Learning Through Discovery
It is through discovery that learning comes to life. At Chance, we know that children are naturally curious and motivated by their desire to make sense of their world. When their curiosity is encouraged in school, children become eager learners. Our approach to education fosters creativity, problem-solving, skill-building and a lifetime love of learning. Chance students learn by doing – and it’s an exciting journey of discovery.
Lessons often start with questions, which challenge everyone to think, seek answers and build knowledge. By guiding students to arrive at their own solutions – in social situations as well as academic ones – we help children learn to solve problems and set the stage for personal and academic success. Children are encouraged and empowered to think through their decisions and actions, whether they are organizing a school report or handling a problem with a friend. Self-esteem blossoms when they realize how capable they are. Strategic thinking is a lifelong critical skill and an important part of our whole-child development philosophy.
Developing the Whole Child
The strengthening of social, emotional, moral and physical development is every bit as important as cognitive development, so Chance lessons go far beyond the three Rs. When children see themselves as competent learners and contributing members within a school setting, they develop the confidence to meet high expectations in behavior and academic performance. This combination enhances academic and personal achievements as challenges become greater. As a result, Chance students develop leadership skills and thinking strategies that enable them to become excellent decision-makers in all areas of life.
Responsibility & Freedom
When students have a voice and influence in their day, they develop discipline, responsibility, initiative, self-directed and resiliency. Having choices at school requires a unique kind of structure. Together, students and teachers start each year defining routines and rules at school to establish a structure that is predictable and reliable. This method develops a sense of community and security, creating a culture of optimal learning. The structure allows children the responsibility and the freedom to actively pursue knowledge.
As school personnel work with children, they model respect in all encounters. An environment of dignity and respect enhances social, emotional and moral development. An atmosphere of respect begins with self-discovery as children work together, share ideas and learn from one another. It encourages a “problem-solving attitude,” which values the ideas of students as a variety of solutions are weighed to decide which one may work best. It strengthens communication skills – a crucial part of learning. It results in emotional maturity to interact with others with fairness and kindness. Chance graduates often are recognized for their positive contributions, their openness to reach out to others, and for the respect, they routinely show for teachers and fellow students.
It is our mission at Chance to develop the self-esteem of young children, which is vital to positive attitudes about learning and living together in a democratic society. Chance provides a supportive environment of mutual respect and encouragement, where all learners are empowered to become active participants in their own learning.
We value childhood as a magical and crucial stage of life. Each child will advance through definable, though not rigid, stages of development in his or her own way and time. We guide children through age-appropriate milestones, challenge them when they are ready to advance, and provide extra support as needed.
We rely on positive discipline. Children are guided with dignity and respect. Our goal is to help them gain understanding from their experiences so they can make better choices in the future. Chance teachers guide children to take ownership of a problem and to focus on solutions. As children grow developmentally and gain experience, they become empowered to solve issues and become responsible, self-disciplined students.
Elementary students help make classroom rules and have weekly class meetings with agendas they have determined. They offer compliments to one another, express any grievances and look for solutions as a group. Positive guidance helps children develop self-control and assume responsibility for their actions.