Some of the things I hear from parents when I make a phone call home as Dean of Student Life and Diversity include, This student has been bothering my child for years. Why are they still here? I will make sure to speak with my child tonight about this. I appreciate the call. I know my child was wrong but what the other student did was worse! What’s going to happen to this other student? I don’t know what to say to my child. What can I do as a parent?
Roxanne Stansbury, Assistant Head & Davida Sims, Director of Advancement
Uncertainty. This term continues to bubble to the surface of every article about student challenges. Many articles point to the struggles "students today" have in dealing with uncertainty. Experts in adolescence and psychology are seeing a growing number of students struggle to recover from minor setbacks. The feeling is students are not equipped to problem solve or advocate for themselves effectively in a world of uncertainty. Business professionals worry that, in this world of uncertainty, parents and schools are not equipping children to take risks, learn from failures or advocate for themselves. Is it simply information overload? Or are children really more fearful and anxious in these fast-changing and uncertain times?
A prospective parent called me recently and asked a great follow-up question a few days after she had toured the Dawson campus. She asked:
“You regularly discussed something besides literacy, math and science that Dawson emphasizes. Let’s call it X. You mentioned that this X is really important for kids to get before high school. Is X critical thinking? I can’t recall but I do remember that our discussion made an impression on my husband and me. Can you remind me of what X is?”
By Roxanne Stansbury, Director of Education and Head of Lower School
I vividly remember pacing the floors as a child, anxiously awaiting my mom’s return from my school’s bi-annual parent-teacher conferences. When I greeted her at the door, the begging began. “Tell me every detail. What did she say about me? How am I doing?”
Powerful learning argues that schools have clung to educational philosophies and techniques from a century ago, even though the rest of the world has radically changed in recent decades. In particular, educators have been surprisingly loyal to the classic teacher and textbook model, underpinned by lectures, discussions, and readings in spite of complete transformations in almost every other sector of our society. However, this “dominant paradigm” is starting to shift.
For years, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) has examined what works and what doesn’t work with regard to 21st century education. Jobs, communication and society have dramatically transformed over the last 40 years and, with the pace of change only increasing, it is hard to look ahead into next year, let alone what current grade-school students will need to be successful a few decades from now.
Although today’s kids are “born into a media-rich, networked world of infinite possibilities,” as Edutopia.org notes, “their digital lifestyle is about more than just cool gadgets; it's about engagement, self-directed learning, creativity, and empowerment.” Edutopia’s Digital Generation Project features videos and stories about engaged, self-directed young people that aim to help educators and parents see just how differently the kids learn, communicate, and socialize. Produced with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Digital Generation Project is a great early resource into how digital media has, and will continue to, transform children’s lives and educational experiences.
The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain is a nurturing learning community for boys and girls in preschool through grade eight that challenges students to achieve excellence in mind, body and character.
Welcome to The Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain! Located in Summerlin, a suburb of Las Vegas, Nevada, The Alexander Dawson School is a non-sectarian, non-profit school offering students in preschool through eighth grade an inspired and meaningful education. Students achieve their individual potential while savoring life and meeting the challenges of the world.