This week the faculty had opportunity to dig more deeply into our goal of equipping our students with both the content knowledge and the 21st century skills they will need for the future. What are 21st century skills? They start from a foundation of robust content knowledge. Building on this base, students are challenged to develop their skills in the areas of creativity and innovation, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. We call these the 4C’s, and they will be our emphasis this year. 21st century skills also include themes such as global awareness and economic/business/entrepreneurial literacy. Information, media and technological skills are additional critical components, as are life skills such as initiative, adaptability, cross-cultural skills, productivity and leadership. Many of these themes are already integrated into Summit’s curriculum, and our goal is to accentuate and expand their emphasis from Preschool through 8th Grade.
You may be wondering how a 21st century classroom looks differently than those we remember from our own days in school. Here are a few examples: teachers are learning facilitators, asking challenging questions and assisting students as they work through problems. Because the learning process is as important as the product, teachers may not provide all the answers, but allow students to push through struggles to find the solutions themselves. Students often work in teams, applying what they have learned to solving real-world challenges in areas such as the environment, economics, health or global issues. Students demonstrate learning in a variety of ways– learning portfolios, multidisciplinary projects, and presenting plans and results. Summit’s focus on 21st century education will augment and extend our curriculum content as students develop their ability to apply what they have learned in creative and meaningful ways.
On behalf of the Summit staff, we are grateful to be able to serve your children and partner with you in helping them reach their full potential.
Mark Bistricky, M.Ed.
Head of School