Here’s a brief look at many of the buzzwords you’ll hear about at TDChristian:
Students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Such learning is rigorous and provides for deep understanding.
Teaching from Behind.
Students “drive” the learning on a project, exploring, experimenting, and problem solving, while the teacher manages from behind, mainly as an encourager and resource supplier, but also as an expert.
In certain classes, especially math, the teacher records their lesson on video, which the student watches for homework. Class time is then used to practice the lesson, with the teacher available to help. In simpler terms, the lesson is done at home, which frees up the class time to work on problem-solving and assigned work related to the teaching.
Presentations of Learning (PoLs).
We believe presentation skills are extremely important in today’s world. At least once every semester, students present in front of others in each of their classes. Each semester, the school holds a public “Presentations Day” to showcase the great and varied learning taking place at our school.
In Grade 11, each student spends up to three days in a ‘real world’ workplace alongside an adult mentor.
Each semester, for one day for each of his or her courses, a student will stay home and work on a larger project.
Each semester, for one day for each of his or her courses, a student will spend a full day focused on that course. Focus Days provide time for sustained and extended learning opportunities such as field trips, labs, projects, and video work.
Fifth period is a 40 minute period at the end of every day except Friday during which students work independently and quietly on an assignment or work that is self-directed and often open-ended or reflective. It allows students the opportunity to participate in our choir program or leave for sports games without interrupting classes and without missing teaching or collaborative learning time.
Working well with others is an important workplace skill. For many projects, students work together to solve a problem. Through experiene and teacher guidance, students learn how to interact with others to complete a common task.
Certain courses are grouped with courses in other disciplines into longer blocks of time. This allows for different and deeper learning that often integrates topics from diverse courses. You can read about our exclusive block courses here.
Hands On Learning/Experiential Learning.
Students often learn more by making, doing, and experiencing than sitting at a desk or listening to a teacher. Working with one’s hands and mind simultaneously can be a powerful learning experience. Going on a field trip to a World War One Trench simulation or interacting with a war veteran are good ways to augment or replace book learning. Our Internship Block program is a special example of hands on or experiential learning. Read more about it here.
Broadening the Curriculum.
At a time when high schools promote Advanced Placement (AP) programs and International Baccalaureate (IB) as advantages for students, we at TDChristian promote the broadening of the curriculum. Students should be challenged to learn more about a subject or topic by exploring connections that they discover or identify rather than completing a curriculum that is often beyond their brain development. Providing opportunities for students to develop grit and perseverance through their own curiosity and interests allows for the development of research, communication, and/or presentation skills that will serve them well in future learning and courses. Expanding student horizons and experiences rather than directing students into a narrower, accelerated, and specialized curriculum is better for future success in learning. Improvisation, creativity, and flexibility are key elements that we wish to foster in all areas of learning.