These days when one reads the word ‘connectedness,’ often one’s first thought goes to technology and just how connected our students are. It is true that enhanced learning through the integration of technology can facilitate connections; however, this is not the only manner in which to do so.
Mark Van Doren, a retired professor from Columbia University, said “The student who can begin early in life to see things as connected has begun the life of learning.”
This year, our Middle School embarked on a new approach to learning, introducing an integrated approach to our girls’ Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum while embedding Sciences and Visual Arts as well. Our Grade 8’s Integrated Studies Global Affairs Forum summatives presented on Friday afternoon highlighted the powerful results of deeply connected learning. As I listened to our students explain their projects and learning process, it was evident to me that they had not only acquired a breadth of knowledge about their particular global issue, but they were able to confidently discuss these issues, offer solutions and apply them to their own local environments. The girls’ insights and their articulation of them were impressive.
While I know that all of our St. Clement’s community members are deeply invested in their learning, the girls that afternoon were able to demonstrate their ability to connect their learning across disciplines and issues. Impressive, to be sure!