Why have we adopted the core competencies?
For years now, there has been much discussion and research regarding 21st century learning and the skills necessary for success in the 21st century world. As educators, it is our responsibility to be aware of this research and use it to provide the very best possible education for our students. The Academy has been and will continue to be a successful college-preparatory institution because our focus is on preparing students for college and life beyond college. In order to maintain this focus, we must be willing to adjust to the needs of our students.
The purpose of developing the core competencies was to adopt current educational research and adapt it to compliment our emphasis on a strong liberal arts education. We believe that a strong liberal arts education remains critical to the future success of our students. However, we also recognize that our students need certain skills to compliment this core knowledge. In many ways, our faculty has already been teaching these skills, but we felt it would be beneficial to articulate these skills and engage the faculty in discussions about how best to incorporate these competencies into their curriculum.
Our first competency is core knowledge because that is the basis of our strong liberal arts curriculum, and within this curriculum the other six competencies can be taught. Although we do a very good job of educating our students and have been teaching them these skills for many years, we believe that we can improve. We feel that the adoption of the core competencies will help us continue to provide exceptional opportunities in our academic program.
Enlightened by our commitment to a rigorous liberal arts education and competent in the skills identified as necessary for success in the 21st century, our students will graduate with an advantage over other high-achieving students. As Mrs. Goodrum, our science department chair commented, “Since we have been talking about and gradually implementing The Academy’s core competencies, I have found myself thinking very critically about how I teach. It has been so exciting to evaluate, to reflect, and to share with other teachers from all departments and all divisions. I think we’re challenged and focused and moving in the same direction – preparing our students (in better ways than ever before) for their 21st century futures.”
Mrs. Goodrum’s comment highlights the reflective nature of the competencies and the dialogue that their adoption has created among our faculty. This has positively impacted the teaching experience for our teachers, which in turn will positively impact the learning experience for our students. The core competencies are evidence of the Academy’s commitment to fulfilling its mission.
Download the core competencies HERE (PDF)