• Advanced Teaching and Learning

    The IDEAL SCHOOL’s key initiative is to enhance innovative learning for every student by connecting the science of learning – how the brain works, to ALL aspects of the child’s educational journey. We as a school continue to learn and implement important findings from neuroscience at this pivotal point in time wherein the apexes of both educational theory and brain research overlap. 

  • Educational neuroscience tells us that students benefit from instruction that does not restrict ideas to conceptual deserts stranded by textbooks and standardized tests.

    Learning is transformative and engaging by the expressive stimuli that all of the multiple intelligences (music, art, humanities, movement, logic, nature etc.) create when incorporated in an enriching learning experience.

    Latest research on the learning mind supports that all students learn best when the learning is in multiple ways. The diversity of mind skills involved in IDEAL lesson instruction means that every student is challenged in unexpected ways and every student finds a way to leverage their personal, unique set of skills against novel challenges. 

    Photo By: Scientific American

    Photo By: Scientific American

    IDEAL SCHOOL is a sterling example of how educators are enriching the learning process through research-based practices. These practices encompass every aspect of the IDEAL educational experience including how we design the learning environment, how we plan instruction to promote mastery of skills and concepts, how we ensure that students are engaged in higher order thinking and creative problem solving, and how we use the arts and technology to maximize each child’s learning potential.

    Every child experiences inquiry-based brain compatible learning strategies from preschool through 8th grade that do not focus on “teaching to the test”, but rather gives priority to authentic engaging lessons, true understanding, and creative knowledge demonstration so student’s apply goal oriented action to be extraordinary and make their dreams a reality.

    Although curriculum and teaching instruction does not focus on standardized test scores. IDEAL brain-based teaching methods result in IOWA  national assessment scores  ranging from 2-6 years above grade level, proving brain-based “best practices” are extremely effective. Mindful leadership, robust teacher training and a community ready to embrace innovative thinking creates the advanced educational environment at IDEAL SCHOOL.

    The highest-level executive thinking, making connections, and “aha” moments of insight and creative innovation are more likely to occur in an atmosphere of joy and enthusiasm.

    — Judy Willis, M.D.
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    At IDEAL School, curriculum concepts are represented in a variety of ways to allow for individual differences and provide a greater opportunity for understanding. For example, when teaching Boyle’s Law (Science Concept), the IDEAL School teacher:

    • gives a written definition (linguistic intelligence)
    • gives the students a mathematical equation (logical-mathematical intelligence)
    • has the students fill their mouth with air and then squeeze it to release the air (bodily kinesthetic intelligence)
    • has the students stand in a group and then step closer and closer (interpersonal intelligence)
    • has the students think of a time when they had to go from multiple lines to one (intrapersonal)
    • has the students picture squeezing a pimple on their face (visual-spatial intelligence and intra personal intelligence)
    • has the students sing the definition to the tune of a familiar song (musical rhythmic intelligence)
    • has the students think about a diver coming up from a dive (naturalist intelligence)

    Definition of Intelligence

    IDEAL concurs with Dr. Gardner’s definition of intelligence as “the ability to find and solve problems and create products of value in one’s culture”. At IDEAL, problem solving is the ability to locate and pursue appropriate routes to a desired goal.
    Each child is a unique individual who must be valued for his/her individuality. Each person possesses eight different intelligences (or learning styles). These intelligences are:

    • verbal/linguistic……………………… word smart
    • logical/mathematical……………… logical/math smart
    • visual/spatial…………………………. art/space smart
    • musical/rhythmic…………………… music smart
    • bodily kinesthetic…………………… body smart
    • natural intelligence…………………. nature smart
    • interpersonal…………………………. people smart
    • intrapersonal…………………………. self smart

    Rather than a single generalized ability called “intelligence”, IDEAL believes that all children possess multiple intelligences (MI). IDEAL believes that intelligence is not fixed. In fact, recent brain research now proves that intelligence can be strengthened and that stronger intelligences may be used to strengthen weaker ones. Not all students know, understand, and learn in the same way. Each student possesses all eight intelligences and it is IDEAL’s goal to develop each intelligence to its full potential. Therefore, IDEAL’s philosophy of education focuses not only on how “smart” a child is but rather how is the child “smart”.

  • The IDEAL Student Experience

    The IDEAL experience encompasses a sense of play, positive feedback that prompts the students to find the solution themselves, topics that intrigue and engage, nurturing environments, and relevant activities that inspire a sense of novelty and wonder.

    These are just some of the components in the IDEAL culture that current mind science tells us help students to be confident and intrinsically motivated learners for life.

    What does the IDEAL philosophy mean for your child as a student at IDEAL School?

    It means whether your child is in the beginning of their learning journey in IDEAL Preschool/PreK, in grade level or advanced placement in Elementary and Middle School, they are getting an education that is informed by the best scientific research on how the brain learns. For example, teachers are trained in, and use cognitive research (e.g. Dr. Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences) to enhance each student’s memory, understanding, and engagement by providing a variety of stimuli in the creative design of their relevant lessons.

  • It means your son or daughter will have teachers, at every grade level, with expertise in knowing how the mind learns and how to ensure every student reaches their cognitive and emotional potential.

    It means your child will be engaged in learning that requires a relevant toolkit of “21st century skills” to solve problems that at first may have seemed insurmountable. Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, communication in diverse media, task analysis, accountability- this is just the beginning of the list.

  • IDEAL learning experiences are relevant, intriguing, enchanting- they are novel hooks that draw your child in to an intellectual adventure full of passion and joy. Your child will delight in the wonder of new ideas and take risks because that is part of the IDEAL enchanting learning journey. By creating  brain-based mindful lessons joy is put firmly into the heart of every IDEAL learning experience, a proud accomplishment in the world of “teach to the test- rote” schooling that still dominates contemporary US education.

  • It means your child will be empowered by a succession of mistakes and successes that builds and bolsters his or her toolkit of cognitive and social skills to become a motivated, confident, independent, mindful, and happy life long learner. Your child will gain emotional “risk taking” resilience and know how to learn more efficiently (their personal combination of intelligences- strengths and weaknesses) and at higher levels of cognition.

  • It means your child will have the IQ/EQ combination to be leaders in academia and life. Your child will have skill and will to achieve their dreams.

    Our students graduate with confidence about their futures. Our students’ success as achievers and leaders is often noted by their secondary school administration and teachers. We are proud to send our graduating students to respected area schools such as Benjamin , BAK, Dreyfoos, American Heritage, Suncoast, Groten, G-Star, Oxbridge, St Andrews as well as local parochial and public schools.