The Real Curriculum -- How to Think - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

The Real Curriculum -- How to Think

Posted on September 5, 2008

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 5, 2008

At the Open House sessions these past two weeks, teachers prepared PowerPoint slide presentations about what and how their students will be learning (curriculum and instruction), a typical school day from 7:40am to 2:30pm, how student learning is assessed, special activities and events, and even types of homework assignments.  All of these factors contribute to the business of learning and are the kinds of information you would expect to hear at an Open House. Our teachers did a thorough job explaining the program and even provided written information.   

Now that parents have had some time to digest the information and file the handouts, let's consider for a few moments what I call the "real" curriculum -- beyond reading, spelling, writing, mathematics, and beyond learning about science and social studies through an inquiry approach.  

Consider the real curriculum: learning to be passionate about learning, being ready to take risks, being mindful learners, thinking critically, having multiple strategies to problem-solve, working independently and collaboratively, persevering, caring for and being of service to the community.  

These aspects of the Mid-Pacific Institute program must be the heart of curriculum because these are the skills, attitudes, and dispositions most important for success in the classroom, beyond school, and in life. If we live to be 80 years old, each of us spends only about 10 percent of our lives in school.  If ninety percent of our life is spent out there in the "real" world, the most important thing any education should do is help every child become a lifelong learner and really enjoy the process of learning. W.B. Yeats put it this way: Education is not the filling of the pail but the lighting of a fire. Parents and teachers alike need to understand the big picture about education and to keep at the forefront what matters the most about learning -- how to think.

Many thanks to our Parent `Ohana who provided the refreshments for both Open House evenings. These parents, many of you who are reading this webpage, provide invaluable support in sharing your time, talent, and treasure.  Many thanks to the parents who've been volunteering as lunch supervisors in Wilcox Dining Room and as nap supervisors in the preschool on Friday afternoons.    

The 2009 Yearbook Staff (high school) and the MPI Recycling Club are sponsoring a recycling-awareness event on September 26, 27, and 28.  MPI will receive the 5-cent value for each beverage container collected in the bin based on a weight to volume conversion.  All proceeds will benefit MPI student projects throughout the year. You may drop off your empty HI-5 aluminum cans, glass bottles, and plastic containers in the elementary school morning and afternoon autoline on Friday, September 26.  Here's the drop-off schedule for September 27 and 28:  Saturday, 9:00am-4:00pm, and Sunday, 9:00am-4:00pm. Look for the big blue bin just as you take the right turn toward the elementary campus from the guard gate.  It will be parked on the right side in front of the palm trees.  Recycle!

If your child is interested in attending the varsity regular season football games at Aloha Stadium where Pac-Five is a participant (MPI is part of Pac-Five), please call the office at 441-3800 for football coupons.  MPI students may enter the varsity football games at Aloha Stadium free with their MPI student I.D. card and the designated Pac-Five coupon for each game.

Please note that Maile Way exit will be closed on September 12 after the morning drop-offs (closed after 8:15am).  After the morning drop-offs, all cars will be routed to exit through the main gate on Ka`ala St. The middle and high school students will be off-campus for a school spirit picnic and are not returning to campus, so Maile Way exit will be closed in the afternoon.

By today, all afterschool classes will have begun (Chinese, Japanese, ballet, tennis, choir, piano, ukulele, guitar, and preschool music).  Please remember to send your child to school with the necessary accoutrements such tennis racket, water bottle, music book, etc. Better yet, make this your child's responsibility to remember, not yours. Perhaps mark all the  dates on a calendar at home and have your child check the calendar each week.

The Christian Schools Athletic League games begin the following week. The League consists of nearly 20 private, independent schools on O`ahu. All parents have received a hard copy of the September calendar and a downloadable copy is posted on the website.  Note the dates for the CSAL games, which all begin at 3:30pm.  Boys' basketball begins this coming Monday, September 8, at Mid-Pacific.  Our 5th and 6th grade team will play Kamehameha School.  If you have time, come and cheer them on!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey