“The Purpose of Life Is to Discover Your Gift. The Meaning of Life Is to Give Your Gift Away” Pablo Picasso.
This was the quote used by Dr. Bill Cala on the second day of the Empowering Excellence in Education Conference.
Teachers from several districts as well as retired teachers and community members attended and were educated to the power they had within them to change the system of education so that it concentrates on the child.
There was an emphasis on experiential learning as Dr. Cala announced that Fairport was adopting the Reggio Emilia approach to education.
Under the current system of education employed by the Rochester City School District, kindergarten children are expected to sit still and ingest repetitive lessons, play uninteresting educational games, and take tests each week on their vocabulary skills.
The Reggio Emilia approach “is an approach where the expressive arts play a central role in learning and where a unique reciprocal learning relationship exists between teacher and child. Much attention is given to detailed observation and documentation of learning and the learning process takes priority over the final product. It is a model that demonstrates a strong relationship between school and community and provides a remarkable programme for professional development.”
Will children in RCSD schools be afforded this opportunity?
Fairport spends $7,946 per student for regular education and $24,756 per student for Special Education.
The Rochester City School District spends $9,594 per student for regular education and $26,624 per student for Special Education.
It seems that adopting a developmentally appropriate system of education that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children is less expensive to implement and sustain than the corporate sponsored, State regulated Common Core system of education under which the RCSD is currently operating.
It was stated by school board members that they are committed to replicating best practices. Fairport Central School District is an example of best practice. Will their move to the Reggio Emilia
approach to early childhood education be replicated for children in the RCSD?
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