Approaches to Learning
At The American School (TAS), our goal is to develop healthy and altruistic global citizens capable of making informed decisions as they navigate through life’s many challenges. Our holistic curricular approach focuses on cognitive development and the ability to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and creatively solve problems as they prepare for a world that has yet to be defined. In addition to our commitment to academic success, TAS values the individual talents and curiosity of every learner and strives to build the character of every student.
Learners require a safe, fair, and consistent atmosphere where everyone feels they are a contributing member of a learning community. TAS is a place where they are collaboratively acquiring conceptual understanding and learning to apply it in new and diverse situations; an arena leveraging diversity, promoting resilience, rewarding innovation, and empowering the learner to assume responsibility for their own learning. We believe:
- Embracing diversity means understanding that every individual brings attributes to the community and enhances the experience of the entire group.
- Critical thinking is not confined to language. All learners, regardless of the native tongue, bring prior knowledge to the learning environment and help build contextual understanding as a multilingual process.
- Intrinsic motivation is developed through agency. Empowering students to take responsibility for their own learning provides opportunities for them to individually reflect, evaluate, and modify their understandings.
Teaching & Learning
American standards provide the foundation of concepts and skills inherent to every classroom. Units of study are uniformly developed utilizing the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework to clarify learning goals, create relevant student assessment, and design effective and engaging learning activities. We believe:
- Standards are student destinations providing skills and concepts organized in developmentally appropriate learning progressions. Inquiry and discovery are the essential paths.
- Backward-planned unit design focused on performance tasks ensure learners get the opportunity to creatively demonstrate understanding in ways that are meaningful to them.
- Classroom learning activities are student-centered when subject-area content is the context for students to creatively communicate, collaborate, and think critically.