In today’s world, more and more employers are not only looking for a skilled workforce but are relying on talented, well rounded employees who bring collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking skills to the table. It has become a necessity in many company’s cultures around the world for their employees to poses these skills for success in our global economy. So when should we begin teaching students these skills? Is preschool too early to focus on such BIG tasks? Research says preschool is where to begin. According to the US Chamber of Commerce, “(T)he capacity for developmental skills begins in the first five years of life. This is the beginning point for a person’s creativity, communication, team working, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.”
New World Learning Academy (NWLA) instills and nurtures that same 21st Century culture of focus, self-discipline, motivation and collaboration in all of our students. We know that 90% of critical brain development occurs before Kindergarten and these skills are ingrained by age 5. These are the years that children develop Cognitive, Social, Emotional and Language skills. Children in this age group grow and learn at the most intense rate and begin to interact and relate to the world around them.
NWLA’s curriculum and educators enhance and nurture that critical development phase in all of our students. We are not a one size fits all environment as we recognize that children learn at different rates and in multiple different ways. We take a personalize approach to our education methods and curriculum. How do we accomplish this? It all begins with our school environment.
· Each classroom is designed to teach collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving skills. Desks are arranged where children can work independently when needed and turn to collaborate with classmates.
· Our science lab is organized for children to work hands-on with every project.
· Our library promotes thinking routines in which students use to make observations and reflections of stories read.
. Our students are educated to engage in computational thinking – a big term for our young learners but they do not realize they are engaging in it when it is presented appropriately.
· Our educators aide students’ engagement in creating and making use of multiple levels of concepts to solve problems differently.
· Our curriculum fosters student’s innate curiosity and enthusiasm by allowing children to explore various outcomes through manipulatives and hands-on modeling. They work together to solve real life problems they are facing or are aware of in today’s society.
· At the same time we celebrate each student’s personal academic growth. Our reading program incorporates both group lessons as well as an individual reading coach. This begins the foundation of a whole new world for our students. When they begin to read, their confidence is boosted and they believe they can do anything – and they can – and they will!
Arizona’s high school graduation rates are staggering – one quarter of high school students do not graduate. Nearly half of the American workforce lacks the important skills for obtaining and advancing in a career. The good news is that research shows how to correct this problem and it begins with a solid foundation in the early years. New World Learning Academy is dedicated to changing those statistics among our future leaders here in the East Valley.