A handbook of the curriculum will always be a “work in progress,” a phrase that describes many aspects of schools with dynamic vision. We invite your comments so we can continue to provide a clear and useful guide.
The curriculum at The Friends School of Atlanta is guided by the Mission Statement, which embodies Friends values (testimonies), and by developmentally appropriate practice. We believe that in educating children we are guiding them toward an awareness and appreciation of their own uniqueness. For this reason, our curriculum is concerned with all aspects of human development: intellectual, moral, aesthetic, physical, social and emotional. The process by which children learn is as important to us as what they learn.
Academic excellence is the ultimate goal, as we help each child discover the full range of her or his abilities. Teaching new ideas and skills helps us attain that goal by providing connections between the child’s present interests and abilities, his or her innate capacities and potential knowledge and understanding. We want our students to appreciate that knowledge and understanding open countless possibilities for their lives. In the words of William Damon, now at Stanford University School of Education, and nationally renowned thinker on the moral development of children:
Children do best—intellectually, personally, morally—when they are striving for excellence. Any activity that encourages children to strive for excellence will enhance their motivation to learn, and any instruction that shows them how to achieve excellence will advance their competence. Children are inspired, not stressed, when faced with challenging tasks. They crave the chance to achieve something meaningful.