An Exceptional Blended Learning Environment
Our students range from Kindergarten to 8th grade. Our blended, small learning community gives students the opportunity to have a personalized educational experience. According to the National Education Association, “the average elementary class size in Pennsylvania is 22.2 students per class.”
Every classroom is different, but in most cases the curricular demands placed on teachers prevent them from tapping into the individual learning styles of students. Because of these demands, pacing is determined by state testing. As a public-school teacher for 17 years, there were times when I had to move on to the next lesson even if a percentage of my students did not grasp the concept.
Further, in a typical elementary school, the homogenous grouping of students doesn’t permit for students to have a substantial amount of interaction with students of other grade levels. Not only are students at DCLC given the opportunity to work at their own pace academically and according to their individual passions, they also have social opportunities that most students don’t experience until considerably later in their academic career.
By integrating students, critical character traits like hard work and persistence are being modeled authenticly by peers. The younger students naturally want to ‘keep up’ with the older students. The older students can manage the learning environment in a unique way. They model for the younger students the appropriate way to have a classroom discussion. They assist the younger students during project-based learning investigations.
The younger students aren’t the only beneficiaries of this environment. Blended learning is influencing our older students too. The older students are forming authentic bonds with their younger peers. They are gaining confidence as they come to understand that they are depended on and serve as role models for younger students.
At DCLC, our students prove that learning in motion, with kids of different ages, is learning taken to another level. Through cooking, games, science experiments, costume design, art projects, and presentations, our students are on an exceptional journey. Most importantly, they can discover from an early age the subjects that interest them. Finding an academic passion at such an early age, will commence their journey towards a love for learning.