Grace has a long tradition of high academic expectations, which prepare to students to excel in future academic pursuits. The curriculum is designed around a “three-legged stool.” Each leg works with the others to build a foundation for the curricular and pedagogical decisions that define a Grace education.
The first leg of the stool is that the school seeks traditional outcomes. We believe there are things you need to know and things you need to know how to do. As students progress through the school they take classes in traditional academic areas: English, mathematics, history/social studies, science, foreign languages including Latin, philosophy and ethics, technology, physical education, and the performing and visual arts.
Our goal though is not to jam as much information into our students’ heads as possible. In the modern economy, people will need a salient amount of knowledge to ask smart questions and understand the answers.
The second leg of the stool is that students have different learning style preferences, and thus, we have different modalities of teaching, learning and assessment. The majority of students do not have a single learning style preference, but a combination of learning styles. Some of the most interesting and challenging projects that students take on incorporate multiple learning styles.
The final leg of the stool is a pedagogy of joy. Students who have a positive self-concept are going to be more effective and happier. Students who feel connected – to other students, teachers, coaches, and parents – feel safe, which provides a key ingredient for student success. Students need to have a sense of fulfillment, in that what they do is meaningful to them and to others. When these three things happen for students, they are joyful learners.