Philosophy
  
 

Educational Philosophy

At Holy Cross Primary we aim to provide students with positive attitudes and a love of learning, so that they will be flexible, adaptable lifelong learners.

Learning and teaching at Holy Cross recognises that children are individuals, each unique in regard to background, developmental level, and learning style. We aim to honour the development of the whole child with opportunities afforded for active inquiry learning and with freedom for students to represent their findings and knowledge in a variety of ways.

In order to cater for the diversity of student learning styles and developmental levels, we recognise that we need a creative, innovative approach to curriculum and assessment. The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner 1983) combined with a cooperative learning approach, provides such creativity when working with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabus guidelines.

The decision to implement the theory of multiple intelligences is a commitment to our educational philosophy - to provide students with opportunities to develop the full range of their intellectual capacities and to use their multiple ways of knowing rather than only permitting them to learn in the more traditional verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical ways.

‘I desire that there be as many different persons in the world as possible: I would have each one be very careful to find out and preserve his/her way.’  (Henry David Thoreau)

 

Co-operative Learning

‘Nothing we learn is more important than the skills required to work co-operatively with others. Most human interaction is co-operative. Without some skills in co-operating effectively it is difficult, if not impossible to maintain a marriage, hold a job or be part of a community, society or world.’    (Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.T. et al, Co-operating in the Classroom)

At Holy Cross, the co-operative learning model is a strategy which is perceived as ideal in making our educational philosophy a reality for students, staff and parents.

The grounds for this assumption are based on research, which shows that co-operative learning is the ideal means of:

  • promoting thinking
  • problem solving skills
  • independent learning
  • communication and social skills
  • confidence and self-esteem

Co-operative learning values the individuality and uniqueness of each child. It makes diversity a resource, not a problem. It gives back to students responsibility for their own learning. The teacher structures the co-operative classroom, presents problems to be resolved, mediates group work with questions and non-judgemental feedback, monitors individual and group progress and models processes, thinking and co-operation in all areas.

To aid us in the development of social skills necessary for co-operative learning and group cohesion, the children learn about ‘KISSES’:

  • Keep on task
  • Include everyone
  • Stay with your group
  • Six centimetre voices
  • Encourage others
  • Share ideas

After most learning experiences the children reflect and report on their work using the following reflective questions:

  • What was I expected to do?
  • What did I do?
  • If I did the same task again, what would I do differently?
  • What help do I need?
  • What can my teacher do differently that will improve my learning?

The following school agreements are embedded in all learning experiences in the Holy Cross community:

  • mutual respect
  • attentive listening
  • personal best
  • no put downs
  • right to pass

Multiple Intelligence

What will students need to know in 25 years time?

Students in the 21st century need:

  • greatly enhanced communication skills, including listening, speaking and writing
  • higher-order thinking skills so as to be more critical, creative and active members of society
  • ability to access, research and organise information
  • basic living skills required to live and work co-operatively with others

In order to prepare our students for their future, it is necessary to re-think our traditional ways of viewing education, learning and achievement.

An approach to curriculum and assessment has been implemented that is based on the Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Gardner, 1983), which suggests that we take a broader view of thinking processes and achievements as students engage the distinct abilities of a number of intelligences.

The decision to implement the theory of multiple intelligences at Holy Cross is a commitment to our educational philosophy. That is, to provide students with opportunities to develop the full range of their intellectual capacities to learn in the more traditional verbal/linguistic and logical/mathematical ways.

When Howard Gardner devised the theory of the multiple intelligences, he initially identified seven intelligences, but that has now increased to nine and perhaps there are still more to be identified. Many of us know people who have excelled in life and not because of the linguistic or mathematical skills they have, but because of other talents or intelligences they possess. Gardner, unlike school curriculums and standardised tests, recognises these individuals and their strengths, and through his theory endeavours to provide them educational experiences within the curriculum that will develop these intelligences further.

The intelligences are as follows:

Intelligence Attributes Likes To...
Verbal/Linguistic thinks in words and uses language creatively to express meaning read, write, speak, interpret information
Mathematical/ Logical natural ability as a problem solver reason, enjoy numbers, use timelines and graphs
Visual/Spatial perceives the world visually see patterns, recognise relationships, design, draw, map
Bodily/Kinaesthetic communicates using body participate in sport, games and using body to express images
Musical/Rhythmic perceives facts in a musical, creative way sing, listen to music, create rhythms, songs
Interpersonal sensitive to the feelings of others be with people, co-operate well, show care for others
Intrapersonal sensitive to the feelings of themselves reflect, follow own interests,
Naturalist sensitive to the natural world appreciate nature, sees patterns in living environments
Spiritual displays a keen interest in religion, has a deep personal faith and is in touch with their inner life reflect on what is happening in regard to their understandings of life and Gospel values

 



 
   
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