Posts about Faculty Perspective

April 6, 2016

Teaching Via "Access Points"

One of the most common questions we get at information sessions or in conversations with families is: “how is it that you are able to teach advanced material to young students?”

History Teacher (at our sister school, BASIS Independent Brooklyn) Matthew Goldman offers his perspective on discussing how his students master high level learning and critical thinking via access points.

“A big part of teaching is finding how to encourage students to see how their own experiences reflect broader societal trends or historical forces.Matthew_Goldman_-_PhotoFor instance, when it comes to teaching students about the compromises made at the constitutional convention, things could get pretty bland. But I start out with a story about ordering pizza with a friend. I’m a mushroom guy, he’s a pepperoni man, we get into a fight, we don’t order any pizza. They clearly understand what we failed to do, they understand the nature of the conflict, and thus relate to the forces behind the compromises made at the constitutional convention. I do these exercises at least once in every class. I show my students that they already have access.

Here at BASIS, teachers recognize that students already understand influential forces. The fact that we are all content experts and masters over the subject we are teaching makes it that much easier for us to find these access points, these hooks to excite students. Non-content experts just simply have more difficulty finding these access points and therefore present information to be consumed superficially and not profoundly connected to student’s daily lives.

These access points are the key to showing students that they are ready to handle more challenge. Students often construct imaginary walls between their own experiences and what they learn in school. We are here to break down those walls.”

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January 25, 2016

The Art & Science of Teaching: The BASIS Independent Faculty Video

We are excited to unveil to you the fruits of a couple of non-stop days in October - our BASIS Independent videos! Back in December, we shared with you our first video in the series, our BASIS Independent Parent Video. Check out the BASIS Independent Parent Video here. 

Here's a refresher on the project: Over the course of three days, we filmed three separate videos: one about the family experience with our school, the teacher perspective on what it's like to work here, and the student perspective on what it is like to learn here. We love these videos and hope you do, too.

They are raw, spur of the moment, unscripted reflections of what it's like to be a part of the BASIS Independent community.

They breathe life into Education Redefined and demonstrate what happens when you combine an accelerated, rigorous curriculum with exceptional, expert educators in an environment of support and deep respect for the art and science of learning.

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Inspired by the blissful feeling of uncovering connections, our blog Eureka! McLean is about sharing moments that capture the essence of what it is to be a BASIS Independent student, teacher, administrator, or family.

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