PS1 Pluralistic School students attend classes with our specialist teachers throughout the week, often in half-class groups, to allow for more individualized instruction. Specialist teachers frequently plan with classroom teachers to integrate the learning, resulting in projects that span many different subject areas and modes of learning.
The Studio is an innovative, maker space for students to engage in hands-on and problem-based learning. Here, students learn to safely use technology, wood working tools, electronics, sewing machines with soft textiles, laser-cutting, and 3-D printing to bring their ideas and imagination to life. The Studio emphasizes the academic areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) as students ask, design, build, create, test, improve their ideas and share while learning the foundation of design thinking and the engineering process.
Design thinking incorporates proven-effective teaching techniques such as self-directed inquiry and problem-solving, collaboration, and empathy... qualities of PS1’s teaching and learning philosophy for the past 48 years.
The aspect of design thinking that resonates best with the mission of PS1 is that the value of a learning experience does not lie solely in the end product. Learning happens throughout the process, from the early research phase to the final presentation. It has always been our mission to support students by focusing on what’s most important in learning: the process, rather than the product.
An essential part of this process is students’ learning to navigate ambiguity, experiment, and interpret results. Students learn to empathize with the people they are trying to help, to design solutions, to test and refine, and to embrace failure as a learning opportunity (Seidel, dschool.stanford.edu, July, 2018). Design thinking supports PS1’s view of advocacy since it is inherently optimistic, teaching students that they can improve their world.Scroll down to watch a video about our STEAM Studio!
The arts are incorporated into every subject. Geometry is often demonstrated in architectural models, scientific observations can take the form of ink drawings or topographical clay maps, and writing is accompanied by illustrations. Students also learn in a unique art studio environment that provides the necessary art experiences, and artistic tools and techniques to facilitate the blossoming of young artists. We explore color, line, form and perspective in a variety of media including pen, paint, pastels, ceramics and tile mosaics. We study artists and art history, discuss and critique works of art, learn about artistic expression around the world, and incorporate the use of recycled materials in many of our projects. Scroll down to watch a video of our Art program!
Our music program integrates curricular themes through song and genre, and provides all students with regular hands-on experience with elements of pitch and rhythm. Students learn to read, write and perform from a wide range of cultures and historical periods using a variety of Orff, percussion, wind, and tonal instruments. The music program covers many musical elements each week, including singing, music theory, music appreciation, and basic instrument skills. Instrumental music is also taught before school through our partnership with the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra.
P.E. at PS1 takes a holistic approach to developing physical and social attributes of a confident and capable citizen. We offer a wide variety of sports and innovative activities including basketball, soccer, lacrosse, Frisbee, yoga, dance, circus arts, football, and ropes courses. It is our goal in the P.E. program to meet each child’s needs, strengths, and abilities during every activity. PS1 students love to play in P.E., often unaware of the valuable skills they have acquired. The importance of sportsmanship, fair play, and learning to get along with each other is reinforced through these cooperative, team building, and group activities.
Our Library is the literal heart of the school, open before, during and after the school day, for faculty, children and parents. The collection has been developed with a broad approach, including materials that not only support the curriculum, but the leisure reading and individual passions of children. Our school’s dedication to pluralism is evident in the depth and breadth of our collections, both fiction and non-fiction.
The Studio at PS1: An Introduction to our STEAM Program
Want to learn more about the creative and innovative projects happening at The Studio? CLICK to watch our video, created by PS1 parents, detailing students' project-based learning enhanced by our STEAM program.