The BASIS Curriculum prepares students to fully participate in the dynamic, exciting, and unpredictable world of the 21st century. Students who learn via the BASIS Curriculum in our classrooms grow to love learning and to appreciate the pursuit of deeper understanding. They experience the delight of mastering fields of complex knowledge and of developing the habits of disciplined, critical enquiry. Above all they have the best possible educational foundation to be independent and resourceful problem solvers and to face future challenges. Of course, it is up to each student to decide which career opportunities to pursue and which intellectual decisions to make in the future. But we make sure that the BASIS Curriculum fully prepares them to succeed in those choices.
The scope and sequence of the BASIS Curriculum is determined by these practices.
We define opportunity for our students in GLOBAL terms. In the 21st century, we can no longer conceive of opportunity for the next generation as confined to a city, a state, or even a nation. Hence, we commit to teaching our students to the highest global standards so that they can earn admission to the best universities in the world and compete in a global academic and professional marketplace.
The BASIS Curriculum was founded by two economists and educators, and from our earliest days our schools have been committed to the smart, network-wide use of student performance data. We hold ourselves ACCOUNTABLE to use the insights this data provides to sustain and improve learning outcomes for all of our students, in any of the schools which use the BASIS Curriculum.
We teach our students to achieve MASTERY of the foundational academic disciplines and competencies, for it is that mastery which will empower their future lives and careers. In all BASIS Curriculum classrooms they face extraordinary challenges, and they grow accustomed to the unwavering support of the faculty.
We have a course of study that is CONNECTED from the student's academic start in Preschool to its finish with Senior Projects. The BASIS Curriculum is carefully calibrated so that in every discipline and at every grade level, students are appropriately challenged and excited by their learning, and each year builds as a preparation for the challenges to come.
Our approach to the use of TECHNOLOGY in education is highly focused: we use technology to help us solve problems of scale, to help create the connective tissue that joins the schools using the BASIS Curriculum into an integrated system with data-driven quality control and the sharing of best practices within that academic program, and to ensure that curricular decisions and innovations are driven by our master teachers, and not by a top-down centralized bureaucracy.
In terms of the integration of technology in the classroom itself, we believe that technology is one of many tools available to teachers to engage and inspire students to take ownership of their learning experience. However, devices cannot replace the dynamic, CO-CREATIVE classroom interaction between teacher and student. We have developed our own tablet-based electronic learning platform to enhance, not replace, the role of the teacher. Our belief is that technological competency with industry-standard hardware and software is a key skill necessary to thrive in our modern academic, professional, and personal lives.
We create a learning culture in which diverse PERSPECTIVES are challenged and tested in an environment of informed thought and collegiality. Our students must be prepared to productively and decently navigate the uncertainty of the 21st century landscape with a profound humility. By engaging with a variety of global perspectives, our students are empowered to make their own decisions about how they will navigate their world. As the BASIS Curriculum drives our learning communities, we do not hide from the conflict and struggle that ensues. We revel in it as a vital component in the maturation of our students and the evolution of their most deeply held convictions.
The educators who oversee the BASIS Curriculum – whether in our public charter schools, domestic independent schools, or private international schools -- do not write the BASIS Curriculum; rather, they manage it. What does that mean? It means that they choose the subjects to be taught and set the standards for the scope and sequence of instruction in that subject. Teachers who are new to the BASIS Curriculum quickly discover that ours is a system that balances the accountability of common high standards in our schools with the pedagogic autonomy to develop innovative ways to meet these standards. Leaders at BASIS Curriculum Schools will never hand a teacher a fully written curriculum for a course, but we will provide structured guidance in the form of common standards, common exams based on those standards, and a network of "Subject Advisors" — mentor teachers sprinkled throughout our schools—to assist and support.
The creative tension between the autonomy that our expert teachers value so highly, and the common aspects of shared accountability that enables BASIS Curriculum Schools to maintain academic quality control across the network, is the nexus at the heart of our classroom learning culture. We are able to preserve this level of autonomy for our teachers by agreeing upon these common principles.
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