For many years researchers have been demonstrating the importance of developmentally-based, experiential learning for education that produces well-rounded, capable, critically thinking citizens who become life-long learners. Our program reflects the State and District standards and draws on both traditional educational theory and current research.
We respect and support the needs and talents of the individual and seek to empower each student to reach his or her fullest potential. An awareness of each child's learning style, skill level, interests and abilities is important to building a successful learning experience.
Children develop and grow at different rates in different skill areas. Teachers' strong understanding of child development and a close working relationship with each child's parent will allow them to design learning experiences so that each child's needs are met.
Curriculum is aligned with each child's developmental level to allow students to feel successful regardless of academic level. Children that feel good about their progress are motivated and inspired to learn more.
Children learn by doing and a hands-on learning approach will give students an opportunity to take learned skills and apply them to meaningful projects. These projects provide students an opportunity to develop and demonstrate critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and cooperative learning which will prepare them for the 21st century.
Learning best occurs in a collaborative environment. Students have a higher motivation to learn when they have a real stake in their own learning. The teacher shares control of the classroom and students are allowed to explore, experiment, and discover on their own.
The focus in our classrooms is on options, rather than uniformity. Learners are treated as co-creators in the learning process, as individuals with ideas and issues that deserve attention and consideration.
Our goal is to develop in students a sense of responsibility, initiative, self-motivation, and cooperation as they work in the classroom. To encourage these qualities the classroom environment is set up to provide students the opportunities to make choices, to initiate and carry out their own projects, and to take part in the decision-making.
Collaborative Teaching strengthens the Discovery program. Teachers work in partnership with each other. Collaboration time is spent weekly refining materials for thematic units, discussing the needs of students, and creating a program that focuses on best practices. Collaborative sessions focus on looking at assessment data, writing samples, sharing strategies, and discussing special needs of children.
Research shows that "consistent high levels of student success are more likely to occur with long-term comprehensive parent involvement in schools. 'Comprehensive' means that parents are involved at all grade levels in a variety of roles. Involving parents in supporting their children's education at home is not enough. To ensure the quality of schools as institutions serving the community, parents must be involved at all levels in the school." - California State Board of Education Policy #89-01 : Parent Involvement in the Education of Their Children.
With this in mind, Discovery families volunteer in the school on a regular basis. Discovery will ensure that parents can volunteer in ways which reflect their own skills, interest, talents, and time; as well as, taking into consideration classroom/program needs and the constraints of family, work, and other commitments outside of school.