1. Do you believe there is one right answer?
In a world filled with change and differing perspectives, expecting only one right answer can be both stifling as well as a dead end. Children need to understand early on that there can be many correct answers and many ways to solve problems. They need to appreciate multiple approaches, perspectives and answers in learning and be comfortable and tolerant of ambiguity.
2. Do you believe the biggest impact on a student is the quality of the teacher?
We believe the quality of the teacher has the most significant impact on learning outcomes and research supports this. This is why at Clarion we are extremely selective as to the educators that make up our Clarion Faculty. All our Classroom Educators have a Master’s Degree in Education and all our Assistant Educators have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
3. Do you believe that students develop greater meaning and understanding when they are active participants in their own learning?
At Clarion, we are dedicated to experiential, inquiry-based learning. In every class and in every grade, Clarion students are active, thoughtful participants asking questions and searching contextual applications for their knowledge. Teachers are there to guide and facilitate these learning opportunities and see themselves as partners with their students in the learning process.
What we are not is teacher directed learning.
4. Do you believe in a one size fits all approach?
At Clarion, not only is our instructional practice differentiated but our curriculum is responsive. That means that the teacher is not driven by the lesson plan but to the needs and interests of the child while always being aware of the learning objectives. This way the child is continually interested and engaged in what they are learning.
Teaching is not a checklist approach for us.
5. Do you believe that tests are an effective assessment of your child?
While standardized testing and summative assessments are useful sources of data to inform teaching and learning, they provide just part of the insight into your child. Taken in isolation, they can be more harmful than helpful. For that reason, you need a more holistic snapshot of your child. At Clarion, we support a range of authentic assessment tools including teacher observations, peer assessments, portfolios of work and demonstrations of learning. Assessments at Clarion also contain a large component of self-reflection. Teachers and students alike reflect on their learning, not only to evaluate past progress but also to inform the next challenge.
6. Do you believe in learning outside the classroom?
At Clarion, we believe that learning does not just happen within a classroom but within a child. Our goal is to facilitate as many rich, powerful and meaningful learning opportunities as possible inside and outside the classroom. Many such opportunities exist when children engage with the world around them. Field trips are an important, experiential part of the school program. All such excursions are carefully pre-visited and pre-planned by the teachers to take a child’s learning as deep as possible.
7. Do you believe in parent engagement?
At Clarion, our vision and values are centered around the student. We know that for a student to succeed there needs to an effective and aligned partnership between the school and the parents. Clarion parents are very much part of the fabric of the school and very engaged. They meet and hang out in the Parent Café, are invited into the classrooms, engage with administration through the Parent Council and conduct various initiatives to support the Clarion Community.
8. Do you believe that your child will inherit a world similar to the one today?
At Clarion, we do not believe that the old, traditional approach will lead to future success. It works well when you are “processing” children to be factory workers. That is not what we want for our children and most of those kinds of jobs will be done through mechanization anyway. If the world of tomorrow is different from yesterday and even today, shouldn’t our approach be different as well. At Clarion, the approach to learning is to ensure that our children are future ready – that they not only have the academic mindset but also the skills and character traits that are required to engage and thrive in an uncertain world.
9. Do you believe learning should be an arduous or a fun endeavor?
We are sometimes asked whether learning is happening in the school because the students look very happy. That was not the case for many of us where school was a painful but necessary rite of passage. At Clarion, we believe that learning is most powerful when it is joyful. That is when students get engaged in their learning and develop a real love for learning. We intentionally make our learning joyful, by making it relevant and meaningful, and where student are co-participants in the learning process with the teacher.
It is critical, now more than ever in this exponentially changing world, that children develop a love for continual learning
10. Do you believe that the person who wins at Trivial Pursuit is likely to be the most successful person?
A good analogy of how one can think about learning is to think about the game of Trivial Pursuit. Across the categories, there are a lot of fascinating questions and some very esoteric answers. Any there is always that one person who usually wins. Seldom has that person been the most successful. After all, how many times have you solved a workplace problem, resolved financial matters, dealt with a social situation or been interviewed where any of those Trivial Pursuit questions really matter.
It is not important how much you are learning if what you are learning is not relevant, important or valuable to society.
Ask yourself how much you remember or applied from what you learnt during your K-12 years. Now imagine how much more prepared your child can be.