The Global Field Academy is guided by Relational Education, a highly acclaimed personalized education program that utilizes research based and high quality materials in order to ensure that when our students graduate, they will be prepared to handle the rigors of a college curriculum and the demands of the global market. As a departure point, research to be utilized will include: Classroom Instruction That Works (Marzano, Pickering, Pollock, 2001), key learning approaches to meeting a variety of student needs is standards-based project-based learning (Buck Institute for Education, 2004), brain-based research (Kotulak, 1996) and (Kuhl,1994), project-based learning (Thomas, 2000), high levels of critical thinking (Bloom’s Taxonomy), Understanding by Design (backward design) (Wiggins and McTighe, 2001), student centered learning (Lea et al., 2003), integrating ideas to learn in authentic contexts (diSessa, 2000; Linn & His, 2000), integrating different learning modes (Gardner, 1993) and student choice (Bandura, 1997).
At Global Field Academy we understand the importance of using research-based educational practices and perform on-going studies to promote student achievement. In order to address how learning best occurs, faculty will be trained to: (1) design standards-based curriculum (using the principles of backward design); (2) align appropriate assessments to the standards; and (3) implement project-based learning activities that are aligned to standards and reflect research-based best practices, as detailed in the Buck Institute’s Project Based Learning Handbook.
Educators also design instruction that incorporates strategies detailed in Classroom Instruction That Works, by Marzano, Pickering, and Pollock. The following provides a detailed description of the standards-based instructional design process implemented at the the academy. The method, known as “backward design,” is an instructional design method with a strong research base currently being employed in reform efforts across the nation. Originally published in Understanding by Design, by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, this process of instructional planning provides educators with a method for aligning standards, assessment, and instruction. This process is one in which educators start with the desired results (personal goals and standards) – and then derive the curriculum from the evidence of learning (performances) called for by the standard and the teaching needed to equip students to perform.
The Global Field Academy will also utilize research to test and challenge existing models of theory and practice. For instance, educational researcher Benjamin Bloom examines in his 1984 article “The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Method of Group Instruction as Effective as One to One Tutoring.” In the article, Bloom established 21 variables for effectively improving student achievement that he tested in three different environments: (1) the conventional classroom, (2) mastery instruction, which is the same as conventional classroom with the addition of feedback and corrective procedures, and (3) one to one tutoring. Bloom found that one to one tutoring has the highest level of improving student achievement, Bloom’s research found that they could only combine no more than three of the 21 variables at a time to have positive results. In analyzing Fontan Relational Education, which Global Field Academy is largely based, their unique approach combines up to 18 out of the 21 variables at one time. It means that if Bloom found great results with three variables, students can experience exponential learning achievements with 18 variables.
Evolution of Thought (By Date of Birth)
The main thought leaders and education programs that are in alignment with this project are listed here, and a brief explanation is outlined below. This project is not limited to these thinkers or programs but are in the DNA of how we evolved:
“The Socratic method is a style of education involving a conversation in which a student is asked to question their assumptions. It is a forum for open-ended inquiry, one in which both student and teacher can use probing questions to develop a deeper understanding of the topic. The goal of Socratic guiding is to help someone learn to think more clearly. In other words, questions and critical thinking and the struggles are more important than answers.”
“One of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and one of the first British “empiricists.” In philosophy, empiricism is a theory that states that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience. It is one of several views of epistemology, (the study of human knowledge), along with rationalism and skepticism. Empiricism emphasizes the role of empirical evidence in the formation of ideas, over the idea of innate ideas or traditions. However, empiricists may argue that traditions (or customs) arise due to relations of previous sense experiences.”
“Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner.”
“The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.”
Ventura Fontan & Emilia Garcia (Fontan Relational Education)
Fontan "Relational Education" is a personalized experience that fosters Learning Autonomy and inter-dependent learning focusing on developing the potential of each student and creates a path for a life-long learning experience. It reflects what the word “education” really means from Latin: “to bring forth from within.” Students practice every day, for 12 years, to achieve excellence in everything, to never leave gaps and always find meaning in their work. This will be reflected in their adult lives making them better professionals, better family members, and better citizens. The quality of their lives is directly linked to their relationship with the world. Fontan has done much of the modern-day work to incorporate many of the previously mentioned thinkers and philosophies and had figured out how to marry those concepts to not a “virtual education” but rather a way to access knowledge through technological resources. The
method is easily implemented pedagogy that reaches each goal by following a four-step pedagogical process, as follows:
1. Starting/End Point
What do you know about ___?
What do you need/want to know about__?
What tools are available for you and which do you prefer to find out more
Use those tools/methods to find that information.
3. Skill Development
Become familiar enough with the material to be able to recall/articulate and
apply to your daily life.
4. Relating (Mastery)
Articulate through various forms of media that you are able to relate the material to your world and reality.
Sudbury Schools (Democratic Education)
“Students independently decide what to do with their time, and tend to learn as a by-product of ordinary experience rather than through coursework. There is no predetermined educational syllabus, prescriptive curriculum or standardized instruction. This is a form of democratic education. Daniel Greenberg, one of the founders of the original Sudbury Model school, writes that the two things that distinguish a Sudbury Model school are that everyone - adults and children - are treated equally and that there is no authority other than that granted by the consent of the governed.” The structure that assists this model is:
Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Robinson is one of the most recognized names and thinkers in modern education reform. As a creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson, is repeating some of the same things that thought leaders have shared for centuries but in a modern context. Click here to watch a youtube clip by Sir Ken Robinson
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