There are many buzzwords in education today that are sound in reasoning but flawed in application. When forced into a classroom, these principles often leave the instructor feeling like they are jumping through ever changing hoops. Our curriculum emphasizes skill development over information, comprehension over memorization and tangible examples over theoretical concepts. There are many modern pedagogical approaches incorporated into the design of the materials, but the instructor retains autonomy in the topics they cover, the resources they utilize and how the lessons are delivered.
Some of the core concepts included in the design of the curriculum/resources include:
Project Based Learning: The course is designed so students learn by participating in activities and applying the concept to real life issues and examples.
Flipped Classroom: Students are introduced to each topic as their “homework” prior to coming to class, so that class time can be spent applying the concepts and answering student questions. This means less repetition for the instructor and that students will take more ownership of their education. The flipped classroom approach allows the instructor more class time to work with students that need additional help/guidance while other students can get started on applying the concept if they understand it. The instructor can easily adapt the assignments to the various ability levels of the students as well.
Inquiry and Critical Thinking: Learning happens organically when trying to solve a problem or answer a question. The key to effectively implementing inquiry-based learning is to ask students the right questions and teach them how to think critically in order to come up with a solution or solve a problem.
Depth of Knowledge: This catchy term has changed over the years from “Bloom’s Taxonomy” to “DOK” but the essence is that students should actually understand the content and be able to apply it not just regurgitate information verbatim. By utilizing the concepts described above the curriculum ensures students engage with the content and actually apply it, not just memorize it.
Differentiated Instruction: Another buzzword in education, differentiated instruction can be implemented by either:
- Having students cover the same content but at their own speed, or
- Having students engage with the same content but with varying levels of ability and depth.
Multiple Learning Styles: While each student has a preference for how they best process new information, lessons would ideally cover most or all of the learning styles. This ensures that each student has the opportunity to process the information in the optimal way for them and each student will benefit from interacting with the content in more than one way.