There is no doubt, students have to learn how to read, write, do math, know something about history and geography, as well as have basic knowledge in the sciences. You will find that type of education anywhere you go and for the most part, non-discerning parents will say success in those areas are markers for a school’s and students’ success.
But, what I know in my kishkes and what I learned from Pat Basset and the worlds of business and academia is that students actually have to be so much more prepared than just in subject areas, they need to be confident and skillful in:
Collaborating with others;
Communicating in a variety of methods;
Critically thinking through problems;
and Creatively solving challenges.
Perhaps it is my background as a science educator, but those “4 Cs” shout STEM education to me! The acronym STEM represents Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
This year at Lerner, we built and utilize to its fullest extent a science lab so that students who leave elementary school are knowledgeable and skillful in basic science. We adopted a new science curriculum, Stemscopes, that is hands-on and inquiry based. We put in an Imagination Playground so that all of our students from preschool through elementary school create the most extraordinary engineered structures. Students explore engineering by participating in an elective that allows them to tackle real world problems. Students may also elect to learn how to computer program in Lerner’s coding elective. We created a new technology vision becoming a Google school for education where students have the latest technology to learn the skills to research, create and collaborate on publications, create presentations, and record data in GoogleSheets. As students learn to communicate virtually, besides Hebrew, the language of the Jewish heart, being offered at Lerner, Spanish is now also offered as an option to students so that they can communicate in a variety of languages.