Harrison Township Curriculum Overview
Harrison Township School District recognizes that students differ as learners. To learn well each student needs challenge, success, connection and a fit into their everyday lives. A district cannot systematically achieve the needs of the learner by ignoring student differences. Instead, schools must attend to these differences, which require a flexible approach to teaching and learning. This means that teachers must be flexible in the use of resources, time, activities and groupings of students to ensure that all have the chance to meet with success.
If students are to be successful, attention to student differences must be rooted in a solid, strong curriculum that is available to all students within the classroom. Both the Language Arts Literacy Curriculum and the Mathematics Curriculum of Harrison Township School District are strong, solid curricula, which are based on both scientific research and on national and state standards that support innovative teaching strategies.
Principles of effective differentiation stem from and exist to ensure high quality curriculum, maximum individual growth, and sense of community. Effective attention to student differences must be rooted in a safe environment of mutual respect, shared responsibility for learning and heavy emphasis on individual growth. Harrison Township School District provides such an environment.
We know that children learn best under these conditions:
- What they learn is personally meaningful
- What they learn is appropriate to their developmental level
- What they learn is challenging and they accept the
- When students use what they know to construct new knowledge
- When students have opportunities for social interaction
- When students get helpful feedback
- When students acquire and use strategies for learning
- When students experience a positive emotional climate and
- When the environment supports the intended learning.
Therefore, Harrison Township School District differentiates instruction in both Language Arts Literacy and in Mathematics using the framework of the curricula, which was developed by a committee of educators and approved by the Board of Education, because:
- Students have different backgrounds and interest,
- Students learn at different rates,
- Some students will think more concretely and some more abstractly; some more dependently, some more independently,
- Students don’t all know the same things at the same degree of competency, therefore they will construct knowledge differently,
- Students will vary in the amount of collaboration they need and the sorts of peers with whom they work best,
- What is helpful for one student may not be for another,
- Each student needs to acquire strategies new to that student and use them in ways that are personally helpful,
- Classrooms that are quite positive for some students are distinctly not so for others and
- Students will need varied scaffolding to achieve both common and personal goals.