The philsophy of the Ingenium Pre-School that directs its programs, practices, teaching methods, and over-all culture is captured by its slogan and icon:
Underlying this catchy phrase and playful image is a centuries-long and solidly validated view of education. The Greek philosopher Socrates (d. 399 BC) viewed the teacher as a “midwife”. If knowledge is that which is brought about by education, then the midwife does not give birth to knowledge, but merely assists in bringing it to light. Similarly, St. Augustine (d. 430 AD) concluded that the Truth (who is God) is not something outside of us, but imbedded in our hearts for otherwise, how will we recognize truth when we see it, unless we have known it all along; just as we will not recognize a friend’s face unless we have already it beforehand. This observation that “knowledge” is not from the “outside”but somehow generated from the “inside” is something that finds its echo in the modern constructionist view of education that the learner “creates” his/her own meaning; or in the conclusion of contemporary brain research that the brain is “wired” for learning. Pedagogically, the fundamental implication is that learning is the activity of the learner, the student, and not of the teacher. Hence, the focus of all education is the child, the student. And since students are not all alike, but each one is a person with his/her own mix of native talents, his/her own environment and circumstances, the focus of education is not “students| in general, or “the student” in the abstract, but the individual student.
For this reason, Ingenium, particularly in the pre-school, maintains small classes.
Ingenium, then, considers each child to be endowed with potentials, capacities, native talents (“ingenium” in Latin) and the whole function of the school and the teacher is to provide the stimuli, encouragement, support, and guidance by which those native talents can develop to full blossom. And the fertile soil in which those native talents blossom is not that of fear or threat of punishment, but that of joy that springs from love.
There are of course the clear goals of the pre-school years like the physical (e.g. gross and fine motor skills); the academic (e.g. reading, writing, counting, speaking); the social and emotional, and so on. And these developments are monitored in careful detail. But the “ambience”, the “feel”, the environment in which all this development takes place is one of joy and therefore of play, of camaraderie, and fun.
The very physical facilities of the Pre-school have been tailor-fitted to create the appropriate setting for this educational philosophy, and the task of leadership in the school is to select and guide professionally competent teachers to infuse their technical competence with a great dosage of love and care for each child.
If there is a word to describe the Ingenium Pre-School, the word is “happy” It is a happy school, and therefore its students excel.
This link, between joy and learning is finding more and more validation is recent research.
(For example: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/three-ways-raise-happy-people-170100628.html which is a capsule summary of a recent study by a leading expert on the topic, Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage,).
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