Developing Life Skills like Growth Mindset leads to academic success and emotional maturity by iSchool for the Future
We believe passionately that every child has an inner genius and has the ability to learn the skills and knowledge needed to make the world a better place. We work with children to build their 21st Century Life Skills – the skills that employers are looking for like Collaboration, Communication, and Grit – to that they can use what they learn and be their “best selves.” Our approach has already helped children improve academically and mature emotionally.
Getting kids to believe in their own abilities is a challenge as many young children are already stuck in a frame of thought that they “can’t” learn certain topics. By the 5th grade many girls have decided that they can’t “do math” or “be scientists,” even though we know that they have an innate ability to innovate and study the world from a unique perspective! To help children move from “can’t” to “can’t … yet” iSchool for the Future teaches about Growth Mindset as part of our 21st Century Life Skills Curriculum.
Progressive, transformative education advocates for a Growth Mindset, and the benefits are clear. According to research published in 2015 in Edweek: “Students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset). And when students learned through a structured program that they could “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities, they did better. Finally, we found that having children focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits.” Actively teaching Growth Mindset is effective: when teachers and students focus on improvement rather than on what they know and whether they are smart, kids learn a lot more.
We offer a progression of formal curriculum activities on Growth Mindset, included in our Creative STEM Summer Camps. Our lessons help children expand their abilities and see themselves capable of changing the world. We challenge children to take risks, embrace failure, be creative in unexpected ways, and set imPOSSIBLE goals – and then we help them achieve their goals through our personal approach.
iSchool for the Future offers a progressive curriculum for children in grades K-8 based on a suite of 21st Century Life Social and Emotional Life (SEL) skills. We introduce the youngest children to each skill individually and always within the context of fun, hands-on Creative STEM activities. As children advance, we layer more complex academic and SEL content like Growth Mindset. This mimics the more comprehensive skillset and multitasking abilities that children will need as they get older. All instruction is fun, hands-on, and appropriate to multiple learning styles. We mix fun, tactile activities with thought-provoking exercises. It’s a unique combination that only iSchool for the Future offers!
Our approach works. Both parents and students regularly provide glowing feedback indicating the child’s growth in 21st Century Life Skills:
- A parent of a 4th grader shared that her son had gotten better grades than usual on a test. When she asked him why he thought he saw improvement in his scores, he answered that iSchool had taught him to “aim for more.” – Parent of a 4th grader, Winter Creative STEM 2016
- “[My daughter] was so inspired by the program.” – Parent, Innovation Lab 2015
- “It actually feels good to embrace failure. It reminds me that everyone makes mistakes and I can learn from my mistakes. I learned that I’m a lot smarter than I thought I was before I started Innovation Lab with iSchool.” – 3rd Grader, Innovation Lab 2015
Find our 21st Century Life Skills curriculum in these summer camps:
- Science Magic: Zoom in on biology, chemistry, and the environment. Children amaze you with a Magic Show! June 27-July 8: Reston
- Innovation Lab: Explore the ups and downs of physics, technology, and material sciences. Children become inventors! July 11-22: Reston
- Kitchen Chemistry: Transform food using science. Children will “play” with food as they create an Experiment Cookbook! August 1-5: Reston
- Amazing Race Around the World: “Fly” to discover new places and cultures. Children declare independence with their own micro-nations! August 29-September 2: Reston
Location: Reston, VA. Grades 1-3, 4-6. Hours 9am-3pm.
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