Learning is a life-long activity.
Human beings are naturally inquisitive. From the time we are infants, we seek to make sense of the world and are motivated to accomplish tasks “all by ourselves”. As we grow older, we can no longer rely on others to tell us when to learn or what is important to know – we have to figure it out ourselves. At SWIS, self-directed learning is fostered from junior kindergarten to grade twelve. We want everyone to retain their love of learning for the rest of their lives, not just until they go to college or find a career.
Everyone’s learning style should be valued.
While we all share a drive to learn, we don’t all walk the same path to get there. There is no one correct way to master a subject, fix a problem or gain insight. Learning something new can involve periods of working alone, listening to others, talking, playing with ideas, thinking quietly and having fun with our friends. But we all share a desire to grow and excel, which if nurtured, will last our whole lives, enabling us to learn everything we need to know to be successful adults.
People learn best when they design their own education.
Students have the opportunity to design their own schedule and use their interests to engage in their learning. Beginning in junior kindergarten, students can choose when they visit the math centre, writing centre, reading centre, etc. In elementary and junior high school, students can choose when they are going to work on math, science, social, language arts, etc. As students mature, they learn how to manage their time appropriately and determine how much time is required to complete each subject. Time management, responsibility, and accountability are very important skills the students will carry with them as they enter post secondary education and the workplace.
Community feeds creation.
In many ways, humans are social learners. We learn by watching and interacting with other people. Our community serves as a source of knowledge and inspiration and students are free to mix with a variety of children and adults. This “age-mixing” helps to foster greater collaboration among students who are at different levels of experience. This helps less experienced students by increasing opportunities for learning from other students who are close to, but slightly above, their ability level. More experienced students have an opportunity to teach others, which is a good way to solidify what they know.