The background of all learning in Kindergarten at Roong Aroon school is the core Buddhist philosophy of awareness and reflection. Teachers practice meditation and mindfulness, which enhances the relationship between the teacher and the children and classroom management. Teachers together with students meditate regularly as well. Kindergarten intends to stimulate deep learning through the rich and active learning environment including nature, seasons and festivals, daily routine and activities. Through mixed-age groups, children experience a challenging, more family-like setting.
Project work addresses deep learning, learning by doing and communicative learning. Listening to the children carefully, teachers get to know the questions and topics which their students are interested in. Carefully thinking them through, raising them with the children again and observing their reaction, teachers may find a topic which can become the starting point for a project. The teacher is the facilitator of the project, who asks questions and guards the meaningful process, as well as supports the children in creating activities and outcomes. Intensive communication and reflection opens the door to deeper integrated learning. Project work in kindergarten creates the base for confident, self-directed learning in Primary and High school.
Project kindergarten: The sick goose
The land around Roong Aroon School has a lot of nature and is home for a group of some 10 geese. One day a teacher and her kindergarten class passed the geese pen, and wondered about one goose called Mr. Nuan which didn’t go out to swim with the rest of the group. His leg was hurt. Back in the classroom the children pitied Mr. Nuan deeply and wanted to take him to the doctor. For paying the doctors bill, they planned to earn money through selling bread. Finally the children and their teacher took Mr. Nuan to the veterinarian nearby. The doctor informed the children that treatment might not help Mr. Nuan’s health a lot because of his advanced age, but the children insisted on treatment. With the support of parents and teacher, they followed up with the instructions from the doctor. Observation, guided reflection and problem solving in this meaningful project, fostered deep learning in both the children and the teacher.