It is our desire and intention to foster a lively and rigorous college preparatory education at Christian Center School, drawing out students' natural enthusiasm for learning and inspiring them to achieve. We do this by setting high standards, providing a healthy learning environment and employing teaching methods which recognize learning styles and encourage active participation and personal responsibility.
Among the many teaching strategies we use, the following are foundational:
Spiraling Curriculum paired with Mastery Learning - Sometimes seen as opposing teaching methods, we view spiraling curriculum and mastery learning as working hand in hand. Much of our curriculum is designed to introduce and then consistently reinforce basic concepts in ever deepening ways, as a student's thought processes and abilities become more sophisticated. Comprehensive understanding is accomplished as students re-encounter concepts (spiraling) and are provided the opportunity to correct mistakes (mastery). http://www.education.com/reference/article/mastery-learning
Concept-Driven, Project-Based - Our curriculum is concept-driven (as opposed to mechanics-driven). We want students to grasp a deep understanding of the core of any given subject, rather than simply have the ability to do the formulas or grammar with little understanding of the underlying "why". One way we accomplish this is by encorporating project-based methods. More than simply "hands-on" busy work, projects give students the chance to investigate, plan, create, manage, and implement an idea, usually borne out of their own natural interests. We find that this enhances a student's problem solving and critical thinking skills. http://www.edutopia.org/pbl-research-learning-outcomes
Multiple Assessment, Differentiated Methods, and Learning Styles - We recognize that each student is wired uniquely with strengths, challenges, giftedness, and "blind spots." Using more than one way to teach a subject, providing choices, and using a variety of testing methods gives each student opportunities for excellence and self-discovery. Rather than compromising the goal of standards-based education, we see these teaching methods as providing ways to allow the highest number of students reach and exceed standards. For more information: Reconcilable Differences? Standards-Based Teaching and Differentiation
Objectives-Based Direct Instruction - Objectives Based Education (OBE) is a student-centered learning philosophy in which the teacher prepares a subject with a specific set of objectives in mind and then guides students through learning by lecturing, demonstrating, modeling, and providing practice structures and expert feedback and assessment. OBE generally requires students demonstrate that they have acquired the required skills and concepts. http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Outcome-based_education.html
Interdisciplinary Connection - We strive to weave concepts throughout a variety of subjects, integrating ideas from one subject to the next, in order to promote comprehensive learning. This is a more real world approach to problem solving that recognizes the natural connections between subjects and promotes broader, deeper understanding through these connections. Integrating a common thread between history, science, and writing for instance, allows a student to delve in a more memorable way into a subject. http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/5196
Blended Learning - Blended learning incorporates technology in the classroom, not as an add-on, but as an integral resource for teaching and learning. Students explore web based lessons that can be accessed at school, home, or on the go to grow the available learning environment. Students in High School expand available coursework by using IDLA online courses or dual-credit courses via North Idaho College. Online courses offer students classes geared to their individual interests or abilities and give them a good start toward college. We require each of our high school students to coplete a minimum of two classes through online resources or through North Idaho College. http://blendedlearning.wikispaces.com/What+is+Blended+Learning