With any building project, you need to begin with a strong foundation that provides stability. Without a stable underpinning for everything else to attach to, additional parts of the structure can shift; something as simple as a breeze can cause the structure to falter or even fail.
It’s the same with an academic program.
While we already have our covering, our ultimate goal, of striving to know and glorify our Father, we risk faltering, missing important components, or confusion in our structure if we don’t start building the program with a strong substructure. That is why we are in the process of building a stable foundation of objective based learning for our school.
There is a lot of confusion over the term “objectives” as it can be and is used to describe multiple things – curriculum objectives, class objectives, quarter or semester objectives, teacher objectives. To clarify, the term objectives at Fortis Academy refers to brief statements that describe what students will be expected to know and be able to do in each grade level at the end of each academic year. These objectives, Pre-K through 12th, will be published on the Fortis website.
When objectives are set for the school and for each grade level, we gain stability and continuity. Curriculum may change, teachers may change, Academic Administrators may change, but what will not change is what the students will learn each year in each grade level. Stability.
Also, because the curriculum is based on a set of objectives working in a sequential order, there will not be any gaps in the students’ education; there will be no question of when what will be learned or confusion as to who is responsible for teaching what. Students will rise from grade level to grade level fully prepared for the next challenge. Continuity.
Learning objectives are a way to establish academic expectations for students so they know precisely what is expected of them and for parents so they know exactly what their student will be learning. For teachers, a complete and known list of objectives for each grade level provides a tool so they can create integrated lesson plans crossing multiple subjects using multiple skills as well as enabling them to collaborate across grade levels secure in the knowledge they are meeting the required goals.
For objective based learning to be effective, administrators and teachers must prioritize and determine what critical skills students need to acquire before they graduate from high school, what content knowledge students need to know in each subject area, and what skills students need to master as they progress through each stage of their education toward that final goal while also balancing these high academic expectations with a strong focus on faith, character, and virtue. This helps prioritize learning goals and build a more coherent, stable, and successful academic program. The Fortis Academy objections will be published March, 2018.