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Curriculum Nights at ISLA Academy - Inquiry & Project Based Learning

We enjoyed the support of so many families at both of our recent Curriculum Nights at ISLA Academy. The incredible turnout underscored how parental involvement is a crucial factor for the academic success of any student. Reading to your child, participating in activities that stimulate and challenge them, spending quality time together for meals and recreation, and taking an active interest in their education all support their development in positive ways. We are so grateful that the students at ISLA Academy enjoy the care of such wonderfully invested and engaged families.

During both of our Curriculum Nights, we talked about common terminology found in our unit planners. From its origins with Socrates to the founder of modern education, John Dewey, inquiry-based learning is the posing of questions, problems or scenarios and investigating answers, rather than simply presenting established facts. A subject may be taught as a process and way of thinking – not presented solely as facts to be memorized, which can dampen the love of learning.

Inquiry has been used as a teaching and learning tool for thousands of years, however, the use of inquiry within public and private education has a much shorter history. Becoming increasingly mainstream, inquiry-based learning is commonly used in STEM Magnet schools, and academic research has continually shown that students at all levels of education can successfully experience and develop deeper level thinking skills through inquiry-based learning.

At ISLA Academy’s Curriculum Night, we previewed the six Units of Inquiry to be covered this year and discussed the stages of the Inquiry Cycle that each class will move through during a six-week unit. More importantly, ISLA Academy teachers and staff were happy to speak to parents in person about ways to support their own child’s learning while they are outside of the ISLA campus.

ISLA Academy is a unique newcomer to the current offerings of private, international schools available in the Dominican Republic. It is the only learning institution in the area using an inquiry-based method of teaching. ISLA Academy, located in Sosua-Cabarete, offers a high-quality, rigorous and personalized curriculum taught primarily in English.

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