“The fact is, that given the challenges we face, education doesn’t need to be reformed — it needs to be transformed. The key to this transformation is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to build achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.”
“Imagination is the source of every form of human achievement.”
OAAK’s Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy and Project-based Emergent Curriculum celebrates a child’s inherent ability to see the world as whole and inter-connected. Our dynamic programs ensure that students spend their formative years developing skills and habits of mind that will prepare them for life as avid creative thinkers and inspired learners. In tandem with OAAK’s academic curriculum, our Independent Preschool, Junior and Senior Kindergarten programs feature dance, music and the visual arts – all taught by educators and practicing artists committed to honing their craft while pursuing a passion for teaching.
What makes learning at the OAAK School unique and extraordinary?
The Oakville Academy for the Arts’ Kinderschool is dedicated to a philosophy that sees children as whole, capable human beings, having the right to co-construct their educational experience. We are passionate and committed to creating an atmosphere wherein children feel like valued members of a vibrant learning community and encourage all children to find and voice their unique gifts in a supportive and respectful environment. Our goal is to nurture independent and creative thinkers, enthusiastic life-long learners, active explorers and compassionate and respectful human beings.
Within the context of our Project-based Emergent environment, young learners are encouraged, along with their teachers, to decide upon and undertake projects of study that allow for on-going investigation, in-depth study and the ability to develop and internalize skills and concepts from the entire range of curriculum components such as math, language arts, science, social studies, visual arts, music, dance/movement and technology.
Within our classrooms, teachers have exciting and daily opportunities to integrate curriculum. Activities that are meaningful and relevant to a child’s life experiences provide intrinsic motivation and allow for teachers to teach across the curriculum and assist their students in seeing the interrelationships of the things they are learning. At the OAAK school, students are offered the exclusive opportunity to marry a stimulating, enriching and absorbing classroom experience with dance, music and the visual arts. The classroom itself becomes a studio workshop – offering an abundant array of art media, recycled found objects and a host of captivating natural materials.
A growing body of research indicates that intelligence is not a single quantifiable ability, but rather a set of aptitudes developed and valued. Professor Howard Gardner, in his widely acclaimed Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, describes seven different intelligences through which people think, learn and process information. Project-based learning affords students opportunities to develop and apply these intelligences, thereby accommodating a wide variety of learning styles and temperaments. Engaged learners find excitement and pleasure in learning. They possess a lifelong passion for solving problems and understanding ideas and concepts. Engaged learners understand that learning is social. They are able to see themselves and ideas as others see them, can articulate their own ideas to others, have empathy for others, and are fair-minded in dealing with contradictory or conflicting views. They have the ability to identify the strengths and intelligences within themselves and others. Within our very special Preschool, Junior and Senior Kindergarten Programs, the shift is from teaching to that of learning, with an emphasis on finding personal and meaningful ways to make curriculum areas come alive! We seek to develop in students and ourselves valuable habits of mind and dispositions such as critical, creative and divergent thinking, inquiry, research and problem solving; skills that will put our young learners in the best possible position as they arrive upon the doorstep of future academic experience.