Working together with the team of experts from the New York Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the Berkeley IB School in San Francisco, USA and using IB’s early childhood teaching theory and research results, the Group has developed IPAT (Inquiry-Practice-Assessment-Transdisciplinary) personalized training courses, based on the educational goals and content of preschool children, providing a structured course service system for more preschool institutions.
This thinking course is based on IB’s curriculum framework and system. Through inquiry-based transdisciplinary learning, students are guided to think about real life experience, and explore both local and global problems and opportunities. According to the basic curriculum framework, students are taught to acquire the necessary knowledge, concepts and skills, correct attitudes, to implement actions, to understand and fulfill their social responsibilities.
The course design strictly follows the educational concept of “development-suitable practice”, proposed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), respects the children’s own development rules, and conducts suitable education for them. Using the topic inquiry teaching mode, starting from the self-perception of children’s cognitive level, let them perceive the part of environment that is directly related to their own lives, using their own knowledge and experience of watching, listening, touching, speaking, etc. In the process from concrete to abstract and back to concrete items again, let the children transcend the boundaries among disciplines and learn the contents of society, innovation, music, art, sports, etiquette, humanities and other disciplines in order to understand and express themselves, discover and explore the world.
Dealing with the issue of what students learn.
The IPAT Thinking Course will develop students’ academic, social and emotional health, build international values and personal values, develop independent learning skills, and encourage each student to be responsible for their own learning.
Local and global issues have been incorporated into the course, requiring students to explore six relevant transdisciplinary themes and consider the connections among them. These topics include “Who we are”, “Our space and time”, “Our expression”, “What is the world”, “The operation of society”, “We and the earth”. Students develop their conceptual understanding to deepen their learning and strengthen their knowledge and skills within and outside the subject area.
Dealing with the issue of how teachers teach.
The IPAT Thinking Course will provide instructional supports such as curriculum frameworks, course plans, teaching resources and assessment tools. The various activities and corresponding teaching aids, audio-visual materials and exercises according to the course plans will be presented in a structured form. Teachers can select among them according to actual needs to assist teaching. At the same time, in order to facilitate teachers to better understand the concept of the IPAT subject inquiry thinking course, and to apply the guiding mode of teaching, professional trainings are provided to teachers by online and offline seminars, intra-school or regional education forums, so that they can better help students to develop their thinking and vision, to improve their learning, confidence and self-motivation.
Measuring students’ learning progress and the teachers’ instruction result.
The course assessment runs through the IPAT thinking course. From pre-assessment to process assessment and summative assessment, it presents a complete picture of students’ learning development in various fields, helping teachers to adjust their instruction at any time in order to improve and develop the course, representing the principles and practices of effective evaluation.
- Pre-assessment before class: Conducted before class to see what the students already know and don’t know and enable the teacher to plan the subsequent teaching activities. Through the understanding of students’ needs and abilities, formulate specific activity goals and standards, organically combine goals, assessments and learning activities to stimulate students’ learning motivation, so that teaching is no longer just about passing on knowledge. It also helps students to understand the work of teachers.
- Process assessment: With it are evaluated the procedural results of the intelligent development of students in the teaching process, in order to be judged the quality of students’ learning in a timely manner. Then, affirm their achievements, identify the problems, and prompt students to actively reflect and summarize the learning process, and provide teachers with reference for the next stage of teaching arrangements.
- Summative assessment: With it is evaluated the final result of the intelligent development of students in the whole teaching process, so that teachers can effectively judge whether the educational result and effectiveness of the whole process has reached the predetermined goals.
- Transdisciplinary subject inquiry learning: The IPAT thinking course integrates multidisciplinary learning in society, innovation, music, art, sports, etiquette, and humanities. Topic inquiry learning breaks through the boundaries of knowledge, teaches children how to think and ask questions and enables them to develop thinking skills in order to understand, transform and apply knowledge. The course content covers every aspect of life. The environment in which they live is the content of learning. Start with children’s own perceptions, let children find the source of knowledge by observation and exploration in life and heuristic teaching.
- Hands-on practice: By the use of learning tools in the teaching process, students can perceive and experience the knowledge they’ve learnt in class and to use the knowledge in order to create their own work.
- Personalized assessment and tracking: Comprehensively understand the child’s personality characteristics, ability level, in order to accurately position the course. Based on the assessment results, make up customized systematic learning program to match the appropriate course content and advanced level with the child.
- The establishment of the learning community: In addition to students and teachers, parents should also be regarded as learners, and important learning partners for students. We encourage parents to participate in the thinking courses, cooperate with teachers and accompany students to explore the world together and to build a learning community.
They will learn the scientific inquiry method, and through the mathematical activities and strategy games, they become comprehensively trained on the breadth, depth and creativity of thinking. Comprehensively develop children’s left and right brain potential, improve their learning ability, problem solving ability and creativity. They will learn how to express respect for themselves and others, and to foster international ideas by working together with others in order to achieve common goals and to take positive actions to promote changes.
They will learn professional and advanced educational concepts and teaching methods, cultivate global perspectives and to improve their teaching level and professionalism in practice. Moreover, by professional and systematic training, they could obtain the international preschool education qualification.
The professional development and overall education and teaching level of kindergartens will be promoted. They will be able to carry out international cooperation and communication activities and to exchange teaching and management experience with excellent kindergartens. They can also enjoy planning and optimization services for customized teaching programs, including instruction, mentoring, and counseling.