MERRYSTAR’S TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS
Teaching and learning methods for children at MerryStar Kindergarten are selected based on worldwide research on the developmental characteristics and laws of nature. We especially pay attention to:
Student-centered approach is a principle that we are based on to apply our educational methods. At MerryStar, there are three main methods of Adaptive teaching, Play-based learning and Inquiry-based learning for all subjects.
At MerryStar, we believe that each child is a unique combination of talents, learning needs, hobbies and skills, which change regularly. The combination will decide how fast and well children learn at school. We decided to apply the Adaptive method of teaching, a new concept in Vietnam, a general teaching method and approach in all subjects at MerryStar.
In choosing the Adaptive teaching method, we aim to test our students, from early to advanced stage, at an appropriate challenging level. The test is applied to find the difference in the level of development of children as a group and in the individual child.
Adaptive teaching takes into account the children’s ability to improve on their own over time and therefore continual instruction adjustment is necessary as children’s learning capacity improves.
There are two different level of Adaptive teaching: macro and micro (Corno and Snow, 1986). Macro adaptations are large-scale instructional adjustments that are made based on information such as children’s formal assessments. Micro adaptations are adaptations made within the moment-by-moment occurrences of the classroom
We have made toolkits that help to observe and assess our students daily and periodically. Teachers will evaluate students’ abilities and progress based on these assessments, and make suitable adjustment if needed.
Play-based learning method provides children opportunities to engage actively and creatively with people, objects and representations.
While playing, children learn to do things like organize, build, control, pretend, discover, inspect, investigate, create, interact, imagine, negotiate, and better understand the world. These activities push the development of a child in all fields (physique, emotion, social emotions, cognition and creativity).
Depending on how this method is applied in class, learning through play can partly allow children to practice language and mathematical skills. Therefore, teachers’ role in organizing suitable activities for children is very important.
When children learn through play
When children are curious, their learning will be intentional learning. Inquiry-based learning taps into children’s curiosity and gives them the opportunity to take part in a real discovery. Children will raise questions themselves about any topic that they are interested in, seek answers and share with others. This method will encourage children’s cooperative learning. It can be used effectively in most learning areas, either independent or interdisciplinary.
When children follow the inquiry-based learning method
Even if children cannot find answers in class, it will be a great chance for them to continue learning either at home or at school. It will encourage deep thinking and to relate their learnt knowledge.
Under teachers’ instructions and assistance, this method not only focuses on inquiry but also provides children with opportunity to learn grammar and vocabulary. Children also develop their listening, writing, reading and presentation skills at the MerryStar Kindergarten.