BEAR magazine article – December 2022

BEAR magazine article – December 2022
Liz Kazimowicz

The world around us is rapidly changing and becoming increasingly complex. In order to prepare children for future success, education needs to be responsive and move beyond mastering concepts in Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. Children demonstrate a natural curiosity and interest in their surroundings. As educators we have a responsibility to further ignite this passion by providing opportunities for asking questions and seeking solutions though exploration and activity based learning. Globally the parents are looking for a bilingual education that promotes the development of 21st century learning skills to prepare children for a successful future as lifelong learners. Parents are seeking a collaborative relationship with the school to further support their child’s education. Research suggests that the same trends are occurring in Poland.

To address this need in Poland, Maple Bear Polska is proud to be joining the Maple Bear family by beginning to open a network of schools throughout the country.

Canada’s education system – one of the best in the world
Canada’s education system consistently ranks among the best in the world and Maple Bear brings the best of Canadian methodology and bilingual education to Poland. As a Canadian educator in the province of Ontario I have witnessed the long-term benefits of a curriculum that provides effective strategies for the whole child to develop skills through social, emotional, cognitive and physical engagement in learning. This is reflected in Maple Bear’s proprietary curriculum which has been successfully implemented in thirty-two countries around the world. The curriculum is continually updated to reflect the latest in research and the best in Canadian educational practices. Teaching strategies encourage creativity, critical thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills through activity based learning. In addition to the Canadian curriculum Maple Bear aligns with each country’s curriculum and conforms to local education regulations.

21st Century Skills
From a very young age, it is important to provide students with activities that are rooted in 21st century learning skills, including: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, digital literacy and global citizenship. Literacy is about reading to learn not just learning to read. It is about developing the capacity and motivation to identify, understand, interpret, create and communicate knowledge. Maple Bear promotes this broad concept of literacy through their curriculum, instructional practices and assessments. Learning is assessed by demonstrating the ability to apply what has been learned to new contexts. Assessment and evaluation strategies are authentic, inform instructional decisions, promote student engagement and improve student learning.

Bilingual education
A stimulating teaching and learning environment are an important component of student engagement in the learning process. Learning another language comes easily to young children. Fluency in two languages has many advantages beyond being able to communicate with people locally and abroad. At the preschool level, Maple Bear delivers a student-centred learning system with immersion in the English language. At the elementary, middle and high school levels, the program is bilingual with students learning in Polish and English. Research supports bilingual education for increased cognitive development and academic achievement. In addition to health benefits, students experience a greater ability to concentrate, multitask and adapt to change. Mastering a second language through the curriculum provides for meaningful dialogue and interactions during the learning process. Activities encourage the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing abilities in two languages, English and Polish.

According to OECD 2019 “Digital skills and other types of skills – including critical thinking, communication skills, adaptability and accountability – will become essential for adults to succeed in both work and life.” Maple Bear Polska schools will provide children with the opportunity to develop these skills through learning in an environment that goes beyond a traditional classroom.

Quality education
Maple Bear has a reputation for quality. Everything is designed for excellence in education, from building state of the art facilities to interior design and furnishings. Bright and spacious classrooms are organized to reflect active engagement in the learning process. The curriculum and resources are consistent among all the Maple Bear schools. Assistance is provided with the recruitment of quality educators and on-going training is provided throughout the year. Quality assurance assessments are conducted on a regular basis to ensure that standards are being met, thereby ensuring a high level of accountability. Maple Bear Polska will provide the best of Canadian education to prepare students to become active local citizens and successful global citizens.