Dear Harbor Families,
Every kid a maker. It’s a tagline used by our friends at KID Museum, and we couldn’t agree more.
Research-driven best practices in the field of education continue to be defined with words such as interdisciplinary, inquiry-based, and maker-centered. These terms describe what early childhood educators have known for years - that kids learn best by doing, that mistakes are opportunities to learn, and that solving problems in groups develop important life skills.
Maker-centered learning is one way to describe an educational environment that encourages development in young learners through exploration, collaboration, and emphasis on a growth mindset. When encouraged to explore, create, and iterate (Harbor’s own early childhood version of a design cycle), students develop dispositions of learning such as creativity, empathy, and reflective thinking, in addition to building and applying skills. Thinking critically, collaborating, and persevering through difficult tasks are, I’m sure you will agree, some of the main goals of education. And it starts right here in early childhood!
Prior to the pandemic, the KID Museum and Harbor had an established partnership and worked together on projects such as Invention Studio, where students worked together to build something to improve their buddy class’ learning experience. Our teachers spent hours in professional development with our colleagues at KID, and we are so pleased to share that we have reignited the relationship between our two organizations!
Last Friday afternoon, during our professional development half day (thank you for that, by the way), the faculty and staff took a “field trip” KID Museum’s beautiful new space in downtown Bethesda. We explored the foundations of constructivist education and maker-centered learning, spent time doing our own making to solve a design problem, and collaborated in grade level teams to think through ideas to integrate this approach in our upcoming thematic units. It was a wonderful afternoon for our faculty and staff, and an exciting moment to recommit to our work with our friends at KID!
Stay tuned for more information about our work with maker-centered learning, and for an opportunity in the new year to visit and experience KID Museum as a community (which is in the works now). In the meantime, I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a restful and joyful winter break. We will see you in 2023!
Head of School