"Growing to Think"
Pilot Program

Growing to Think is our after school program for children living on the outskirts of Lima. Teachers lead math, language arts, and history lessons based on a critical thinking and critical teaching framework. Critical thinking gives students the confidence, skill, and self reflection to find solutions to problems presented in life, whether they be social or academic. We teach yoga and meditation before class to build harmony among students and grow a sense of calm in preparation for the main lessons. We complete the day with a nutritious vegetarian snack.

Thinking is an activity, like any other, that can be done in either a good way or a bad way. Critical thinking builds skills that enable us to think better. In Growing to Think, we create a learning environment where children reflect on their own daily experiences and socio-cultural situations, and find similarities, categories, and comparisons between ideas and concepts with the aim of resolving problems in any subject matter using this rich array of good thinking tools. We continually revise and mold our lesson plans to the specific needs of the students, drawing from developmental, constructivist, and neohumanistic frameworks of theorists such as P.R. Sarkar, Vygotsky, and Piaget. We also cultivate habits of attitude such as self confidence, tolerance for differing opinions, acceptance of one’s shortcomings, and frustration tolerance. These tools of internal and social attunement are essential for the resolution of problems we may encounter in our communities and within ourselves.