||LANGUAGE / LITERATURE
||MUSIC / ART
The foundation for Crestview's core curriculum is the Core Knowledge Curriculum, developed by E.D. Hirsch and the Core Knowledge Foundation. It is built on the philosophy that every society has a common core of knowledge that is shared among its people, and that students need this fundamental knowledge to become successful, informed and productive citizens of a free society.
Our curriculum, referred to as the Core Knowledge Sequence, has a rich and challenging content with a heavy emphasis on traditional, classical literature, history and fine arts. It is the basis for building the foundation for developing critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills.
It is also built on the philosophy that students, even very young students, should be introduced to challenging subjects (taught at their level) which stimulate their minds, rather than simplistic concepts that often do little to motivate the students or expand their thinking. Children as young as kindergarten and first grade learn about the lives and contributions of Bach, Mozart, Van Gogh, and Robert Frost. They study astronomy, matter, electricity, and the human body. They learn the contributions of important historical figures such as Columbus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln. They delve into early civilizations such as the Mayas, Aztecs, ancient Egypt, and early Africa, and learn significant concepts such as democracy and the meaning behind America's symbols of the Liberty Bell, the American flag, and the eagle. Children are very receptive to learning these concepts at an early age. Parents and students alike give our curriculum high marks!
In most schools, the curriculum is defined in very general terms. The Core Knowledge curriculum is different, in that it provides very specific items and criteria. This allows you as a parent to know exactly what your child will be learning each year. In addition, it prevents gaps in instruction and repetition that is common to other curricula.
The core curriculum is a carefully sequenced body of knowledge, and builds upon itself as it progresses through the grades. Children learn new knowledge by building upon what they already know, so it's important that all students have a firm foundation of knowledge in the early grades. This will help them throughout their academic career and later life.
It's also important to note that most of the core curriculum is taught without the use of textbooks. Teachers use a wide variety of resources and ways to bring the core to life: source documents, maps, models, dramatizations, projects, research, writing, discussion and debate, hands-on activities, experiments, and journals.
Teachers challenge the students to then use the information to acquire higher-level critical thinking skills. They encourage the students to learn the facts, apply them, question them, discuss them, doubt them, connect them, analyze them, verify or deny them, and solve problems with them. Without factual knowledge about an issue or problem, students can't think critically about it-they can only have an uninformed opinion. Our curriculum arms students with facts, knowledge, and concepts to help them be highly success. Examples of the core are in the following pages.