The goal of the Lions’ Academy program is to promote higher order learning in young children as they transition from intuition and concrete operations to abstractions and symbol processing. This is accomplished through a math, science and technology rich curriculum designed to address the different backgrounds, learning styles and developmental needs of the children participating in the program. Two programs are offered, an Early Childhood Program and a primary program that accommodates the first through sixth grades. Both programs and curricular are modeled after Brain Learning theory as interpreted and applied by Howard Gardner, and incorporates the Illinois Learning Standards and National Benchmarks for math and science.
The theory of Multiple Intelligences argues that there are several domains of intelligence in humans. To date, eight are identified – linguistic (language), logical-mathematical (reasoning), visual-spatial (images and pictures), musical (rhythms & melodies), bodily kinesthetic (somatic sensations), intrapersonal (deep inside of self), interpersonal (bouncing ideas off others), and naturalistic (deep into the nature of natural things). The Lions’ program assumes, and it’s curriculum addresses, students gifted in all areas of the identified domains.
The Lions’ program incorporates a “hands-on/minds-on” curriculum organized around themes that follow the National Science Education Standards on science and math concepts and processes appropriate for children pre-K through sixth grade. Additional underlying principals governing the program include constructivist thinking, authentic inquiry, life-based problem solving, and Christian-based ethics and values. The idea is that through rich science and mathematics instruction, all areas of the curriculum are supported.
In the Lions’ environment, students are encouraged to see themselves as scientists, technologists and engineers. By experiencing these multiple roles, students practice, reinforce development of a number of life skills including written and oral communications. Computers and calculators are tools of the trade, and language development is supported through authentic use of written and spoken native and foreign languages.