Science at Cold Spring
The pedagogy of progressive education starts from a place of inquiry that prioritizes learning through experience. These practices offer children choices within a defined structure in which making connections, applying knowledge, and building understanding of concepts becomes central to learning. The studies of both physical and natural sciences first begin by asking questions and then seeking answers - a form of intellectual exploration! Fueled by the quest to resolve a curiosity, ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions help children dig deeper into a concept or phenomenon.
Starting in our preschool, all Cold Spring classrooms provide a rich, vibrant atmosphere for this kind of questioning to take birth and flourish. The role of our teachers as catalysts provides a safe environment in which observing/describing, recording, classifying, predicting/hypothesizing, posing questions, analyzing, and evaluating are fostered - and may lead to thinking in new ways that possibly may not have occurred to scientists in the field.
How can we build mindsets to tackle the vastness and diversity of scientific phenomena?
How can we build the understanding of ideas from simple to complex?
How can we challenge students to make meaning in Science?
How can we encourage big idea thinking?
How can we help children zoom in and zoom out?
How can we build an understanding of the interconnectedness of local, national and global issues?
We as educators shoulder this responsibility to better prepare students as they think about evidence and navigate in a complex world that does not always have precise answers. It’s an exciting journey for all of us - children and grown-ups alike!
Kyle is working on a windmill project with students. They are learning about motion and wind energy. The students built an axle to allow rotation with reduced friction, and balancing and supporting a top heavy load on a tall tier. Concepts were not explicitly discussed but taught through "making" and intuitive problem solving. Other classes are working on product engineering. Learning about balance and structure by figuring out how to support an ice cream cone with a piece of paper. Students are also learning about acoustic engineering. They are testing different materials to see how well they reduce sound transmission. They are placing a sound in the box and recording different decibel levels.
Special Area Classes at Cold Spring:
Want to see more? Learn about Cold Spring's program through our virtual tour.