Philosophy of Education
The Purpose of Education
The sublime premise of an education asserts that right thinking will lead to right, if not righteous, acting. The aims of education, the teacher’s methods, the books and lessons, the traditions, and regulations of the school – all must express not just ideas, but norms, tending to make young people not only rational, but noble.
Faith Academy Curriculum Philosophy Statements
We believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God; a guide for us in all areas of life. Because of this, all our classrooms will be saturated with Biblical truth. From Adam to Jesus, scholars will learn the history of God’s creation and redemption of the world and his people. Our hope is that every one of our scholars will become a follower of Jesus Christ, and will be “transformed by the renewing of [their] mind” (Romans 12:2). Scholars will learn the Scriptures through memorization, songs, and stories. Through the reading of God’s Word and discussing its relevance to scholars’ lives (in addition to chapel), we hope to instill in our scholars a hunger for God and his Word. Our prayer is that God would give these scholars a desire to know and be like Jesus.
Words and writing are of utmost importance to God. God first revealed himself through words. He spoke all of creation into being. He used writing to record the Ten Commandments. Later, when Jesus was tempted by the enemy, he responded with ‘It is written…” Jesus taught through stories. The early church fathers taught the faith across great distances through epistles. Even though the Bible was written some 2000 years ago, it was written to help us today: “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
Starting in Kindergarten, you will find our scholars listening to stories, reading aloud to one another or a volunteer, or reading silently around the room. Research has shown it is crucial for scholars to have systematic, explicit instruction in phonics in order to gain the skills necessary to decode texts. Throughout our entire school curriculum, our scholars begin to master the writing process (pre-write, draft, revise, edit) and learn strong writing skills by recognizing traits of effective writing (ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions). Our goal is for all scholars to read at grade level or above. Ultimately, we want to instill a love of literature and make life-long readers of our scholars.
God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His word is also true. Absolute truth demonstrated through mathematics reflects these characteristics of God. Since mathematics shows God’s order in creation and more about himself, learning is not only an academic endeavor but a spiritual one too. Helping scholars understand God’s truth is primary to our calling as faculty at a Christ-centered institution. It isn’t the content that makes the curriculum different from other methods, it’s the philosophy of what’s important and how it should be taught. At Faith Academy we focus on the understanding that, without a strong foundation, scholars won’t be able to have anything to draw on when it comes to increasingly complicated math learning. We use a three-step learning model, which consistently introduces concepts in progression of concrete, to visual to abstract (questioning and solving written equations). Scholars are taught not only to know “how” to complete computation, but also “why” it works.
Social Studies and History
In the Bible, history is used to teach God’s people about God’s faithfulness, the consequences of sin, and the fruits of righteous living. History fosters an appreciation and understanding of the Biblical principles of authority, law, impact of ideas, development of nations, consequences of national policies, and the unfolding process of God’s plan. The Social Studies curriculum at Faith Academy strives to help scholars grasp these ideas. We inform our Scholars of the world around them, both past and present, while continually bringing every event back to Jesus.
To accomplish this, we study world history from Ancient Civilizations up to the 1950’s. We discuss current events when relevant and also place particular emphasis on African-American History. By studying these topics, we are able to discuss the effects that these events have had on our world and how we should think about them as Christians. In addition to our Social Studies text, “The Story of the World”, several carefully selected historical fiction novels are included in our reading curriculum. The connections made to the characters in the stories spark an understanding and enjoyment of history that may otherwise be difficult for elementary scholars.
We believe all of creation testifies about God (Romans 1: 19- 20, Psalm 19: 1- 4). The physical and natural world demonstrates His beauty, order, and intelligence. Our Goal of science instruction at Faith Academy is to guide scholars in learning more about creation- and therefore about God- through systematic observation, questioning, and experimentation. To accomplish this, our instruction is designed to align with the Next Generation Science Standards. The materials that we use in the classroom are a combination of Full Option Science System (FOSS) Curriculums and materials from Christian Schools International (CSI) Science curriculums. Additionally, each teacher relies on the manual “And It Was Good: Teaching Science from a Christian Worldview” to help integrate a Christian worldview with the most current science standards.
Colossians 1:16-17 — “For in Him all things were created: things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together.”
Music is a gift God gives to all people to express, create, and enjoy God’s goodness and the beauty of His creation. Musical expression and creativity are ways in which humans uniquely bear the image of their Creator. Therefore, musical instruction plays an important role in the education and development of all children.
Standing on this foundation of belief, our goal in every music class is to teach scholars in such a way that they strengthen their own musical ability while developing a wide appreciation of musical expression. This goal is achieved through active music-making and listening, as well as learning about many instruments, genres, ensembles, performers, and composers. Finally, we believe that music is a gift that is to be enjoyed and shared as a community. We begin each day with musical worship and host musical performances throughout the year. From learning the difference between a speaking voice and a singing voice in Kindergarten to playing a musical instrument in 6th grade, Faith Academy scholars are encouraged to build and sharpen their musical skills while growing in a deeper appreciation of God’s musical world around them.
Our philosophy of art education at Faith Academy begins with the understanding that God is our creator and the ultimate Master Artist.
Our scholars study the basic elements of art, color theory, and technique. They explore a variety of mediums and styles. They are introduced to many important master artists and their works. Scholars are also given opportunities to discover their own style and creativity.
Art class is a wonderful vehicle for developing Godly character and to grow in awareness of the beauty of God‘s creation.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy praise, think about these things. Philipians 4:8
Physical Education is essential for meeting Faith Academy learning objectives for healthy and Godly living. Throughout P.E. Scholars at Faith Academy K to 6 will grow in their knowledge and ability to glorify God through the use and care of their bodies as part of God’s creation. Quality physical education at Faith will provide guidance for our scholars through the use of engaging and meaningful activities, sports and healthy choice lessons that can be utilized throughout their lives. In doing so, emphasis will be placed on discovering,and embracing how God has uniquely made and gifted each scholar.
Students have the opportunity to visit and engage with local organizations and expand learning outside the classroom.
A highlight for the 5th grade class is an annual field trip to the state capitol in Des Moines. The tour enhances their Iowa Studies unit in Social Studies.
Every 6th grade student is able to participate in the School of the Wild for an entire week. It is an outside-the-classroom learning experience located at the MacBride Recreational Center. School of the Wild is a part of the University of Iowa Recreation Services programming.
It is our desire that the students of Faith Academy receive the best individualized education program possible in a classroom setting. Therefore, the leadership has limited the classroom size to 15 students.