Curriculum - Overview
"KAS has helped my daughter to think critically and independently, to speak openly, and be more self-assured in her ideas and how she expresses them."
The curriculum at Kentucky Avenue School is driven by a constructivist philosophy. Constructivism is a philosophy of learning founded on the premise that, by reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world in which we live. Learning is a search for meaning. Therefore, learning must start with the issues around which students are actively trying to construct meaning. The purpose of learning is for an individual to construct his or her own meaning, not just memorize the "right" answers and regurgitate someone else's meaning. Constructivism calls for the elimination of a standardized curriculum. Instead, it promotes using curricula customized to the students' prior knowledge. Also, it emphasizes hands-on problem solving. Under the theory of constructivism, educators focus on making connections between facts and fostering new understanding in students. Instructors tailor their teaching strategies to student responses and encourage students to analyze, interpret, and predict information. Teachers also rely heavily on open-ended questions and promote extensive dialogue among students. To this end the curriculum at Kentucky Avenue School is fluid and flexible.
The curriculum is constructed using the Understanding by Design process as delineated by educational theorists Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe with careful thought given to differentiated instruction. Teachers use the backward design model, which centers on the idea that the design process begins with identifying the desired results and then working backwards to develop instruction rather than using the traditional approach, which is to define what topics need to be covered.
The instructors at Kentucky Avenue School believe that the social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum and have adopted the Responsive Classroom/Developmental Design approach to this end.
Please view Why Responsive Classrooms Matter So Much.