A WHOLE LOT OF HUMANITY
Humans: a modern social creature with a roughly 50 thousand year history. During the past 50 thousand years, over a 108 billion people have lived. Each of those people’s lives interconnect to a story - 108 billion part story. That’s a lot of history. With such a vast history to learn, what is the best way to teach it to a middle and high school student? Where to begin? What themes, groups, events, innovations, and individuals are most important? What is the best order or method of instruction: broad trends and themes or detailed personal accounts… or a mixture of both? And, most importantly, how to do so in a way that is engaging while building the tools and skills needed for the student to become college and career ready? Global Academic Productions provides online courses that specialize in the global study of humanity. Each course is aimed at helping students understand the world we live in, while building the skills to create tomorrows leaders.
BLUE PRINT FOR LEARNING
The Critical Intersection
The foundation for all learning is a well constructed curriculum that is based around trends/patterns purposefully interwoven from the beginning of the course to the end. Paired with curriculum are the methods of instruction - how the curriculum is taught to the student. There must be a purposeful plan, selecting the best instructional tools to convey each component of the curriculum. The intersection of strong curriculum and purposeful instruction is where effective learning takes place.
GAPro seeks to implement the best available scientific research about the brain and learning into its instructional practices. This is summarized with the 3 C’s: Connect. Compare. Create. The brain is a connective engine, networking new information in with the previously stored knowledge in the brain. Interconnecting knowledge is especially powerful when it is incorporated with images, music, emotions and stories. Once the information is connected, the brain understands its value and purpose by comparing it with with other objects/people/events. Finally, the brain is able to utilize the newly connected knowledge or skills to create: finding new methods and patterns of imaginative expression. The 3 C’s provide the foudnation for all GAPro courses.
Learning in Full Bloom.
GAPro’s instructional and assessment methods are built upon Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning. Activities are constructed to promote a purposeful progression of instruction - focusing first on building basic knowledge retention and understanding before progressing into analysis, application, and creation.
All the Colors of the Rainbow
While every student’s brain has similar core components, each student has a unique learning style. GAPro works to balance the demands of college-ready skills (i.e. non-fiction literacy, lecture-based learning, evidence based writing) with the students unique balance of learning styles (musical, visual, kinesthetic, interpersonal, etc).
Teaching to Fish.
Give a man to fish and he will eat for a meal. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Building upon this metaphor, GAPro works to create a secular, bias-free learning environment that promotes critical thinking skills; emphasizing HOW to learn, not just WHAT to learn. This is done by presenting students with multiple fair, factual and reasoned perspectives, while simultaneously teaching students the skills needed to draw their own evidence-based conclusions.
Building Tomorrow... Today.
Middle and High school students are standing on the doorsteps of entering college and/or a career. GAPro courses emphasize the academic skills needed to be successful at the next level: learning from adult non-fiction texts, critically listening, researching, and evidence-based writing. Courses will also introduce specialized academic skills such as multiple choice testing strategies and timed writing. While testing should never be the purpose of education, these skills will prepare them for AP Exams, SAT, ACT, and other critical standardized or licensure tests (GMAT, NCLEX, PRAXIS, CPA… etc)
Families choose homeschooling for a reason. GAPro courses are flexible to fit whatever purpose or method your family has chosen to pursue. Courses are digital, so they can go where you go (with internet access). They are asynchronous, allowing students to login and do coursework at any time of day or night. Student-led options allow children to work the curriculum plan at their own pace and to the depth they desire. GAPro’s flexibility gives an eclectic mixture of instructional options to best meet your family’s academic situation.
TEACHING SOCIAL STUDIES
One World, Many Lenses
GAPro courses examine the world through multiple lenses: History, Geography, Politics, Culture, and Economics. Along with these five key lenses, the curriculum integrates other subject topics from Science, Math, Art, Music, and Literature.
Chronological courses organize the content around the time-based development of an event or civilization: oldest events at the beginning, modern events at the end. In chronological courses, GAPro instructs breadth first, depth second. The broad themes of an era are presented first, providing a framework of understanding about the time period (changes in regional power structure, development of specific trends, innovations, etc). Once a general framework of an era has been established, the course work shifts to understanding depth and detail: examining individual societies, key leaders, specific works of art or poetry, the “forgotten voices” of women and minorities, etc. Chronological courses finish units with connections, comparisons and application excercises (ex: comparisons from from one world region to another, from one era to the next, or from the past to the present, etc).
Thematic courses organize the content around a particular subject or set of knowledge (ex: economics, migration, political policies, philosophical movements). In thematic courses, GAPro organizes instruction from the inside out. First, the students examines their personal knowledge about the topic. Next, basic fundamentals are taught, filling in any gaps in their understanding before delving into more advanced or complex ideas about the topic. Finally, students participate in higher level thinking activities to apply, analyze, compare and synthesize their learning into a functional network of knowledge.
A LOOK INSIDE
Each course comes with unit guides that give students and parents an understanding of what is being taught, as well as a recommended order of completion.
It is important for students to be exposed to a variety of authors and perspectives. The texts are a combination of GAPro researched/written materials, professional journals, book excerpts, primary sources, and current events. GAPro works to limit the resources a family has to buy. Each course specifically states the materials that they need to acquire.
To be college and career ready, students must be able to critically listen to, remember, and analyze audio and video sources. Each course provides 100% of the audio-visual materials students will need, including GAPro created materials as well as a curated collection from respected sources (TED, University Professors, etc.)
Each course provides learning activities in each unit, built to move students from basic to complex levels of understanding and application. This includes: reading questions, digital discussions, kinesthetic activities, timed writings, creating with technology, gathering research in their community, document based questions, art/music/poetry analysis, food or cooking recommendations, etc.
Students will be assessed for knowledge and understanding through their writing and through multiple choice quizzes/tests. All tests are automatically graded, providing rich feedback on why an answer choice was right or wrong.
The beauty of homeschooling is the ability to customize learning around student interests. Each unit will provide optional links to suggested resources that allow students to continue pursuing topics of interest. While some “Going Deeper” resources are free web tools, others are books/videos that are not built into the course price, but can be acquired from the library or for purchase.
TYPES OF COURSES
Survey Courses focus on broad themes and general trends. While key details are provided, students focus on the general themes and patterns.
In-depth courses dive into the specifics of an event or era: Which person, what place, what time, what document, what effect…? While general themes are discussed, in-depth courses capture as many details as possible.
Thematic courses are topic-based studies. Courses build students from a basic to an advanced level of understanding about selected themes, finishing with real-world applications and examples.
Mini-Courses are 3-5 week studies that tackle a smaller, more focused events or topics.