As a relatively new educational community, we’ve been able to utilize the latest educational research and understanding of Best Educational Practices when designing our curriculum. Because we wanted to create a curriculum that provides a unique and unparalleled learning experience for our students, we started with a series of goals and proceeded to work backward from there, setting in place strategies, classes, and an overall curriculum designed to reach those goals.
From the very beginning, The Epiphany School of Global Studies set out to be a school that prepared our students for life in the 21st century, emphasizing skills like creativity, curiosity, adaptability, and critical thinking. Some of the goals concerned global studies, which demanded language fluency and educational travel in addition to classroom work. We also wanted a school that placed an emphasis on communication—reading, writing, and rhetoric—with deep and meaningful exposure to the humanities. We decided to include principles offered by the STEM Education Coalition when it came to our science, technology, engineering, and math programs. We also wanted—built into the curriculum itself—a pathway not only geared toward academic success in college, but success in the college admissions process as well. Finally, we had to determine how to measure success in all these areas. Gradually, the curriculum evolved into something forward-looking.
In tandem with this, we wanted to ensure that our students would grow in their understanding of what it means to Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself. We understood that academics—in isolation—mean little without the virtues of respect, responsibility, integrity, and service. Our curriculum also reflects the importance of these universal values.
By the same token, a curriculum is a living thing. It changes, evolves, and modifies over time. First, the members of the faculty are the heart of any learning community, and they deserve creative freedom when it comes to effectively teaching their students. Technology also changes. Students and parents want exposure to additional subjects or topics. And the list goes on. These realities highlight the need for regular high-quality assessments—which are the heart of any successful curriculum—to ensure that the school stays on track, provides for the needs of our students, and ensures continual improvement in the overall curriculum.