Selecting the right school for a child is a daunting task as a parent. We know this from parents who tell us about their decision-making process as well as from being parents ourselves.
The options can be endless depending on the country you live in. And being able to distinguish what makes one school different from another can be a very challenging task. Especially for parents who want to look beyond glossy brochures, fancy classrooms and who want to make an informed decision.
Our Vice President of Academic, Lenna Glade, spent some time analyzing and comparing the Maple Bear curriculum with what other schools around the world are offering. She shared what she discovered with our Maple Bear Brazil owners at their convention last month in Campinas, Brazil, and we want to share her insights with our readers.
STRATEGIC: OUR CURRICULUM PREPARES OUR STUDENTS FOR THE REAL WORLD
The first major difference is how strategic we are as it relates to the curriculum we provide. We develop our learning strategies around student interests because we know that when learning is relevant and meaningful, it is strongly retained.
How does Maple Bear do this?
We incorporate real life activities and situations into the learning methods. At the nursery level, simple experiments with what sinks or floats to project-based learning at higher grade levels combine collaboration and creativity into their learning. (Read about more examples in last month’s blog post on 21st Century Learning.)
In Maple Bear schools, we teach children not just how to think, but how to think creatively. In art, we give them the freedom to express themselves. We have a new Computational Thinking program that teaches a process that can be used for coding and for problem solving. Our science curriculum helps children develop what is known as “design thinking” which is a logical approach of proposing, creating, and testing prototypes, products and techniques in an attempt to reach a solution to a given problem.
Another strong element of the Maple Bear curriculum is through community involvement. We incorporate mentoring, volunteering and project work that contribute to the students’ community and help to make it a better place. In one example, students led a clean-up program for the parks in their neighborhood. Ways to hone in on leadership skills and build the character of the students are embedded into our lesson planning.
Maple Bear also has an active global curriculum committee that makes sure we are implementing the latest best practices and are updating our curriculum based on the most current research.
MAPLE BEAR MEETS THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS IN 17 COUNTRIES
Finally, Canadians are known around the world to be a respectful, friendly, kind and compassionate people. At Maple Bear, we imbue these values by making sure our students have the best of the education offered in their own country as well as the best of our Canadian curriculum. It is very important to Maple Bear that we respect the culture and education system of the country and we adapt to them accordingly. It allows our students to seamlessly transition into their own local school if they need to.
Maple Bear schools prepare students to accept challenges of the future, to be creative problem solvers, and innovative thinkers through strategies that have relevance, purpose and meaning. We prepare our teachers to effectively implement these strategies, and we do it in a way that will allow students to be successful in their own culture, in their own country and also that will give them access to a world of opportunities.
The differences are evident when you step into our schools. Maple Bear is truly unique.