Kids' minds are wide open. They are constantly learning, questioning just about everything.
Our work starts with this premise and encourages children to learn through inquiry, to grow authentically, and in the process, become more self-reliant, engaged, cooperative citizens – critical thinkers and doers. We focus our work in elementary and middle school : often the child's first communities outside of home.
We work with teachers to support a learner-centered, inquiry based strategy that guides students to see them selves as fully capable human beings amid a community of fully capable human beings. We encourage children to recognize how they may affect positive change in all their communities and to realize how it nurtures themselves to do so. This is the promise of democracy.
We find upper elementary school students often feel they have a legacy to leave their school better off for the 'littler kids'. Helping kids improve the school brings out the best in children – and adults. It helps cultivate a growth mindset.
By helping kids cultivate navigation skills as they learn at an early age, they approach critical problems with greater confidence and agility. And when we help the teacher shift her/his role to trusted illuminator, the student is free to become his/her own teacher within the class community. This shift to a learner-centered classroom may ultimately improve the entire school culture. Aren’t the students the most valuable, yet most overlooked, resource in any school?
All of our work embraces an iterative, explorative design process where risks are taken on the path to learning. We believe "Failure is the best teacher: Success is the best reward."
Kids' Council is another Inquiring Minds' innovation originally developed to be able to hear from all students in the classroom. It evolved to students creating a representative democracy in an afterschool program that circles back to the classroom during morning meeting.
Looking for something? In our talks with some exceptional elementary public and private school educators and parents we have been graciously welcomed into classrooms to help meet the challenges they and their students face firsthand. It's this extended access that has allowed us to innovate to help kids become critical thinkers and doers, cooperators, iterativ strategists equipped with the skills they need to succeed.