Instructional sessions offered as a part of our educational FLY programs are focused on the five pillars of the competitiveness mindset - Conscientiousness, Perseverance, Innovativeness, Taking Initiative and Problem Solving. The objective of our sessions is multi-fold. Participants explore traits associated with each pillar and engage in activities to develop tools and strategies that will enable them to cultivate these character traits.
Research studies have shown that after about 10 to 15 minutes of direct instruction (lecture) student attention often begins to decline (Stuart, John, & Rutherford, 1978); and retention also drops considerably after the first 10 minutes (Hartley & Davies, 1978). This can be problematic because our sessions last for about 2 hours!
In order to avoid this, we use instructional strategies that promote active learning. Participants engage with material by doing. They analyze, create, reflect, and collaborate with each other throughout each session. The structures used to promote this kind of learning are based upon cooperative learning.
All the sessions are also designed using the principles of inquiry-based learning. Instead of just presenting the facts; questions, problems and scenarios are used to help students learn through their own agency and investigation.
The primary objective of our pedagogical choice is to create a student-centered learning environment. The primary difference between such instruction and traditional teacher-centered instruction is that it is cooperative, collaborative, and community-oriented. Students are encouraged to direct their own learning and to work with other students, which makes them self-confident, self-directed, and proactive. These character traits align well with the pillars, which are the focus of all our sessions.