The philosophy of Prism Education Center’s educational programs is firmly grounded in the belief that our responsibility as educators is not limited to simply filling our students' minds with intellectual knowledge, but to developing our students into well-rounded students of knowledge, integrity, insight and wisdom. While the academic aspects of our program are robust and grounded in research, intellectual development is not the sole goal of child development. The educational program of Prism Education Center reflects our commitment to develop children intellectually, socially, and physically, as well as our commitment to prepare our students to interface with their community and the global context students will encounter.
Watch this video to learn more about our values-based educational program and the culture it creates. Read on to learn more about the four developmental focus areas for students enrolled in Prism Education Center.
Social and Emotional Development
To focus solely on the development of the mind would deny the very nature of how children develop. The foundation of all of our programs is an emphasis on the social and emotional environment of our center. This is what we teach first. In each of our classrooms, the teachers and leadership of Prism Education Center first build a positive and safe environment for our students by creating an atmosphere of:
- Respect for ourselves
- Respect for our peers
- Respect for those in authority over us
- Respect for our environment and materials
Our teachers are trained to teach to the heart of every child, rather than only the mind. This creates a dynamic atmosphere wherein teaching and instruction can be adapted to meet the individual needs of each child.
The curriculum at Prism Education Center is not limited to an emphasis on skills, although skills are emphasized. Instead students at Prism Education Center experience a content rich curriculum that integrates history, geography, science, and art with math and literacy lessons. It is important that children not only know the basic mechanics associated with reading, but also have an understanding of the world in which they live and the history that shaped it.
In order to provide this integrated educational experience, Prism uses the Core Knowledge Curriculum Sequence as the content standards for all subjects. The Core Knowledge Curriculum Sequence provides detailed outlines of the specific content and skills taught in English language arts, history and geography, mathematics, science and fine arts. Prism pulls from numerous curricular resources to address these standards.
Prism uses a mixed-age classroom model and allows students to progress at their own unique pace. This allows advanced students to remain challenged and engaged in the classroom while simultaneously allowing students that need more scaffolding to fully master challenging concepts ample time to develop a deep understanding of content. Consequently, students learn at a deeper level than would be expected in a classroom that is organized by generic age-based norms.
In keeping with our mission to develop children from a holistic perspective, Prism integrates physical activity within each day. Children have a one hour block outside each morning and those who stay for the after school program have an additional 30-minute block in the afternoon. Additionally, students are provided opportunities to participate in structured activity to promote a lifestyle of health and wellness that will last the students well beyond their time at Prism Education Center.
Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided as part of a well-balanced nutrition program that integrates fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains daily. Prism Education Center uses minimally processed food and whole ingredients in every meal. Meals are eaten and served “family-style” within each classroom in order to facilitate healthy eating habits and preserve the social and cultural aspects of dining.
The Development of Values
Theodore Roosevelt said, “To educate a man in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” We wholeheartedly agree. All of our programs are useless, and even harmful, if they are not situated inside a strong ethical context. For this reason, we work to deliberately provide values-based instruction. Character education is not something taught separately, but is instead integrated into everything we do and teach at Prism Education Center, as well as the lifestyle and work ethic of all teachers.