What It Means To Be An Educated Person In The 21st Century
The Kidinnu Experience
Kidinnu Academy believes an educated person in the 21st Century must possess the following skills and attributes, and will support student learning to achieve high levels of:
- Academic Proficiency: the academic understanding of concepts that include the scope of state and national standards in the major subject areas.
- Communication Skills: the ability to communicate ideas effectively through reading, writing, and speaking in more than one language.
- Research Skills: the aptitude to access, process, manage, interpret, question, validate, and act upon information.
- Technological Proficiency: the knowledge of the software and hardware required to research and present information in a variety of media.
- Interpersonal Skills: the social skills necessary to cooperate, make group decisions, resolve conflicts, and identify group roles in order to work effectively as a team.
- Interpersonal Skills: the ability to be aware of one’s own learning, reflect upon personal strengths/weaknesses, and identify and execute the steps necessary to achieve growth.
- Critical and Innovative Thinking: the ability to analyze information and the ingenuity to creatively solve problems, make connections, and construct interdisciplinary combinations.
- Tolerance: the willingness to understand and respect cultural differences in perspectives, beliefs, values and traditions.
- Curiosity: the capacity to recognize personal inquiries and identify individualized learning goals accordingly.
Because it is not enough to have knowledge; we must know what to do in context and with thoughtful deliberation (Aristotle). Kidinnu believes that fostering the development of these critical skills in a free thought and free speech environment that upholds standards of excellence are necessary to encourage creative and innovative thinking skills that enable our students to find workable solutions to both continuing and new problems facing our world at the dawn of this new century such as prejudice, poverty, pollution, and renewable resource shortages. Therefore Kidinnu will adapt, expand, and transform the concept of a 21st century school by empowering interpersonal reflective learning and interpersonal collaboration, and by leveraging technology to provide a rigorous foundational K-5 academic program for diverse students in El Cajon.
These 21st century aptitudes depend on a foundational knowledge base that is detailed in the content standards. Kidinnu believes the strongest value in education is learning how to learn. Thus, our overarching goal is to ensure that as each student applies metacognitive learning strategies to master the new Common Core standards across each discipline and develop confidence and passion for learning. Kidinnu will create a new paradigm for public education to help all students meet high expectations for long-term growth and success.
At Kidinnu, a 21st century model of instruction will incorporate an integrated and thematic approach based on the best thinking in education today. Learning will be both active and personalized. Students will acquire knowledge by doing and experiencing learning through hands-on, personalized inquiries and expressions of learning through a highly engaging project-based learning model that emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving abilities crucial for success in secondary school, college and the global workforce.
A visitor to Kidinnu Academy will notice how incredibly active the students are. The students are not just sitting quietly in rows as teachers lecture, but rather students are seen debating ideas energetically, collaboratively creating machines and models, and expressing their interpretations of literature through art. Student work will be continuously showcased and celebrated in a culmination exhibitions of project work in which families and community members come to see student presentations of their learning. Our students will be engaged, inspired and motivated to learn.
Similarly, instruction will be driven by and a continuous review of student achievement data with targeted learning goals to meet the needs of the students with individualized instruction through blended learning, and one-on-one and small group instruction. Kidinnu believes every child can meet high expectations for success – beyond “proficiency” in core subjects.