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“It is the nature of human learning that determines the strategy and tactics of teaching.” (Mortimer J Adler) There are eight different intelligences; Logical, Linguistic, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Spatial, Interpersonal, Intra-personal and Nature.
Traditional teaching and testing have been directed to only two segments of overall intelligence: Logical and Linguistic. Most people who have emerged successfully through the public school system have been strong in those two intelligences. “If we insist on looking at the rainbow of intelligence through a single filter, many minds will erroneously seem devoid of light” (Renee Fuller, Beyond IQ).
Students learn through mentoring, play, participation, and application of the principles learned. Much of the curriculum is principle based. As each principle is mastered the student will move on and build “line upon line, precept upon precept.” (2 Nephi 12:6) Students are never forced to go faster than they are capable and conversely are not held back by slower learners.
The model for true education follows God’s design of free agency, self-government and parental stewardship. This has proven to be far more effective, simple and conducive to the holistic growth of the individual student and subsequently the family.
Contrary to popular belief, every student learns exactly as much as he chooses to learn. No more. No less. Therefore the main role of teachers is to be a mentor and inspire. Teachers provide structure and a good example, one that the students will want to emulate.
“If children are to be brought up in the way they should go, to be good citizens here and happy hereafter, they must be taught. It is idle to suppose that children will grow up good, while surrounded with wickedness, without cultivation.” (Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 273)
Special emphasis is given to Character Education, American Founding (Constitution) and Free Enterprise Economics (Capitalism), all in the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” (Northwest Ordinance, 1787)
Age of Innocence: Birth to 3 years
Age of Enlightenment: 3 to 8 years
During Core phase, critical lessons of life are learned and assumptions are made that define the individual’s concept of self, family, and the beginnings of their broader worldview.
Scholar: ages 8 to 12
Children are no longer learning to read, but reading to learn. If properly prepared, students naturally transition into a love of learning. They will connect all of the facts they have learned and discover relationships and connections between them. During this period a child will commonly play at projects and skills, which build his repertoire of understanding and prowess. The student is ripe for exposure to the many areas of human knowledge, with a focus on that which he can experience on his level.
Logic: age 12 to 16
This period is marked by the onset of puberty and a new readiness for accountability. The student is exposed to classic works, discussions, and the great ideas of humanity.
Reasoning/Rhetoric: age 16 to 22
The students prepare for the responsibilities of adulthood. They read and discuss classics with mentors. Opportunities for exposure to conflicting ideas and conflicts are ideal. These young adults thrive in the college setting where they can follow their passions under the guidance of a mentor.
Math and Phonics are part of the core classroom time, but need to be learned on a principle-by-principle or incremental basis. Lessons are determined by individual progress and mastery, rather than by other students of his/her class or phase. In this way students can progress at their own pace without the pressure of feeling rushed or the frustration of being held back.
Areas of Science, Literature and History do not need to be learned in a specific order, such as Biology before Physics or visa versa. The unique nature of these fields lends itself perfectly for students to learn with their developmental phase.
Specific areas of study repeat every four years so that by the time the student moves on to the next phase they will have completed the full curriculum, regardless of where they may have started. Familiar themes are then re-visited in subsequent phases with increasing depth and complexity as the student’s understanding and skill increases.
The study of Literature and History, both religious and secular, are blended together through era themes.
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