The School’s curricular perspective, which is referred to as knowledge-based constructivism, is positioned in a framework that allows student learning to take place in real life. It is learning-centered, focusing on essential questions and related themes and concepts. Essential questions devised by teachers but also generated by students are set in the context of personal relevance and academic perspectives.
Teachers at The School work across eleven disciplines—dance, educational technology, literacy and English, mathematics, music, science, social and emotional learning, social studies, Spanish, visual art, and wellness—to create an engaging and ever-changing curriculum that encourages collaborative problem-solving and deep thinking. Grade-level themes and concepts—and, starting in Grade 5, civilizations and cities—are integrated across all disciplines and incorporate skills students need to acquire at each grade level. The development of discipline-specific skills equips students to use disciplines as lenses through which to learn.
One of the primary considerations of The School’s educational program is that in the lower grades students first learn integrative habits of mind, which when they enter the upper grades of The School they naturally apply to more rigorously attended disciplines. It is hoped that this two-pronged approach will help students answer many important questions, such as “What is worth knowing?,” “What content is important from each discipline?” and “How do we know what we know?”