By Brent Davis, Eddie Vargas, and Ryan Papazian
AURA Academy follows the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework of education. You can learn more about the IB program at ibo.org. The IB framework breaks down education into eight subject groups: language and literature, language acquisition, sciences, mathematics, art, physical and health education, and design. Previously, we examined the mathematics curriculum. Let us look at language and literature now.
The ability of humans to assign symbols to concepts and then to combine these symbols into representations of innovative, complete thoughts is one of the distinguishing characteristics of humans. Through writing we are able to keep a record of the thoughts of our ancestors, creating a body of literature. In the last century, people further developed the ability to record sound and visuals, creating film and recordings of live theatre. In order to prepare our students to create and engage critically with language and literature, the Middle Years Program (MYP) develops the skills of reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and presenting. Along with critical and creative thinking skills, these skills develop strong communicators able to develop, evaluate, and appreciate literature in different genres.
Assignments in the IB framework focus on student inquiries focused on core concepts and a stated context for unit. To complete the assignment successfully, students need to collaborate, develop time management, a work ethic, and attention to detail. These assignments are connected to real world situations and are evaluated according to stated rubrics. Technology and differentiation are used to ensure that each student masters 21st century communication skills and receives a personalized mode of instruction.
Personalized learning is also tied to the IB learner profile which describes the type of graduate AURA is preparing. IB graduates are expected to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced, and reflective. Each student and teacher reflects on how he or she can improve in these areas and tailors activities to cultivate areas that need improvement. Thus, the teachers lead by example, and model the self-directed learner skills that create an AURA life-long learner. AURA graduates are fully prepared for college and the challenges of life.