Monday, January 11, 2016

Out of the Classroom, Into the Studio

Redefining the Classroom—Wait, What? Can We Do That?

A traditional classroom space is seen as a room where students go to be taught; it's where the Teacher houses their instructional materials and essentially teaches lessons to the children based on a preset curriculum with certain goals in mind.

The Studio environment, on the other hand, reflects more on how the classroom space is used as well as how the children learn in that space. The Studio space reflects the nuances of the children's experiences: the thought processes of inquiry and discovery and the type of exploration and experimentation that occurs based on the children's interests. The Studio is an environment that is lived in and ever changing to allow for opportunities in learning—it is a place to be creative and actively construct knowledge. It is open, airy, and reflects the children's ideas. It "moves" and "breathes" with the  development of the children who use it. It is alive with R.E.A.L. (Relevant, Engaging, Active Learning) experiences. The Studio space produces thinkers at higher achieving levels because the students are able to showcase the evidence of their learning with hands-on activities that resonate with them—whether it be in art, music & movement, language, technology, math and/or the sciences.  There are opportunities for STEM activities, leadership, creativity, and many hands-on learning modalities that produce the same "traditional" goals, but with so much more practicality and applicability.

I like to use a simple dust particle as an analogy:

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."  Genesis 2:7

How does this verse from the Bible provide any relevance to the topic? Man, formed from the dust of the ground, contained all the necessary elements, but it was only after God breathed the breath of life, did Man become a LIVING soul. Along the same line, the traditional classroom may very well contain all the "necessary" elements to learn, but the Studio environment gives the breath of life, so to speak, that makes the learning come ALIVE!

So, we invite all educators, beginning in preschool through the formative years of a child's life, to rethink the classroom.

At BKC Academy we take our Studio classroom model from the Reggio Emilia methodologies, where the classroom environment itself serves as the "third teacher".  As no two Reggio Emilia inspired schools look the same, we are excited to create our own community of Thinkers and Doers. Our Studios provide a 21st century Christ-centered environment.  Our community of young learners and their families are passionate about God and passionate about education.

At Brilliant Kids Christian Academy, we have come out of the traditional classroom and moved into the Studio. Yes, we CAN do that!

Learn a little about Reggio Emilia here.

Visit us at where we open the doors to your child's unique brilliance. (Coming Soon!)

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