Uniquely Minnehaha: Transformative Learning
It's more than hands-on, experiential learning. It's more than project-based learning. It's more than a Bible verse linked to a lesson. It's more than just doing good. It's all of these things, yes, but it's much more.
With over 100 years of experience with educating children, we know what it takes to foster passionate, engaged students who love to learn and are inspired by the world around them. We know that:
- Kids learn best when they understand how what they are learning is relevant to what is happening in the outside world.
- When kids care about what they are learning, they can't help but dive deep into topics.
- When kids are encouraged to find and grow their talents and gifts, they can't help but shine.
- When kids understand who they are, who they were created to be, and the skills they can share with the world they will make an impact in our ever-changing world.
3 Key Elements of Transformative Learning
Pathways for Learning
Students can uncover their potential by participating in a variety of experiences in STEM, Fine Arts, and Leadership. There are many opportunities for your child's gifts to develop, and one experience may lead to something new and exciting.
Faith in Learning
Students learn to link their faith with learning. Teachers bring this learning to life using four powerful teaching tools that connect students to God's bigger story and their role in it.
Core Formation Experiences
Curated experiences for students build on the strengths of each student, offering a deep dive into areas of interest and ensuring each child grows and flourishes in new and exciting ways.
Core Formation Experience
Food Citizenship: Science & Service
For one week, a group of Upper School students were immersed in the world of food. But, they weren't just cooking it. They looked at all of the issues that surround the food we eat, including food insecurity, the hunger gap, food deserts, the role of religion in food, and nutrition.
This deep learning connected cooking skills with community issues. It allowed students to look to Biblical teaching around food and service, build key skills, and allowed students to serve others. One day, students looked to the Bible, and discussed how Jesus is the bread of life, then made various breads (naan, baguette, fry bread, Swedish rye bread). They visited the U of M plant breeding department and learned how the U of M is doing research to create crops that will grow in Minnesota that would be similar to what immigrants grew in their home countries. On another day, students discussed the sweetness of God's word, baked Mexican flan, baklava, and macaroons; and then assembled freezer meals at Living Well, which provides homes for people with disabilities.
The lessons were really interesting. Then, going to on-site locations put what we learned into perspective.
Upper School Student, Core Formation Experience
How does transformational learning impact students?
Transformational learning means that we are not just interested in developing a beautiful mind, but also in shaping the soul and character of each student, transforming them into ever more mature and empowered people. It means we dive deep into learning, engaging the head, heart, and hands, and invite students to pursue knowledge in order to apply it to the real needs of people and be of service to the world around us. We want students to find what inspires them and moves their heart as they explore this wide, wonderful world, offering a larger sense of purpose and meaning in their work that might foreshadow their future roles in God's big story.
Transformed learning happens at Minnehaha in the classroom everyday, as well as through curated experiences that offer students the opportunity to immerse themselves in their areas of interest. These experiences are intentionally designed to help students build community, develop academic strengths, explore their faith, and begin to identify vocational gifts. We are developing life-long learners who become curious thinkers, gracious communicators, and joy-filled collaborators.
Students can start developing and pursuing their gifts and talents in Lower School with a trajectory that lasts until graduation with our Fine Arts, STEM, and Leadership Pathways. They will begin to live out the Core Values of Minnehaha through their Core Formation Experiences. They will grow in wisdom and stature, as their skills and abilities grow in conjunction with their faith as they explore their interests and gifts in a deeper way, sharing their work with their peers and the larger community.
This is Minnehaha Academy.
My deep hope is that students grow as wonder-filled lifelong learners, seek to understand God's creation, and use knowledge for good.
Carmella Whaley, Faculty