An educational model is a foundation upon which curriculum and instruction are based. An organization’s educational model essentially answers the question, “WHY are we educating our children?” Our answer to that question is that we educate our children to instill within them the awareness that they are CREATORS and a sense of responsibility to use their knowledge, skills, and talents to innovate and build the things needed to enhance our community. The New Alkebulan educational model uses a 4-tiered approach to accomplish this.
While an educational model answers the question of WHY we educate, a curriculum model determines WHAT you teach. Traditional public schools teach academic subjects as separate/independent disciplines that follow a linear progression from grade to grade. The New Alkebulan approach is the complete opposite of this. Every academic subject, students learn in their mixed-age peer groups is directly related to the project that they are building. An 8-year-old may learn physics and geometry if he is building a boat, concepts that are usually not taught until high school. We start with the main topic and learning goals, design a project that will have students meet those learning goals from hands-on experience, and then align the academic subjects with the project. A project-based curriculum model can help students be more engaged in their work and remember what they learn. New Alkebulan programs offer a unique brand of project-based learning that accelerates learning and engenders a greater sense of self-knowledge and pride among students of African descent.
HOW we deliver a New Alkebulan education, or our instruction model, is uniquely designed to facilitate the delivery of the educational and curriculum models. A rotation is designed around the core academic areas that are explored in each project and completed in the first half of the day. In the second half of the day, students explore the related science and then apply the academics they learned to build their projects. Field trips, community engagement, and guest speakers are also incorporated throughout the project
Assessments are supposed to measure what a student has learned and whether they are capable of using what they’ve learned. Letter grades often measure behavior and compliance and are not always a true measure of growth, intelligence, or ability to use the information learned. Standardized tests are also an ineffective way of measuring these things. In New Alkebulan programs, there are no mandatory compulsory exams, No FSA or EOC’s. There are also no letter grades. Students do receive a record of their work with scores but Presentations of Learning (POL’s) and Student-Led Conferences (SLC’s) are the focus of assessing what they’ve learned and if they can USE it. POL’s are a public expo or event showcasing their projects and SLC’s are conferences led completely by the student where they present a self-evaluation of their work to their parents. Students choose a skill used in the projects to further develop and present a plan to practice and work toward mastery. They also choose an area of interest to further explore through research, internship, or apprenticeship.
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