Classroom of the Future
What does a classroom of the future need? Students come in all shapes and sizes and have their own unique set of needs. I think if you ask any parent or good educator they will tell you that. WiloStar3D Academy has always been a firm believer in recognizing the individual yet also encouraging them to respect and integrate with others. Learning from each other is a valuable skill but it’s not always a tangible thing to measure or track. This is because human beings and children in particular have their own special flavor to add to the mix. How does education help encourage and foster a student’s unique needs and talents yet make sure they are mastering core objectives, standards and course materials? Is it by designing a curriculum (or re-organizing it) around untested, unproven and unrelated objectives that are set in Washington? We think not. The Common Core has many fundamental issues and from our standpoint, and they are not something we choose to adopt or promote in any way. Standards imposed from above have no baring on what our students can and do achieve. Standards that were drafted primarily behind closed doors by Washington policy makers have no place in the WiloStar3D Academy program. Not to mention the fact that the Common Core devalues classical literature and pushes information texts. Of course informational texts have their place but students can have immensely valuable learning experiences with classical literature.
Consider the Unique learning styles of Students and Vary Assessment Strategies
Common Core deals only with standards, but for those standards to be effective they must be aligned with a curriculum. This puts constraints not only on content but also on how subjects are taught. This is where the real issues come into play. WiloStar3D has carefully crafted our 3D immersive learning program so students of all backgrounds and abilities can find success. It’s an educational process and a framework. All that we have created and designed is so students can be successful in our immersive 3D learning program and beyond. Molding this to the Common Core is out of the question. At one point back in 2011 when we first started investigating the Common Core we went in with an open mind. As time progressed we soon saw this was a very negative and detrimental thing for our particular type of student. From the inception of the school, WiloStar3D Academy has been setting our own standards and assessment strategies to measure student learning. We also successfully used the original Florida Sunshine state standards for over a decade. There is a lot of great meat on those standards! Setting clear course goals and outcomes and then using a variety of assessment techniques is much better suited to our students than teaching to the test or spending all school year preparing for a standardized test. Changing and re-molding the WiloStar3D Academy curriculum to match the Common Core is not something we will are willing to compromise on or participate in.
Do your Research on what works best for your Child
For parents considering an online homeschool program, we say do your research behind the core values, curriculum and standards in place in that program. For us, this means basing our program on tried and true educational standards that work for our students. We promote higher order thinking, creativity and active student learning. We won’t compromise on any standards that we feel detract from this central philosophy and as a private school we have the right to set what we will and will not adopt. It’s also our hope that schools and parents in traditional settings take a second look at what it means to have your child in a classroom of the future.