While the structure of our school is aligned with Effective Schools Research, the educational curriculum is based on our educational philosophy and the Core Knowledge Sequence . The Core Knowledge Sequence is a consensus – based model of specific content frameworks that provides a solid, coherent foundation of learning for students in the elementary grades. It represents an ongoing attempt to state specifically a core of shared knowledge that children should learn in schools. The sequence is a guide to coherent content from grade to grade, designed to encourage steady academic progress and cognitive development as children build their knowledge and skills from one year to the next.
Jarabacoa Christian School believes that how a teacher teaches is just as important as the content material being taught in the classroom. Teachers are expected to teach in a style that is referred to as “teacher-directed.”
We believe that children are naturally curious investigators of the world in which they live. Yet, children do not always know what is truly important versus what merely satisfies their curiosity. For this reason, JCS has chosen ”teacher-directed” instruction, as opposed to “child-centered learning” and allowing children to learn whatever interests them, because JCS seeks to meet certain standards of learning for academic success. Academic success cannot be achieved based on student interest alone. Therefore, we have chosen an excellent conservative curriculum sequence that will prepare students for studies well beyond their grade level.
The JCS teacher’s primary responsibility is making sure students are provided the opportunity to learn everything necessary to be prepared for the following grade. We believe student’s opportunities are increased when the teacher directs what happens in the classroom.
In a teacher-directed classroom the teacher’s responsibilities are as follows:
- To be a leader and model for students
- To prepare the lesson considering the class’ prior knowledge and experience with the material
- To decide the most effective way to present the material to be mastered
- To foster students’ critical thinking skills
- To monitor for student comprehension throughout the lessons
- To provide practice and continued learning opportunities with the material being taught
The teacher is responsible for the direction of the lesson and managing the classroom in order to make sure that the necessary objectives are met during the lessons. Teacher- directed classrooms do not stifle student curiosity. Rather they allow curiosity to be directed toward achieving the academic and character building objective goals. The teacher-directed classroom is a place where students are provided with rich opportunities to master important bodies of knowledge. Mastering these important, foundational concepts will prepare students for additional learning throughout their lives.