The Story, The Mission, The Vision

The SWUC Education Brand

The ultimate goal of Adventist education is to make visible the Adventist worldview to learners.  Teaching and learning must be purposefully designed to accomplish this goal, beginning with the articulation of the mission, the vision, and the core values and beliefs of Adventist education.  The values and beliefs, in particular, are foundational to the development of all other components of the system.  Below you will find a conceptual framework that identifies the key components of teaching and learning as well as their relationship to other parts.  

Education by Design, branding for education in the Southwestern Union, is intentionally focused on creating coherence among the components that contribute to excellence in education.

The Story

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
eternity.

The Mission

Collaborating for learning excellence through faith and service.

The Vision

CURRICULUM - What we teach

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 - How we teach the curriculum

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 - How we assess Learning

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.

ENVIRONMENT - How each person treats every other person

The environment is defined by the following values:

  1. Humility:  Bringing attention to God, not to myself.
  2. Integrity:  Living according to biblical values and principles.
  3. Trust:  Doing the right thing because it is right.
  4. Respect:  Acting with fairness, justice, and mercy.
  5. Accountability:  Taking responsibility for my actions and behavior.
  6. Collaboration:  Encouraging teamwork:  everyone is needed, adds value, and helps to accomplish mission.
  7. Excellence:  Conducting my life in a way that honors God.

Missional Outcomes for Learning—Student Competencies 7 Cs

  1. Connection to God and Others:  Develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and continue to grow in faith through balanced living (i.e., spiritual, physical, intellectual, and social-emotional) and service to others.
  2. Citizenship:  Participate in civic life through collaborative involvement in community issues, accepting responsibility for local, national, and global environments.
  3. Collaboration:  Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams to accomplish a common goal.
  4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving:  Use experience, knowledge, reason, and belief to form carefully considered judgments and solve problems.
  5. Creativity and Innovation:  Use knowledge and imagination to create new ways of thinking to find solutions to problems and to create products and services.
  6. Communication:  Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts.
  7. Character:  Demonstrate Christian values and dispositions in responding to a changing environment.

The Values and Beliefs

  1. Adventist education prepares learners for excellence and success in this life, both academically and vocationally.
  2. Adventist education prepares learners for eternity by introducing them to Jesus as Lord and Savior and placing the biblical worldview at the center of education as the lens for all knowledge and life.
  3. Adventist education prepares learners to serve others by teaching Adventism’s unique doctrinal package, particularly God’s Great Commission for worldwide mission and the Second Advent.