“Drawn to Connections”
Drawn to Connections is S.T.E.A.M. driven cognitive development curriculum for children. “S.T.E.A.M. is an educational initiative created by the Rhode Island School of Design that adds the arts to the original STEM framework (creating the newly “Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics” educational approach”). According to the Rhode Island School of Design, “The goal is to foster the true innovation that comes with combining the mind of a scientist or technologist with that of an artist or designer.” The inclusion of the arts to the initial STEM program is noteworthy as practices, such as modeling, developing explanations, and engaging in critique, and evaluation (argumentation), have been underappreciated in the context of math & science education. Thus the full circle description is S.T.E.A.M. is an educational framework of learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as entry points for driving student engagement (inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking). The outcomes are children who take thought through risks, embrace experiential learning, continued problem-solving, welcome collaboration, and work through the creative process.
Cognitive development curriculum for children refers to how young minds think, probe, and figure everything out. It is progressive learning, skills acquisition and problem solving which help children to think about and understand all that’s taking place around them. A cognitive development curriculum for children produces a skill set for the child to enable them to make meanings, patterns, and draw connections in their learning. Amid the fundamental cognitive skills are perception, attention, imitation, and memory. The core cognitive skills coupled with foundational knowledge together are building blocks for school readiness. Our cognitive development curriculum for children is designed to stimulate a child’s thought processing and encourage the child to embrace learning as exciting, build the foundation for success, as they ascend up the educational ladder.
When children learn to pay attention to and memorize lists of words or facts they are honing a cognitive development skill crucial for for them when starting school and needing to learn new principles and concepts, retain them and produce them for tests and other academic activities. This expanding information processing capacity allows young children to make connections in many directions. For example, a child’s knowledge of the alphabet connected to letter sounds or phonics enables them to start sounding out and reading words. Developed and refined cognitive skills make learning to read a smoother and less daunting process.
When children can combine cognitive skills they can expand their ability solve problems, think logically, and form explanations. Children better remember new concepts if they are put into a meaningful context with connections. When it all comes together children start voicing observations, recognize cause and effect, and implement symbolic and representational thinking for reading, writing, mathematics, and other skills.
Drawn To Connections, our cognitive development curriculum for children fosters:
- asking questions
- developing an increased attention span
- problem solving
- Discerning visually, matching, comparing, sorting, and organizing
- understanding fact and fiction
- understanding cause and effect
- simple reasoning
Literacy comprehension and expression starts early in childhood and is strongly correlated with school achievement. Drawn to Connections is proven to be effective improving children’s early reading achievement. A literacy-centric curriculum develops a child’s cognitive progression through not only literacy but also mathematics, science, social studies, the arts, motor experiences, and physical health. Numerous studies have shown early childhood literacy is connected to the child’s emotional and social well-being, academic achievement and a life of fulfillment. Its is in this stage in life, early childhood when students start to use logic to think about why and how things are happening in the world surrounding them. Therefore, it is important to engage a child’s thinking, and an excellent way to do so is through our cognitive development curriculum for children Drawn to Connections.
“Visual literacy is the ability to comprehend and communicate through imagery.” Our mission is to develop visual literacy through fine motor skill development and academic drawing lessons. Visual literacy goes hand-in-hand with fine motor skills such as drawing and handwriting. A key aspect to developing visual thinking in children is this connection between the brain and the body, especially the fingers and thumb. When children develop fine motor skills through drawing and handwriting, they establish important neural pathways that strengthen learning (James & Engelhart, 2012; Li & James, 2016) and they gain mastery over their environment (Horn & Giacobbe, 2007; Leigh, 2017). When these skills are developed effectively, children can improve their language development and reading and writing abilities.