by Martin Naffziger, M.Ed.
Nobody tells us all of the answers in life. We learn by asking meaningful questions. At SI Global Academy, we asked “Why are traditional classes designed for teachers to provide answers to students, instead of students and teachers collaborating to ask questions?”
This is why learning at SIGA is driven by Essential Questions and student-generated Driving Questions. The Essential Questions are those that we continually ask, apply to any content or class, and have constantly-evolving answers: Who am I? Why are things the way they are? What can I do with this knowledge?
When these Essential Questions are asked over and over again in the classroom, in immersive experiences, in our relationships and our communities, the answers that we find increase in complexity and sophistication, and learners engaged in the process develop the skills required for Integrative Growth. Integrative Growth is an ongoing process of true lifelong learning that values the ever-evolving complexity of our world, how we engage with it, and how we learn to keep learning and growing no matter in what context we find ourselves.
Within those different contexts, learners find that the Essential Questions do not only guide us in seeking answers, but take us down unexpected roads and generate even more questions. These learner-generated questions provide SIGA students and teachers with opportunities to drive their learning in areas about which they are most passionate, ideas that drive their curiosity.
Imagine developing an understanding of how 60’s-era protest music influences modern hip hop in your U.S. History class. Or re-writing your favorite science fiction movie to ensure it obeys the laws of physics. Imagine collaborating with peers in English class to investigate why there are rules for poetry so that you can artfully break them, or taking on Euclidean Geometry so that you can apply it to video game design.
This is what SIGA learners can do. And when student-generated questions drive learning, and the Essential Questions are applied to those new understandings, there is an inevitable evolution in the answers to the fundamental Essential Question: Who am I?
SIGA believes in providing a holistic educational experience for our students. We believe in our families and their parenting skills, but we also know the value for adolescents to experience the independence, social connections and confidence-building that they so desire in the teen years. Boarding school is a great way to adventure away from home and build your own skills and experiences that shape your identity.
SI Global Academy intentionally creates a community that is healthy, balanced, exciting,
adventurous and most importantly, focused on lifelong learning.
Email Us to learn more about how to apply to enroll in August 2019!
Some more stats from the Association of Boarding Schools
Multiple contributors will be posting on our blog to keep you posted on the development of SIGA!