Published in Pacelli Perspective

December 10, 2020

Every student can learn valuable thinking skills when given the opportunity.  Memorizing facts and filling out mindless worksheets does little to expose the student to new thoughts that can be combined with prior knowledge to help expand the reasoning process.  We need citizens who can take information, make sense of it, evaluate, test and make conclusions to solve problems.  In today’s world, it takes individuals to work together in order to meet the challenge of situations both big and small.  At Oak Hill Academy each person finds a path in life where they can use their talents to be the best contributor to the wellbeing of their families and society in general.  This can only be accomplished by providing an educational climate which is personalized and rewarding.  Here a student can learn at their own pace while setting goals and being actively engaged.  With today’s technology it is no longer necessary for students to be on the same page at the same time.  Given proper time and space, our children can achieve wonderful things while they write their own success stories.  Our academic lives are a lifelong journey filled with events both inside and outside the classroom.  This journey will be defined by each of us and valued as a success in our own individual ways.  Below is a checklist of the keys that not only activate the learning process, but also provide a worthwhile and satisfying experience:

  1. Mastery – Students move forward as they master subject matter instead of going at a prescribed pace, leaving some behind and others held back.
  2. Deep Learning – Exploration goes beneath the surface and evaluates issues.
  3. Students collaborate while they debate, verify, and solve real life problems.
  4. Students are active participants in they own education rather than just receivers of information.
  5. Learners should pursue a passion while they research topics of interest.
  6. Writing is thinking – Constant writing allows the student to connect issues with prior knowledge and draw possible conclusions.
  7. Reading remains the primary activator of intellectual thought.  Our brains are wired to process the written word.  Reading must be constant.
  8. All communication skills have to energize the learner.  Speaking, listening and sharing our thoughts translates into connecting new knowledge.
  9. Calculating an answer should not be the end goal. Students should strive to solve a problem and apply it to a real-world situation.
  10. Standards should be used to tell students what they can achieve and what to strive for.
  11. Feedback from teachers should be given permitting students to know how they are doing and where they can improve.
  12. Students should be given the opportunity to reflect on what was learned, allowing for deeper understanding.
  13. Projects should be a focal point of instruction allowing for the use of body and mind.
  14. Students should demonstrate a growth mindset with the notion that knowledge well gained is just a matter of time.
  15. A “never be satisfied” mantra and a strong work ethic are assets for a productive and satisfying life.
  16. We all need people to support, love, listen, and understand us.
  17. Life is not always perfect and we can always learn a great deal from our mistakes.
  18. Most times, good thought-out questions are much better than simple answers.
  19. A positive attitude and perseverance are valuable assets leading to success.
  20. Finally, “Yes I can” should be the answer to most worthwhile questions.  The Little Engine that could had it perfectly when it said, “I think I can, I know I can!”
Article By Oak Hill Academy
Oak Hill Academy is a Monmouth County NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades per-kindergarten through eight.

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