’t have to take a break
Schools across the island are into their last week of the fall term, as the calendar year rumbles to a close. It is evident that schools play an essential part in the development of young people; however, it provides only a portion of their growth.
It is arguable that as vacation offers a period for renewing mind, body and spirit, it is pregnant with educational opportunities — chances for growth and development. So even when young people are out of school, education continues.
Let’s distinguish between “schooling” and “education”. The former tends to be limited by walls of various kinds, while for the latter, the sky’s the limit.
Old-school is the place that is either teacher-driven or testing-driven. However, a fresher approach regards education as being learning-driven, focused on empowering students.
Carika Weldon, a lecturer and researcher at De Montfort University in Leicester, England, offered her beloved Bermuda an example of moving outside of “walls” last month, when she brought 18 students with her to the island, along with a fellow lecturer from that school’s faculty of health and life sciences.
The components that this tour had that reinforced that it was truly educational included:
• The students were focused on cutting-edge areas of scientific research
• Using the principle that true learning occurs when one attempts to teach what has been learnt, Dr Weldon deployed her students for presentations at all our schools — public and private, middle school and senior school
• In her role as an educational leader, Dr Weldon framed their visits to local schools as a form of service to their hosts, teaching social responsibility
• In spite of the hours of work put in by the students, the travel tour was organised to ensure that the students had fun
The video they produced is testimony to that last point.
On this theme of empowering students, please remember that this can be a family goal. So over the Christmas holidays, we invite families to enjoy themselves in a way that makes use of educational opportunities:
• Join in simple, family-oriented games that can reinforce family bonds, building a sense of self for the younger generation
• Make use of some of the island’s amenities that offer reasonably priced educational entertainment. Include the aquarium, which has developed into a small, but world-class facility
• Make plans to attend free of charge, the “Parent Expo” on January 20 from 4pm to 8pm at CedarBridge Academy
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