Going beyond what students learn and focusing on how they learn.
A good education should demand engagement above what can be passively delivered by lecturing or writing on a whiteboard. At DCDS, the goal is not to try to keep pace with technology or globalization of the world's thinking and economy but instead, the focus is to place students ahead of that growth by giving them the ability to face unfamiliar problems and creatively find solutions. To apply that which they know, to build frameworks for solutions, and to be the innovators that others chase-that is what EPIIC instills in the DCDS student.
Students learn through activities and project-based learning. Teachers act as project facilitators who seek to assist students in finding solutions by fearlessly experiencing failures as well as successes for their sought-after solutions.
Specific experiences built into each grade level give students a comprehensive understanding of designing, prototyping, evaluating, and modifying based on their understanding of analysis and results. Whether during a preschool coding exercise in a Makerspace or working through a complicated theoretical math problem in a Number Theory course in the Upper School, students learn to be resilient problem solvers.
Experiencing and participating are often mistaken for being one in the same, but participation means that the students have an active role in constructing the direction of their learning.
In our Reggio Emilia inspired preschool, teachers take note of their inquiries, activities, and play so lessons can be constructed based on student's interests. Similarly, the Middle School STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) classroom, students may participate in the direction a certain lesson takes based on the problems they wish to solve and how they wish to solve them.
Young people today live in a visual world, and classroom instruction must include dynamic and meaningful imagery. Students today must learn to communicate and tell stories through images to successfully develop skills to help them in a professional life. Our classrooms posses the technology to help students to absorb, display, and create images critical to their lessons.
Our faculty understand that the world beyond the classroom is not divided into definite academic areas. Classroom lessons connect diverse and challenging content areas. The coursework particularly in the middle and upper grades blend a wide variety of topics such as math, history, art and technology into single projects. For example an AP art teacher may team up with an American Literature teacher to present an engaging and immersive lesson around the Harlem Renaissance. With interdisciplinary instruction, students begin to understand that disciplines overlap in the real world and problems often require a multifaceted approach.
Applying lessons in the classroom to a real-world context assures the students receive an education that is connected. Through partnerships with area businesses, community organizations, sister schools in other countries, and alumni who are leaders in their professions, our students forge unique connections with inspiring people, places, and ideas.