COVID-19 UPDATE: SCHOOLS CLOSED for the remainder of the school year. Learning materials and Online learning available. Please Note: Self Development Preschool's Daycare Program remains open Monday-Friday 5:45am-6:00pm
At our core, SDA is about full brain learning. We combine critical thinking and creative thinking so that students know how to analyze, critique, and create. Our research-based curriculum, intervention program, and instructional practices, help students to develop their selves. Simple.
It is also about developing civic-minded individuals. Through interdisciplinary projects and our social-emotional learning program students develop a sense of self, an identity, filled with passions, interests, aesthetics, and hobbies.
Our theory of “self development” is the combination of three foundational theories in psychology: Bandura's theory on self-efficacy, Vygotsky's theory on the zone of proximal development, and Maslow's heirarchy of needs.
Briefly, Bandura believed that students who feel like they can do well, end up proving themselves right. What this means is that students who believe in their abilites are more dedicated and hard working. Importantly, they also are more willing to learn from their mistakes. These students possess what Bandura described as "self-efficacy"; the belief in our abilities and proficiency in meeting challenges.
The link between a student's self-efficacy and teachers is easily connected. Our role as educators is not only to help them learn but also to help them achieve “self-efficacy.” We help students see that their efforts lead to successful outcomes.
How exactly do teachers show students that their efforts lead to success? It is an active process of finding and teaching inside what Vygotsky called, “the zone of proximal development.” To teach inside this zone, teachers have to strike a precise balance: providing support and assistance when students cannot on their own master or learn concepts but also respecting every student’s need to discover and explore concepts on their own. Every teacher experiences this question' "if a student does not know the answer to a problem, do we tell them or do we let them figure it out?" That question is a question about where the zone of proximal development is.
Teaching students will lead to "self-efficacy." Students that have achieved “self-efficacy” are then free to actualize the full pantheon of what it means to be human. This is the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “self-actualization.” Maslow believed once a person’s needs are met for safety, food, social and self-esteem are met, they can finally pursue their unlimited potential. For Maslow, and us for that matter, every human has untapped potential. The greatness of humanity is found in every human. Each one of us needs puzzles both grand and small to solve, to create and enjoy art, and to honor their duty to make sure their community is cared for. Each of one of needs meaning to challenge themselves, to make it worthwhile for themselves and the next generations.
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