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Early Childhood Education: Opportunities and DURANT model Principles

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What is the Opportunity?

Smartphone opportunity

One of the most dramatic influences on the structure of electronic education systems has been the proliferation of gaming devices that have captured so much attention of late. Modern electronic games give the players a sense of “presence” in a world that is different from their own reality. Today, game participants take on an identity within the game and operate inside a virtual 3D environment from their phone. This type of stimulation has led to numerous individuals participating in virtual settings at every opportunity. As a result, there are multiple resources available for educators to learn more about virtual reality settings and even create their own virtual reality lessons and experiences.

Rapidly growing smartphone adoption has created an opportunity for a solution with radically lower costs than conventional education. In 2015, the Pew Global Attitudes Survey showed that most low-income households own mobile phones and many own smartphones.There are already 250 million smartphones in Sub-SaharanAfrica. Our analysis shows smartphone costs decreasing by 20% per year, while smartphone adoption grows even faster. Within a decade the majority of even the poorest households will have a smartphone, and 100 million already do. The need for Digital Literacy embedded in the STREAM Curriculum could not be greater

Partnership engagement opportunity

The DURANT academy leverages its support from the Wanda Durant Real MVP Charity Foundation and its technology partner in Silicon Valley, InventXR Education. InventXR is the leading education infrastructure technology in Silicon Valley that is catering to the most at risk populations here in the United States and internationally.

The Solution

Admission:

The academy will admit children at birth: Our team will make a concerted effort to recruit families in high need who might not know about the program. The academy will provide services to parents during those early years and will start students full time at age 0, given that the majority of brain development happens in the first five years of life.

Program Overview

  • Students start the academy at the age of three, are provided early childhood care and learning. 
  • The academy focuses on investing in human capital, particularly early childhood education, to develop high-order cognitive and socio-behavioral skills in addition to foundational skills.
  • Health is an important component of human capital. Students are more productive when they are healthier. The academy combines health care and education, building a holistic system of care around each child’s full needs. This could include nurses and pediatricians onsite.
  • The academy believes in the power of supporting parents and fathers/father figures as critical in developing healthy, happy and successful kids at school.

The Framework

The DURANT Principles –

The highest-need children will be provided with what they need.  They need a protected, sacred learning environment that has the following characteristics:

(1)   a highly-structured learning environment

(2)   a learning environment protected from mandates which detract focus from providing this necessary learning environment

(3)   an objective-focused learning environment

(4)   a learning environment in which their needs are identified and met

(5)   a learning environment in which high standards are achieved through academic acceleration and character development

(6)   a learning environment not requiring the support of parents or guardians, but parents or guardians are supported to become key partners in their child’s education.

(7)   a learning environment supported by parents or guardians ONLY WHEN

  1.     parents or guardians already have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and desire to support themselves and their families financially, socially, and emotionally, AND
  2.     such support does not interfere with the school’s focus

(8)   a team of instructional leaders who …

  1.     are fully committed to the theory of action
  2.     have the desire and humility to learn constantly from all different sources (including their colleagues, their leaders, other educators
  3.     are driven by growth as evidenced by results

(9)   a learning environment explicitly and concretely separate from a parallel parent/guardian learning environment, which focuses on …

  1.     learning how to support themselves
  2.     learning how to support their child(ren) at home
  3.     learning how to support their child(ren) at school

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