Organic Child

Grocery stores are dedicating more and more prime space in their establishments to organic produce, meats, and other items.  We see changed packaging and delivery methods to reflect a better respect for health and naturally clean living.  We see a great increase in farm cooperatives.  And, we can’t help but see blogs and posts dedicated to clean living, organic food, and free-range meats in every aspect of social media.   It was just announced that an organic or natural baby and child outfitter startup company is being sold for just over a billion dollars.  Clearly, American families, especially young parents, demand that their food and lifestyle be wholesome, fresh natural and organic products and services.Undoubtedly, these same parents are looking for the same high-quality and clean natural way of educating their most precious gift, their children.  These savvy parents read blogs and posts about their children’s learning styles, learning differences, methodologies, and everything they can in order to make the best choice for their son or daughter.  Rightfully so, these parents want their children’s instruction to match how they were designed.A flourishing school recognizes these trends in addition to ongoing educational research.  Another indicator of a flourishing school is to recognize the needs of the learner and constantly thrive to be more effective as a school system.Salem Christian School, a private Christian school in Eastern Pennsylvania, strives to be constantly improving and be a flourishing school.  This school is dedicating significant time and financial resources to being sure we are attending to our students’ intellectual, physical, and social need design.  Additionally, we recognize that there is a movement (we believe appropriately so) towards a natural and clean living that is more than just what we eat.Two of the action research projects at Salem Christian School are looking into how this research and trend impacts the school:The first Action Research Project asks the question, “How do we design a classroom experience, instruction, and free time to stimulate inquiry and active based learning?”  Mrs. Green, the first grade teacher is piloting this action research project.  Thus far there is attention being given to the second teacher in room, the classroom environment.  This means that the set-up, colors, and other aspects of the classroom make a difference in the child’s ability to learn.  It is fascinating to see how so many subtle and not so subtle things can make a difference in a child’s ability to learn.Developed through one of the school’s professional learning communities, the second action research project recognizes the child’s biological need for play and free-time in order to process what they have learned and spark the curiosity needed to learn more.   Research has shown that this “down-time” is necessary for humans to deepen the learning.  This action research is designed to facilitate this design.  This project asks, “How can we create a natural and authentic play experience that enhances the classroom experience, sparks curiosity, and engages students in a natural and “organic” play environment?”  The playground is being changed in order to provide a natural setting and environment in our attempt to provide an organic learning environment.

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