During my years as an educator, I have noticed that learners struggle to apply skills or knowledge learnt in one subject to another subject. Learners are taught concepts and skills in isolation due to subject-based teaching and are rarely provided with the necessary tools to bridge the gap and apply what they have learnt to other areas of their lives.
The Integrated Studies Programme at Harmony, inspired by James Beane’s research, teaches learners the importance of integration and how to use it in their everyday lives. The programme uses different monthly themes to integrate CAPS content across the curriculum, skills, attitudes and values. The themes are based on real-world issues and authentic, formative assessment is used in the thematic units.
Each monthly theme is a tapestry of subjects, values and skills. Learners use the knowledge and skills they acquire during the month to complete various activities that demonstrate their mastery.
Project-based learning, where students engage in real world projects, is integrated into many of the themes.
Multiple Intelligence approach to knowledge and skill development
The Multiple Intelligence theory was developed by Howard Gardner (1983). He advocates that humans possess various intelligence types and that for successful learning to take place, children need to be able to explore and learn through the multiple intelligences that they inherently possess.
At Harmony Education Centre we provide learners with the opportunity to explore the visual-spacial, linguistic-verbal, interpersonal, intrapersonal, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic and naturalistic intelligences within the context of the theme-based units.
Our actions are linked to our values. At Harmony, we teach learners about the meaning of compassion, humility, diligence, unity, courage and perseverance. These values are modelled by Harmony staff and are integrated into the curriculum through the use of environmental education and character-building activities.
Teaching learners the importance of positive values has the potential to effect learners attitude towards life and learning, it creates confidence in self an others and motivation to do good.
The Heart behind Harmony
Harmony’s name is an integration of meanings.
It refers to the sound of musical notes when they are played in combination and relates back to the Music part of the centre.
It refers to creating a ‘ consistent whole’ or balance as is the aim of the centre with regards to your child’s holistic development.
The Gecko logo
At Harmony Education Centre we encourage children to learn from nature. Gecko’s are reptiles, they may be small, but they are agile, alert, patient and clever. They are adaptable, and have the ability to regenerate, if a Gecko loses its tail, it can grow back. They can survive harsh environments and camouflage easily. Many lessons can be learnt from the Gecko.