Culturally Relevant Inspiration

The Discovery Method

Discovery Day Accademy

Discovery Day Academy in Bonita Springs, Florida is a school that has integrated 21st century skills along with culturally relevant practices, creativity and innovation. In 2006, Discovery Day started out as a lab school focused on early childhood education. They now have three campuses starting from preschool through first grade.

Demographics

The demographics of the school range for 3-7 years of age. The school is unique because they implement 21st century learning which is opposite of traditional learning. The curriculum is project based an age appropriate. “Projects are always interdisciplinary, experiential and authentic” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1622. para.4) Discovery Day methods are about the children. The children learn through exploration, collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking.

21st Century Skills

“Throughout the project, teachers provided appropriate scaffolding to facilitate students’ creativity and ingenuity” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1622. para.9). The teachers create a learning environment that encourages the children to take the initiative to explore the different learning domains in the class. The teachers have adapted the method of the 4C’s of 21st century leadership skills which allows deeper learning for the children.
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Creativity

Creativity is promoted in the class through hands on exploration, large and small group activities, student and teacher collaboration, and individual projects. Children are encouraged to ask questions, conduct research, share their ideas and outcomes or findings to the class and teacher.
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Culturally Relevant

Culturally relevant pedagogy exist through teachers allowing children to make choices, problem (solve, take responsibility for their learning, self-directed learning and scaffolding. Teachers relate the learning to real life experiences and connect the home culture with school.
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MaST Community Charter School


“MaST Community Charter School is an i3 Federal Grant Recipient, a Title 1 Distinguished School, and an Apple Distinguished Program” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1676. para.1)

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Demographics

The demographic information of the students in the school range from ages 5-18. The population of the students pertaining to race is very diverse. Within the population of students, 180 are special education students. The school is a Title 1 school with reduce lunch or free lunch for students.

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Community Involement

MaST Community is unique because the focus is mainly on learning and not disciplining students. They have parent support that aid in fundraising and putting together community events in which builds meaningful relationships with the community and the school. Students feel supported by their community and the parents. In addition, the school has a partnership with Community College of Philadelphia and Manor College, Children’s hospital, and LEGO to enhance their robotics program.

21st Century Learning

The school is engulfed in 21st century learning. It is an Apple Distinguished program. “Like everything else at MaST, the integration for technology was done purposefully to create new ways for students to learn. We work as a team to create optimal learning environments where technology enhances instruction and prepares all learners for career or college” Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1676. para.6, para .9).

Culturally Relevant

The learning experience reflect culturally relevant pedagogy in a variety of ways. Teachers work with students to modify the learning to help students achieve success. Teachers build on prior knowledge of the students and incorporate technology to aid in building needed skills. Students participate is designing the learning spaces in the school and the high school students take on the role of mentoring the elementary students and help them learn how to use technology.

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Creativity

Creativity is essential in learning. “Teachers are engaged with students and teachers become facilitators, allowing students to drive their own educational experience” Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1676. para.7).The students are involved in hands on learning, collaboration, critical thinking, and lesson design. Teachers create an opening for the students to become innovative learners by learning to think differently.

Katherine Smith Elementary School

Katherine Smith Elementary School is located in San Jose California.

Demographics

The population of the school ages are 5-13 years of age. “The majority of the school is Hispanic. It is a Title I School with 82% of students on Free or Reduced Lunch and 61% of students are Second Language Learners” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1632. para.1).
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21st Century Skills

KRS is unique because the school moved away from the traditional base learning and became a project base learning school. The school transformed itself to provide meaningful learning for the students. This positive change generated decline in suspensions and parents are more supportive of the culture of the school. Sense transitioning into a project base teaching school, 21st century skills are the core standards of learning. The teaching staff adopted the 4C’s of Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity to enhance the learning and make the learning more meaningful to the students. Students utilize technology in a variety of ways. Technology is used for collaboration, presentations and documentation for progress. Students and staff work together on projects that integrate technology to help set personal goals for the students.

Culturally Relevant

The learning experiences are culturally relevant. “Superintendent Kathy Gomez wanted to revitalize a learning culture so that students wanted to be a school” (Partnership for 21st Century Skills. “n.d.” List of examplar schools 1632. para.2). The teachers model the behavior they want the students to be comfortable with. Teachers work together collaborating, building trust, encouraging student engagement, share projects and gather feedback in front of the students. This strategy is adopted by staff to encourage transparency to build meaningful relationships with students. Building relationships with students will promote value and acceptance of diversity. It will connect the school’s culture and community together to provide a deeper learning that reflects the home life of the students. A learning that is tangible and meaningful by applying their work to real life experiences or situations.

Creativity

Creativity is created in and outside of the classroom. Students and teachers collaborate ideas, create hands on experiences, give feedback and work together. Students are encourage to ask questions, be flexible, solve problems and critique ideas.

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Creativity Culture and Global Context in Education Deision Making

Culturally Relevant: Developmental Appropriateness, Equity and Excellence, Teaching the Whole Child, (Wardle, 2013, Chapter 12, "sec. 12.1" para.1)

21st Century Learning: Collaboration and Leadership Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, Creativity and Innovation, Communication (TNewman 2013 Chapter 1, "sec.1.6" para.5)

Creativity: "We defined creativity as a process with outcomes that are both original between cultures, they also change within cultures between times" ( Robinson, 1999, p.51. para.2)

References

Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). List of examplar schools. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/exemplar-program-case-studies/list-of-exemplar-schools

Robinson, K., et al. (1999). All our futures: Creativity, Culture and Education. Retrieved from http://sirkenrobinson.com/pdf/allourfutures.pd

Newman, R., Fieldstein, L. & Phelps, P. (2013). Teaching and learning in the 21st century: Connecting the dots. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Wardle, F. (2013). Human relationships and learning in the multicultural environment. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.