Changing The Way We Educate
Thoughts from Joshua Wittman and the future of education at Niños del Sol.
Niños del Sol is an Eco-School in Playas del Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Our campus is located close to Ocotal beach; our quarter-acre grounds offer space for gardening, exercise, and play. We take our students on weekly trips to the beach and focus on creating an engaging learning environment both inside and out of the classroom. Our goal is to empower the passion of each student with experiential learning and holistic, mindful teaching. Classes are organized by developmental levels – usually as "learning to read" and "reading to learn".
The younger "Explorers" group focuses on the basics of childhood development. They follow a curriculum that is regimented to some Montessori methods which are a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations. Class time is focused on bilingual pre-literacy and phonemic awareness. Our students develop a love for learning, exploring language, society, math, and science.
The older elementary students work in two groups called the"Architects" and "Innovators". Students are given the freedom to explore subjects through their own personal interests. Teaching models are based on experiential learning philosophies with project-based and inquiry-based learning methods. We believe that the role of the teacher is to create an environment that allows children to make positive and productive choices while discovering their passions.
Each student works at their own pace and level. This strategy has been proven to advance understanding faster while eliminating stress within the classroom. Each student is given their own scope and sequence which adhere to North American grade-level standards. However, it is the student that is placed in charge of their own education and progress, moving ahead or behind as required.
Our classroom size, teacher involvement, and home-grown curriculum has given us the opportunity to create a unique learning environment. The curriculum at Niños del Sol is focused on both ecology and technology; we believe in the balance between nature and human innovation. This is reflected in our curriculum and through our resources, tools, and technology. Every year we are enhancing our facility to better serve our families and community, please read more about our new Earth Campus via the website blog, including our long-term goals of changing education in hopes of sharing our curriculum globally. It is our pleasure to embark on this journey with you and your child.
Director & Teacher