Educarte: Head Start on a Wide Worldview- APR 30, 2019
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Educarte: Head Start on a Wide Worldview. So much of what makes Costa Rica such a special country is the connection between the people, history and focus on the future. This is mirrored in schools where educational practices nurture children’s potential as leaders of tomorrow from the earliest age. Educarte in Villarreal, Guanacaste, is an innovative role model. Educarte offers a pre-K through high school program rich in tradition, sustainability, self-awareness and worldliness. The bilingual (Spanish-English) program turns trilingual in sixth grade with the addition of French. This language enrichment opportunity reinforces the melding of many different cultures represented in the student body — more than 15 countries — for a worldview steeped in personal and social identity.
Educarte’s teaching practices are guided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Specifically, the international agency’s Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) promotes project-based educational environments suitable for children of all learning needs and abilities. The focus is on “environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society for present and future generations.” With ESDs being the foundation for creating a capable, caring, thriving future generation, Educarte is leading the way in Guanacaste.
From this inner identity comes
the capacity to care outwardly for
the community and environment.
Educarte works with students to identify their “personhood.” That means helping them understand what it means to take care of oneself mentally, emotionally and physically. From this inner identity comes the capacity to care outwardly for the community and environment. Educators at Educarte focus on key ESD objectives such as good health and wellbeing, reduced inequalities, peace, justice and strong institutions. There is an important wider context of supporting conservation objectives to protect life below water and on land, and to promote responsible consumption and production of resources.
Living the lesson
Art at Educarte is more than just a painting or drawing activity; it is an exercise in using recyclable materials to recreate everyday items. Science goes beyond delving into the life cycle of animals; it also contemplates the impact of human waste mismanagement on wildlife habitats and food supplies. Students take a local community perspective in investigating economic and social issues through their reading and writing assignments.
In collaboration with the local cultural heritage agency Guanacastequidad, Educarte bridges an important cultural and historical gap. The school receives regular updates on various events, sites and personalities of cultural significance to Guanacaste. These unique learning activities give students a sense of pride and connection to the communities around them.
Multilingual and multidisciplinary
Educarte provides a truly bilingual education for students from pre-K through fifth-grade, with class time split between Spanish and English instruction depending on the subject. In sixth grade, French language is introduced and the teachers start preparing students for graduation. Educarte’s approach to trilingual education has been shown to enhance students’ motivation for language learning and cultural enrichment.
French is not the only other elective option at Educarte, however. Beyond the curriculum mix of multilingual education with a Costa Rican connection and sustainable development support, Educarte offers some of the most interesting and unique electives, or talleres, during the school day. Students have regular opportunities to choose and change up their class activity schedule, in varying degrees of self-learning, group interaction, cross-cultural learning and physical exertion. Talleres run the gamut of physical favorites like soccer or basketball, as well as arts and crafts or music. From there, the learning and passion for new pursuits can lead down avenues as specialized as cooking, math club or origami. In some instances, taller commitments transcend into Educarte-sponsored sports like water polo, soccer, and swim team competitions against other local schools.
While developing their talents and appreciation for new sports or activities through this elective program, students are learning about themselves. Just as importantly, teachers are learning new ways to connect with their students in the classroom. Science supports that such a multilingual, multidisciplinary learning environment opens up parts of the brain that help students develop into more thoughtful and connected citizens and future world leaders.
To learn more about Educarte, schedule an appointment by email or attend the special “Inside Educarte” event on Saturday morning, May 25, 2019. It’s an opportunity for prospective parents and students to visit the campus, see the learning environment and ask questions about the school. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 2653 6363