As research has shown time and time again, not every child learns the same way. For this reason, multiple types of learning styles have been developed to ensure all children have their educational needs met.
Below, we explore four beneficial learning methods and how choosing a school that utilizes them in its curriculum will benefit your child’s education.
1. Experiential learning
Experiential learning is when theory and academic content are applied to real-world experiences.
This learning style is beneficial for developing skills that will make your child employable; during the teaching process, students take theoretical knowledge and apply it as they would in a workplace setting.
This is an active learning method and is a great way to learn hands-on skills, especially with the knowledge that active learning is superior to passive learning.
One great benefit of an experiential learning environment is that your child is able to see for themselves how this knowledge will be applied in their future.
Most of us know the frustrations of learning topics we doubt we will ever use again – looking at you, Algebra – but through experiential learning, students learn via practical application of concepts as opposed to rote learning.
At the International School of Beijing (ISB), experiential learning is a fundamental component of the curriculum. Students learn through essential questions and experiences.
Experiential learning at ISB is rigorous, relevant, relational, and authentic to the classroom, and has both local and global engagements. It is purposefully designed and integrated into the ISB curriculum to allow for students to develop deep understandings, innovate and positively transform ways of thinking, acting and knowing.
2. Service learning
Service learning involves the integration of a classroom learning environment with the greater school community, and more broadly, the world. This style of learning is important because it will teach your children not only essential life skills and knowledge, but also how to interact with a diverse group of people.
A great service experience should be both challenging and enjoyable, a journey of self-discovery that takes students out of their comfort zones.
At ISB, the spirit of service is in the ethos of the educational philosophy. There are numerous service groups and the school actively encourages Middle School and High School students to get involved.
Groups at the school include environmental groups Roots & Shoots and Greenkeepers, and social advocacy groups such as the Nightingale Charity Club and Pencils of Promise.
3. Outdoor learning
Why study inside when your children could study outside?
Research into how to positively affect student learning has shown that outdoor learning spaces provide many benefits, from improved health to reduced stress to increased engagement and concentration.
ISB’s new facilities plan includes outdoor play areas and other outdoor learning spaces for students to take advantage of.
While many studies go into great detail on how outdoor learning is essential in the development of young minds, the benefits for older students are abundant as well. Schools that provide outdoor sitting areas for study are able to provide these benefits for students that may be too old for an outdoor play area.
To find out more about outdoor learning and the benefits it will have on your child’s education, click here.
4. Interdisciplinary learning
Interdisciplinary learning may seem intensive, but it’s a relatively simple process; it is accomplished by making connections between ideas and concepts across different disciplinary boundaries.
“I think for some students, they learn better when they can make connections across subject areas or some students really learn by doing or creating,” says Kelsey Giroux, one of the leads in an innovative program of interdisciplinary learning at ISB. “My class took two trips to Cambodia, you don’t get much more real-world than that.”
ISB offers a Science and Engineering course and an Action Research course, which combines real-world learning, traditional subject matter and innovative thinking.
Lastly, a necessity for successfully integrating interdisciplinary learning into a curriculum is collaboration between instructors. This is often achieved by designing open and flexible facilities to encourage such collaboration through team teaching or combining subject classes.
In addition to flexibility and an open atmosphere, an innovative facility must have five other characteristics to truly benefit your children. Click here to find out what they are.