Philosophy, Overview, & Scope
Our philosophy of education is three-fold.
One, there is a difference between schooling and education. Schooling is what the state offers for 12 or 13 years of our lives. Schooling is suppose to deliver well-educated, literate persons who can read, write, do simple math and be good citizens. At present, 1/2 of our citizenry cannot read well enough to understand a newspaper, let alone the Scriptures. Therein lies a problem; actually, there are several problems. Education by contrast is deep and character building. It can happen any where and by almost any means. It only needs to impart knowledge, skill, understanding, and affect the character in a positive manner. Education, for the most part, is what we choose to learn; what we choose to take into our hearts and souls and make part of us. Education ennobles a man, woman, or child. Education is what we offer.
Two, the curriculum is based on the truth that since 1840 American education has been steadily ‘dumbed-down’. Joseph Smith attacked this trend in his day. Brigham Young and John Taylor advocated church-run schools in their day. Prophets since have emphasized the importance of a GOOD education. The dumbing-down of the school curricula has been brought to popular attention by John Taylor Gatto and others. Why and how this has happened we will not examine. We simply state the facts and, with YOUR help, will DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
A case in point: A law professor who required his students in Constitutional Law to read The Federalist Papers. These documents produced by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton were read and easily understood by the 1780’s and 90’s American public – even the farmer on the frontier. However, the professor’s present-day class complained that they were too hard to read. The law students said they could NOT understand the Papers. The law professor quipped words to the effect: Of course not, YOU DO NOT HAVE AS GOOD AN EDUCATION AS THE ORDINARY CITIZEN of 1787.
At Ascent Advantage Academy, we are working to erase the dumbing-down of the last 180 years!
One LAST WORD on this point: Back in the 1700’s they taught truth as they knew it, basing their understanding on Biblical principles. Today, we teach truth as we know it, basing our understanding on the Scriptures.
Three, education, according the the Prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr., should be pragmatic. In other words, it should be useful in real life.
Therefore, our philosophy: We are about education, not schooling; about building-up a base of knowledge and skills that are pragmatic and character building, informed by principles of truth.
Seven Subjects: Scriptures, Language Arts, Study & Success Skills, Mathematics, History+, Sciences, and Independent Learning.
Levels: As Many Levels as are needed to adequately cover a subject.
Short Lessons: Mostly video for the main courses; scriptures excepted as this subject should be taught by parents.
Homework: Definitely. You want to learn? To be truly educated? Then, you have to pay the price: TIME, EFFORT, COMMITMENT.
WHAT IS INDEPENDENT LEARNING?
EVERYTHING, including the normal subjects. It is anything that fires the desire for learning! Independent Learning is what WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW – WHERE OUR INDIVIDUAL PASSIONS REST. That is why, during each year, we ask our students to add Independent Learning to their Curriculum. A particular interest might last for a day or a week – or a month, several years or a lifetime. Independent Learning is like that. It is what energizes our learning and makes the rest of it worthwhile. As Dr. Ben Carson alluded: EVERYTHING he learned led to his success and to making him the man he came to be and is today, everything. It is the same for all of us. And, what REALLY MATTERS, today’s passions usually are a sign of what we’re here for, what one or more of our special missions on earth may be. So, YEA Independent Learning – we often find ourselves and our own special mission within it.
SCOPE – GOALS:
Learning the Scriptures and the Principles contained therein. (Jos. Smith, Jr.: I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.)
Learning to read and read well.
Learning to write and write well, including excellent penmanship and cursive.
Learning great literature.
Learning to speak and speak well, also interpersonal communication.
Learning to think! Understanding of propaganda techniques.
Learning Mathematics as far as a student wishes. (May be through Calculus and Statistics.)
Learning personal and family to world geography, history, culture, government types, and economic systems.
Learning sciences through a basic level and as far advanced as a student desires.
Learning what our individual missions are by learning what we love, what we have a talent for, and what makes us happy.
Let’s get started!
No, this curriculum is NOT perfect. It has been crafted by imperfect humans. We have simply done our best and are always open to suggestions for improvement. When you find a spot you feel could be better, please advise. Thank you.