What the research says
Here is a 6 minute video explaining how the Inquiry Based Learning approach of AIA-O differs fundamentally from more traditional methods of education.
AIA-O has been inspired by the Reggio-Emilia School philosophy, read here to understand some key elements.
Howard Gardner, Harvard
Howard Gardner merges cognitive science with the educational agenda, showing how ill-suited our minds and natural patterns of learning are to current, traditional, educational materials, practices, and institutions.
Drawing on the most recent research in cognitive development (see his acclaimed earlier books, "Frames of Mind" and "The Mind's New Science") Gardner presents a compelling and dynamic picture of the young child's mind in action. How can we help students move beyond rote learning to achieve genuine understanding?
Gardner makes an eloquent case for restructuring our schools, using the latest research on learning as a guide. He finds clues for reform in the ancient art of apprenticeship and in the modern children's museum, arguing that in both these settings genuine understanding occurs because learning takes place in a rich and meaningful context. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Explore more of Howard Gardners ideas here: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1991-98662-000 Gardner, H. (1991). The unschooled mind: How children think and how schools should teach. Basic Books.
Nel Noddings -Inspiring us to care
Children learn best in caring communities of learners and teachers where they belong and feel valued. Nel Noddings, in ‘The Ethics of Care and Education’ describes this powerfully. Her ideas have made a significant contribution to our appreciation of education. She demonstrates the significance of caring and relationship both as an educational goal and as a fundamental aspect of education. In particular, her explorations of the ethics of care – and their relationship to schooling, and to learning and teaching within families and local communities.
Explore more of Nel Noddings ideas here: https://infed.org/mobi/nel-noddings-the-ethics-of-care-and-education/
Early Days at AiaO
To read about some of the early days of VCS/AIA-O this report by Dave Witt (retired Superintendent of Schools Dist. #83) was requested by the Vernon School District to inquire into the first year of Vernon Community School. It was instrumental in our original growth and development. It begins on page 19 of the document.
"What is the lived curriculum we have co-created at our community school?" Kim Ondrik. This is a rich, intimate look at the first year of VCS/AIA-O focusing on a small group of students and the research to which supports our philosophy. It is the award winning Thesis of Kim Ondrik (co-founder of VCS) to fulfill the requirements for the Masters of Education from UBC-Okanagan.