It’s time for a change – a paradigm shift.
Peter Senge, the systems theory guru and leading advocate of “learning organizations” points out in an interview about his book Schools Can Learn: “… Most people in most organizations — and teachers are no exception to that — are obsessed with solving problems. They spend their lives trying to fix things that are broken. This obsession with problem solving diverts our attention from a far more important activity, which is creating the new. What I mean by creating is directing our energies into bringing things into reality that we really care about. And this is a profound shift, not just a semantic difference. When we’re solving problems, we’re trying to get rid of things we don’t want. When we’re creating, we are bringing into reality things that are valued by us.” (Sparks, Journal of Staff Development Council, 2001, Vol. 22)
Shady Oak Learning’s vision is to create something new that we care about – a place where each child’s pattern of giftedness is recognized and encouraged, where weaknesses are managed through strengths, and where thinking abilities are developed to encourage life-long learning. “Different minds learn differently,” writes Dr. Mel Levine, one America’s best-known learning experts and pediatricians. “Some students are strong in certain areas and some are strong in others, but no one is equally capable in all. Yet most schools still cling to a one-size-fits-all education philosophy. As a result, many children struggle because their learning patterns don’t fit the way they are being taught. “
It’s our job to change our approach based on the child. We build a relationship with the child, we observe what motivates the child and we conduct a learning abilities assessment to determine areas of strength. As educators and mentors, we want to encourage parents and other concerned adults to walk alongside each child to recognize and develop the giftedness of each student. It is our belief that if we do this, then we can fulfill our mission in helping each child develop their God-given potential.