Adventist education in the Southwestern Union acknowledges God as the ultimate source of existence, truth, and power. In the beginning God created in His image a perfect humanity, a perfection later marred by sin. Education in its broadest sense is a means of returning human beings to their original relationship with God. The distinctive characteristics of this Adventist worldview, built around creation, the fall, redemption, and re-creation, are derived from the Bible and the inspired writings of Ellen G. White.
The aim of true education is to restore human beings into the image of God as revealed by the life of Jesus Christ. Only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit can this be accomplished. An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge. It fosters a balanced development of the whole person—spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social-emotional—a process that spans a lifetime. Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with
divine agencies to prepare learners to be good citizens in this world and for
Collaborating for learning excellence through faith and service.
Curriculum is aligned to a mission-based K-16 framework, focused on educating for understanding and transfer within the context of the Adventist worldview. Courses and units are organized around recurring grade- and content-appropriate transfer tasks (i.e., service-based projects) toward which all teaching and learning are prioritized. Cross-disciplinary transfer goals, corresponding non-cognitive skills, big ideas, and essential questions spiral through the curriculum, anchoring and shaping how content standards are framed.
Instruction is characterized in three ways. The goal of didactic/direct instruction is to inform learners through explicit instruction in light of clear performance goals and feedback from students’ attempts to perform with their knowledge. Facilitation seeks to help learners construct meaning and come to an understanding of important concepts and processes through student inquiry into problems or projects. The purpose of coaching is to support the learners’ ability to transfer their learning in complex and autonomous performances in response to differentiated feedback and modeling.
Assessment is organized around performance tasks reflective of the key challenges and accomplishments in the disciplines, requiring transfer and non-cognitive skills. Diagnostic, formative, summative, and student self-assessments are used to determine readiness levels, to reveal potential misconceptions, and to gauge progress along the way. Common analytic rubrics are used for providing more consistent evaluation and specific feedback against long-term transfer goals as well as more short-term objectives.
The environment is defined by the following values: