DNA 1.  Neuroscience, Research-Based &
Internationally-Accredited Best Practice

For Methodology and Curriculum Integrity 

  • To date, Israel, United States, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan & Switzerland are specifically studied and essence is fused into Harvard Little educational approach and curriculum.
  • Whole brain-based exercises, activities and techniques to improve communication between brain hemispheres, to strengthen brain neural networks and underlying learning skills, to develop the brain architecture for the optimal learning brain are integrated as part of our curriculum.  In this brain age, it is crucial to apply neuroscience understanding and techniques in education than just using proven pedagogy alone.
  • Harvard Little study, analyse, glean and coalesce the best from Howard Gardner, Daniel Goleman, Jean Piaget, Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, Lev Vygotsky, etc.. to  create the excellent Harvard Little Approach.  We convert many of these theories and approaches into useful applicable learning and teaching strategies.  Practical applications are more beneficial than the whole talk of it.
  • Harvard Little continuously refine to perfect the essence of the most excellent concoction of educational method and curriculum integrity.

We have the gifted expertise of analysing interdisciplinary theories, practices and reality to amalgamate them
in practical educational and life applications.

We do a lot of thinking, questioning, inquiry, investigation, challenge, discussing, debating, research and testing, to work out what is best for your child’s lifelong education and character development.

Especially so with Neuroscience developments, using established educational pedagogies alone is insufficient and deficient in this brain age.  Even right or left-brain training and understanding are found to be incorrect and outdated  as neuroscience continues to discover and uncover rapidly.

Our high level of interdisciplinary expertise, vast experience, a huge dose of common-sense and with the heart in the right place are extremely useful.  We do not follow established pedagogies, theories, trends, or even scientific researches blindly.

Our goal is to consistently enhance the educational experience and learning journey of our precious little ones while eliminating the shortcomings and rigidity of any single approach or theory.


For example, we knew that Jean Piaget theory of development is flawed.
However, we extract and convert what is good into a great teaching strategy to move children
to and fro the stages to formal abstract operation, within even an activity.

Learners’ learning experience is enriched when we use senses, concrete and hands-on materials to teach.

We have also developed the whole Piaget IQ Math Gifted curriculum and Home Support Gamesets and Kitsets to ensure learning Math highly engaging, fun and effective.

 

  • Howard Gardner

  • “Intelligence is too important to be left to the intelligence testers.”  Howard Gardner has helped break the psychometricians’ century-long stranglehold on the subject of intelligence.Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) is a wonderful critique of the traditional psychological views of intellect as a singular intelligence, adequately measured by IQ or other short answer tests.

    Supporting it is the growing recognition among educators, neuroscientists, psychologists and others that human beings do possess a range of potentials and capacities that cannot be easily quantified today.

    One might have high or low spatial intelligence and yet that does not predict whether one will have high or low musical or interpersonal intelligence.  This may explain why there are many who may score well academically but fail poorly at handling relationships and empathy.

    Good leaders draw on the connection between a combination of different intelligences, creativity and leadership, not only those emphasized in traditional education.  MI is applicable in the classroom, the business world and the culture at large.

    The prevailing notion that there is only one way to teach, one way to learn, and one way to assess ability is increasingly outdated in the 21st century.

    “Individually configured education” and “teaching for understanding” are two kinds of education Gardner feels honour the unique capacities and potentials of each individual learner.  The challenge now is to find ways to ascertain individual intelligences and to implement different ways of learning appropriate to each person.

    You may read further in “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences” and “Intelligence Reframed” by Howard Gardner.

  • Tentative Types of Multiple Intelligences (MI) By Howard Gardner

    Adapted with thanks:  http://fundersandfounders.com/9-types-of-intelligence/

    1.  Bodily-Kinesthetic (body-smart)

    The capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. It also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: Athletes, dancers, surgeons, crafts people.


    2.  Existential
    (life-smart)

    Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, the big questions such as the meaning of life, why we die, and how did we get here.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence:  Philosophers, social entrepreneurs, activists, purpose-driven roles.

    3.  Interpersonal (peeople-smart)

    The ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.

    Leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: Teachers, social workers, actors, politicians, entrepreneurs.

    4.  Intra-personal (self-smart)

    The capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directing one’s life.  It involves not only an appreciation of the self but also of the human condition.

    May be shy, very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: Psychologists, activists, philosophers, teachers, church workers, social entrepreneurs.

    5.  Linguistic (word smart)

    The ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings is the most widely shared human competence.  Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language.

    Enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: Poets, novelists, journalists, effective public speakers, sales people, lawyers.

     6.  Logical-Mathematical (number/reasoning smart)    

    The ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations.  It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.

    Interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence:  Mathematicians, scientists, detectives.

     7.  Musical Intelligence (sound-smart)

    The capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce and reflect on music.  Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes.

    Enjoy singing or drumming to themselves and are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: Composers, conductors, musicians, vocalists, sensitive listeners.

    8.  Naturalist (nature-smart)

    The human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations).

    It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: hunters, gatherers, farmers, botanists, chefs.

    9.  Spatial (picture-smart)

    The ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination.

    May be fascinated with mazes, jigsaw puzzles, math sums, spend free time drawing or daydreaming.

    Occupations that excel with such intelligence: Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, artists, architects, mathematicians.

    Ability-driven education is what we are doing at Harvard Little.  Everything we do at Harvard Little is research-based and must align with common-sense reality, even before the scientific evidence surfaced years later.

    Harvard Little has numerous progress developmental reports, each for every curriculum programme in place because of such MI understanding.

    It is more tedious work, requiring more resource investments including dedicated manpower, time, training and expertise.  It is way more intensive than just scoring on standardized tests and traditional way of education including worksheet drills.

    Harvard Little ditched the IQ test.  We knew from as early as 16 years ago that it is outdated based on recent neuroscience, psychological and educational developments.  It is not a good indicator of your child’s future performance and yet affects parents more negatively.

    Those who study and make a livelihood by such psychological tests don’t really like us and what we educate the public about.  Nonetheless, we need to do what is right, instead of what is mainstream.  It is professional integrity and personal ethics.

  • Daniel Goleman

  • Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has given us the understanding of what we already suspect or know for long – that high IQ seems inadequate and is no indicator of success, happiness or virtue.  EQ determines our success in relationships, work, our overall well-being and even physical health.

    Expounding on the previous works of Peter Salavoy and John Mayer, Goleman’s brilliance from the frontiers of neuroscience and psychology offer enlightening insight into our “two minds” – the rational and the emotional- and how they together shape who we are and our destiny.

    Harvard Little believes that EQ is the catalyst of IQ.  EQ has a phenomenal ability to manifest IQ.  On the other hand, IQ without EQ will limit and hinder our intelligences and overall well-being.  The best news is that EQ can be developed and we have a stake in this compelling vision of human possibility.

  • Reggio Emilia

  • The Reggio Emilia approach was prevalent in Italy in the 1940s.  It encourages exploration and focuses on the importance of community and self-expression.  Open-ended and child-led, students learn through art, projects, and activities that reflect their ideas and interests. There is no formal Reggio Emilia curriculum, teacher training, or credentialing because Reggio Emilia is not a set method, but an educational theory and practice.
  • Montessori

  • Physician and educator Maria Montessori emphasizes nature, creativity, and hands-on learning with gentle guidance provided by the teachers. The goal of the Montessori method is to develop a child’s senses, character, practical life skills, and academic ability.“If your child is accustomed to a more rigorous schedule or guided learning, this may not be the right fit for him,” says Hilary Levey Friedman, Ph.D., parenting expert and author of Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture.
  • Waldorf

  • Waldorf approach is based on the teachings of Austrian writer Rudolf Steiner.  It strives to nurture a child’s spirit, soul, and body and to focus on the child’s interests. It involves creative, hands-on group learning with a focus on rhythmic repetition in a supportive environment and teacher-directed instruction. This approach strives to generate a strong inner enthusiasm for learning and develop children’s innate abilities and talents.
  • Vygotsky

  • Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory stresses the fundamental role of social interaction in the process of cognitive development and that social learning tends to precede development.  He believed strongly that the community (including its culture, language and environment) plays a central role in the process of “making meaning” and will influence how we think and what we think about.
  • Vygotsky states cognitive development stems from social interactions from guided learning within the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) as learners and their partners (teachers, peers, caregivers etc.) co-construct knowledge to the place whereby learner is able to perform a task or solve the problem independently.
  • Piaget

  • Piaget’s stages of cognitive development from Sensorimotor, Pre-operational, Concrete Operational to Formal Operational stage suggest a progressive reorganisation of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and environmental experience.
  • Children construct an understanding of the world around them, then experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment.  When a child’s existing schemata (building intelligence blocks, representation in the mind of a set of perceptions, ideas, and/or actions, which go together) are capable of explaining what it can perceive around it, it is said to be in a state of cognitive equilibrium.

DNA 2. Quality Education

Our emphasis is on developing solid educational substance, purpose-driven leadership and passionate team to provide high quality and valuable learning experience.

The integrity of what matters to young lives is far more important than what is skin-deep impressive and profit itself.

We are not for impressing with frills like advertising, premises/hardware aesthetics or other marketing gimmicks.
Parents, other caregivers, educators and the general public need to learn to look beyond the skin-deep
to what is truly significant in your child’s education.
Some thought-provoking issues to think about from the Insiders:

Think: Shapes & Sizes
The size of the premise does not matter as much the size of the class your child is in.

The rapid growth of a large chain or brand-name due to investors’ profit-driven or image-conscious goals VERSUS the focus on high innate quality of education in smaller setup coupled with the unwillingness to exchange what matters to your child, just for more profit.

Think: Software Versus Hardware In Education
What will truly benefit your child should matter more than what matters to you. We all need loving reminders.

What would you rather have? The school costs being spent on the high rent at a huge place or with a glamourous address you like, expensive advertising campaigns you can associate with or on hardware/ material things that impress you. Or you prefer the school to spend more on the high costs of keeping the staff-to-child ratio small, your child’s vast learning resources and experiences, continuous research and development on methodology and curriculum, getting the right educators and the educators’ continuous professional training development.

Our lustful eyes are usually impressed by the hardware or superficialities though we know the software on the inside is most important, especially in education. Costs are high. Spending more in some areas means lesser budget for other aspects. What spending would you like the school to focus on?

You do want a school leadership that prioritises what is right and most beneficial to your child’s education.

Think: School Leadership
The impacts and importance of leadership is a foregone conclusion. The leadership’s values, philosophy, ethics, background, direction, priorities, motivations etc. are crucial.

The type of leadership exerts far more extensive effect than you think. Every decision affects your child directly and indirectly. Notice the differences by comparing leadership.

A leadership that is purely business-driven will hire anybody who has the paper qualifications to fill in the vacancies, in order to fuel growth or whatever agenda needed.

A leadership who is education/life-driven will choose and retain only those who love children. It will even remove staff that do not make the mark even though they may have paper qualifications, experience and even if there is a shortage of staff that results in lesser revenue. A vacant position is better than a bad person filling up a position.

For example, compare a school that is run by an ex-banker and controlled by profit-driven investors in the background to another school run by an experienced educator who is passionate about education and children.
There are real differences.

A leadership that is preoccupied with pleasing customer service above all good sense speaks all niceties only to parents and may withhold information that may be important about the child. To be politically-correct overtly can be detrimental.

A leadership that is consumed with doing what is in the best interests of the child. Wise parents respect the professionalism, integrity and love of such staff and recognises that it takes a village to bring up a successful child.

Notice also the kind of staff different types of leadership attract and retain.

Think: Education Is The Most Important Investment
The returns on investment matter in its real value.

A slightly higher quantum sum reaping a higher quality education with your child receiving more individualised attention, care and learning in smaller group ratio is worthy. A necessity for this young age.

We know that priceless intangibles aren’t really quantifiable in monetary terms alone.

DNA 3.  Small Group Learning

  • Excellent staff-to-child ratio (maximum 7-15 learners per class, dependent on ability-group).
  • Cosy small groups for more individualised attention, nurturing and learning.
  • Effective peer learning, bonding with teachers and relationship-building.
  • Dynamic Diagnostic Assessment™ (DDA™) for screening child’s individual development and personalised monitoring progress.

DNA 4.  Ability-Driven Curriculum

  • Ability-driven learning means your child’s learning is grouped and paced according to his/her abilities, more than age itself.
  • We use differentiated teaching further to meet individual needs by tailoring instruction.  Harvard Little differentiate content, process, products, or the learning environment, the use of ongoing assessment and flexible grouping to make this an effective and successful approach to instruction.
  • Inclusive education means different groups or individuals having different backgrounds like origin, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, abilities and disabilities are welcome in the Harvard Little community.
  • Appreciate diversity, encourage understanding and empathy to get along with a community of varied cultures and abilities.
  • Subsidised education for children from needy families.

DNA 5.  Holistic Child Development 

  • Balanced and holistic approach for well-rounded child development and academic excellence.
  • The Harvard Little child is educated and nurtured to possess EQ+IQ+MQ+AQ+FQ.
  • Our Character & Moral Development (CMD) curriculum is based on Biblical and universal values.
  • Academic excellence without sound character, good interpersonal and intra-personal skills, empathy, resilience, ethics and morals, etc., can cause harm to the young and dangers to the world.
  • Little emphasis on academic excellence is impractical and irresponsible. We need to build a firm foundation to prepare children for higher schooling well.

DNA 6.  Passionate & Dedicated Team

  • Our Dean is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, has at least 18 years of experience in the field of education, with stints at Yale and Harvard Universities (as at year 2016).  She is filled with fire in the belly, to escalate the quality of education for young children, gifted learners and learners with learning difficulties.
  • Our hiring policy is to only hire and retain passionate and dedicated staff who have good character and love children.
  • Paper qualifications and experience are important. The passionate heart, loving character and great attitude are most vital.

DNA 7.  The World Is Our Classroom

  • Outdoor learning experience is a key feature in our gifted education curriculum (major and minor excursions).
  • Interdisciplinary projects require learning applications to explore, investigate and understanding the world.
  • Learning can take place anywhere with our well-trained specialists.  Classroom need not be in the same place.
  • Physical structure should not constraint our imagination, exploration and learning.  Your children maybe out in the open space, on the staircase, in the garden or at the corridor learning with us.
  • Parental involvement in bringing your world into our classroom and bringing your children’s world into your world is essential.  Parents’ participation in the “Parent’s Back-To-School Day!” and other excursions/events are encouraged.

DNA 8.  Global Education For Life, Not Just For School

  • Grow intellectually, emotionally, physically, socially and morally well.
  • Grow in independence and take responsibility for their own learning and decision making.
  • Empower children for the globalised world of diversity.
  • Raising the future young global leaders for the world of tomorrow.