How We’re Different

The TCA WayOther Schools
Knowledge CenteredStudent Centered
Teacher directed instructionSelf-directed student learning
Focus on intellectual, factual learningDiscovery learning
Teacher is source of knowledgeCooperative learning groups
Teaching a rigorous rich challenging curriculum regardless of state standardsTeaching to the state test
Focus on mastery and excellenceEnrichment and ”fun “ activities
Rote learning and memorization of necessary facts in Grammar SchoolGroup projects
Complete thoughts and sentences are the norm, students create from a blank slateRejects memorization
Virtue taught through excellent literature, demonstrated by adults and expected from studentsFill-in-the-blank worksheets, multiple choice, and word searches
Emphasis on academic skills in traditional core areas/measured objectivelyMorality develops from individual experience, focus on self- esteem
Social promotion is preferred
Emphasis on “whole-child” approach/measured subjectively
Standards based on 2500 years of the best of the Western CanonStandards based on ever-changing state and federal trends
Focus on academic factsFocus on social concerns
Use of primary sources and great literatureUse of textbooks and secondary sources
History and geography are defined subjectsSocial Studies combines history, geography, sociology and anthropology
Focus on American heritage, national sovereignty, and cross-cultural studiesFocus on diversity, multiculturalism, and global citizenship
Reading taught through explicit phonicsReading taught through whole language
Scholarly settingEmphasis on social setting
Visuals related to curriculumBusy and distracting decorations
Students face teacher and board at frontPod or group setting where students have their backs to teacher or the board
Emphasis on excellent instruction and imparting wisdomEmphasis on technology and computer lab time
One curriculum-related event each semesterClassroom parties throughout the year
A great book in every student’s handAn iPad in every student’s hand