Opinion | Education that reaches beyond the classroom
Einstein once said, “Education is not the learning of facts, it’s rather the training of the mind to think.” While education often is broadly thought of as a form of indoctrination through the transmission of knowledge from one individual to another, we all know, or at least hope, it does not end there.
True education extends beyond the classroom, prepares one for life, and embraces learning experiences to foster growth and development. In May, we excitedly celebrated 240 Summit seniors and their accomplishments at graduation, but it is our hope they leave Summit schools with so much more, including an insatiable curiosity and desire to grow.
Summit School District is an International Baccalaureate district, where IB is a model for educating students by extending the classroom and taking an active part in our community. Our teachers, daily, work to empower respectful, responsible, compassionate, lifelong learners and focus on developing every student as a critical thinker, to inquire with care and logic, and recognize what it means to be an “IB learner,” as content becomes meaningful when these characteristics are integrated into the learning process.
Being an IB learner starts with the simple notion that character is the purpose of true education and shapes our educational experience, which extends throughout our lifetime affecting how we thrive in both our local and global communities. The learner profile develops learners who are Caring, Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Risk-takers, Balanced and Reflective. We recently asked a few students to share which learner profile they most relate to and embody.
“I am caring, because I care about other students in my class. If a student is not feeling good, I like to give her a hug to make her feel better. I like to help my teacher to put away pencils and papers in their right spot, so my teacher doesn’t have to clean up everything by themself.” — Kindergarten Caring
“I love learning and asking questions, because I think that is the best way to learn more. I’m interested in anything that has to do with nature. I’m always looking for new things while hiking, and I like to examine them with my magnifying glass. My teacher knows a lot about nature, and I learn from her by asking questions and reading nature books.” — 4th grade Inquirer
“I am reflective, because I try to improve myself, especially in academics. I’m good at Math and Science, but also have areas to improve. Knowing myself helps me understand and make decisions how to become the best learner I can be.” — 11th grade Reflective
It was Einstein who also stated, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” When specific facts and figures become a dim memory, we hope that our students recall that they truly are dynamic, lifelong learners, and the character developed by both hardships and successes in school will help them face all of life’s experiences.
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