Three elements define and distinguish teaching and learning at UCA. They are: rigor, experience and community.
Our expectation is for students to actively engage in the experience of learning at a high level through a hands-on approach. For this to be successful, students must be presented with a specifically designed curriculum that challenges each student and provides them with an experience that makes the content relevant.
Teachers will be challenged to create a student-centered learning environment both inside and outside the traditional classroom setting. It is within those environments that students are presented with high level experiential learning opportunities such as: Project Based learning, Engineering Design Process, and Problem Based Learning. By specifically designing the instruction, teachers have the flexibility to weave the standards throughout the curriculum, thus ensuring that each student learns the content.
Our goal is to establish an integrated community of students, teachers, and faculty. We know that when students and teachers are supported, they are more successful. In order for our school to become an integrated community, our teachers and staff must be willing to invest in students and build relationships. When teachers & staff attend athletic events or other extra curricular activities, as well as take an interest in the lives of students, a true authentic community is created.
At UCA one of the ways students can gain access to an interdisciplinary, hands-on, relevant learning experience is through the teaching of STEAM classes. STEAM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. STEAM is characterized by learning that is highly engaging and deeply interdisciplinary, while incorporating as many elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, & Math as often as possible. Our STEAM framework supplements rather than replaces a focus on solid, research-based instructional practices in core subject areas. Agriculture, Art, and Robotics STEAM classes serve to support the school’s STEAM focus.