Curriculosophy is a unique way of designing, organizing and reorganizing what, how and why children learn and the various environments in which that learning occurs that is tailored to particular places and times and connected to what is valued.
In 2014, Fort Worth Academy coined the term curriculosophy to describe our school’s unique way of designing, organizing and reorganizing what, how and why children learn and the various environments in which that learning occurs that is tailored to particular places and times and connected to what is valued. Curriculosophy is a mindset about all that learning can and should be in a new age, and the term has been embraced by the education community.
When developing our groundbreaking ELI Initiative, we were guided by our own way of thinking about education, our own curriculosophy.
THE ELI INITIATIVE
By teaching the principles of entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation, the ELI Initiative at the Academy represents our commitment to empowering students to thrive in an ever-changing world. We believe that a world of constant change is a world of countless opportunities. We must acknowledge that success in this new environment requires us to rethink how information becomes knowledge, how standardization becomes innovation and how learners become leaders.
Addressing this challenge head-on through the groundbreaking ELI Initiative positions Fort Worth Academy as one of the most innovative private schools in the country. The ELI Initiative is fully integrated into the Academy curriculum from kindergarten through 8th grade.
ELI Initiative Modules
Different ELI Modules are offered during each semester for grades five through eight. In addition to the daily classroom incorporation of ELI elements, modules offer students a more in-depth experience and perspective.
This module introduces students to sophisticated moral deliberation, and fosters intellectual creativity. Students learn to supply arguments in defense of different moral positions, only one of which is the position students have taken on their own. Through the practice of gathering information relevant to the formation of moral judgments, students come to appreciate a number of different ways of approaching questions about what is right or wrong to do.
Design Thinking—Innovation and STEM!
Focusing on applying the design process to the invention or innovation of a new product, process or system, this module uses engaging activities and hands-on projects. Students learn to understand how criteria, constraints and processes affect designs. Emphasis is placed on brainstorming, visualizing, modeling, testing and refining designs. Students develop skills in researching information, communicating design information and reporting results. Activities are structured to integrate physical and social sciences, mathematics, English language arts and fine arts.
Google Earth has made it possible for students to explore the earth, sky and oceans by virtual traveling. While most students are familiar with this program, very few have explored the tremendous depth of this resource. Each module is composed of an introductory tutorial, with time allotted for student exploration and discovery. As students learn the various intricacies of this program, they are encouraged to share with classmates.
Google Earth can be an innovative platform to create projects for a variety of classes--- map the story of a novel, a timeline for history class, and much more!
Ideas Worth Spreading
Students listen, talk, discuss and reflect on a wide variety of incredibly interesting topics. The delivery platform for this module is TED-Ed Talks. Initial class meetings are facilitated by the teacher exposing the students to TED talks. The module uses a Google Doc to create a list of what attributes they observe that make the presenter effective. Students use the class website to blog and comment on the innovative, inspirational videos explored in class. After selecting a TED talk that is of special interest to them, students present to the class and then facilitate a discussion by creating open-ended questions.
3D Visual Arts
Students are given the opportunity to explore art elements and design principles in three dimensions. This module is designed to give students experiences necessary for understanding, appreciating and producing three-dimensional works of art. Students discover their unique expression using a multitude of art mediums such as clay, fiber, \ found materials and wire while enjoying the creative thinking and problem solving associated with three-dimensional artwork. Additional objectives of this class include critiquing of student’s own work
Teambuilding and Leadership
The goals of this module include building cooperation and collaboration; recognizing, appreciating and understanding differences in personality; and improving communication skills. Each week the students participate in fun and meaningful activities that encourage creativity and help to promote trust and understanding within the group.
Future Teacher Training
Requiring a love for children, this module provides students a glimpse of what multi-tasking really means! Working with an elementary classroom teacher, Middle School students have the opportunity to lead small groups, mentor an individual student, assist with the “chores” of the profession (copying, filing, lab set-ups, cutting, gluing, etc.), plus many other interesting possibilities.
Inspiring creativity and critical thinking, this module demands a collaborative spirit. Students participate in constructive building projects, which require learning to listen to the ideas of others, teamwork and patience. The venue for this module is Minecraft, which provides an open-ended environment under the control of the class facilitator, in which students create items and buildings from scratch using materials they harvest from the world around them. This Academy course is structured so that only the creative parts of Minecraft are employed.
Students take an online 20-hour course, sponsored by Code.org. This self-paced course covers the core computer science and programming concepts. During the second quarter, Middle School students who have successfully completed this course will help introduce material to Lower School students.