The Global Academies Charter School (GACS) Curriculum Design
Global Academies Charter School’s educational goal is to provide a learning environment that encompasses principled and centered perspectives while nurturing scholar creativity and sensitivity. To accomplish this goal, Leadership Development and Global Studies are the guiding instructional goal themes of the GACS Curriculum, which are infused into all academic disciplines.
Global Academies Charter School nurtures creative learners who are globally competitive and compassionate. Our scholars are educated holistically in preparation for the 21st century workplace and are ready to facilitate change. Scholars are supported by a foundation that fosters high academic achievement, emotional, social and spiritual intelligence; they are prepared to identify and accomplish their individual missions and goals. Graduates of Global Academies Charter School enter the global community endowed with the intellect, knowledge and skills that are necessary to carve out new paths and to lead.
The K-8 Global Studies Curriculum is designed to provide our scholars with an understanding of the world, with a focus on the development of individual leadership skills. The curriculum is aligned with Pennsylvania Academic Standards and Global Academies Charter School Core Leadership Competencies.
History, social studies, geography, governance, economics, leadership and civics topics provide the foundation for study. These topics are addressed across all grade levels; instruction is designed to facilitate critical thinking, inquiry and an understanding of significant human and global issues, as well as current and historical events.
Global Academies Charter School strives to develop in every K-8 scholar an awareness of his or her own leadership potential and to create a spirit of leadership in the GACS community. GACS believes that Leadership Development, as an instructional goal theme:
Assists young people in developing essential leadership skills that enable them to act responsibly in all aspects of their lives; develops citizens who possess the leadership abilities to meet present and future challenges in a global society; and provides scholars with opportunities to learn and practice essential leadership skills within a learning community.
1. Developing Knowledge of Self and Others. Leadership requires knowledge of self and knowledge of others. Knowledge of self assists scholars in clarifying their identity, self-image, and roles in a variety of expanding communities. Scholars are able to assess their present strengths and weaknesses and realize their potential for leadership. Knowledge of others encourages scholars to consider and understand the way others view and respond to the world at large. Effective leadership rests in the ability to combine knowledge of self and knowledge of others to advance both personal and group goals.
2. Defining Leadership. Leadership is a process rather than an event. As situations change, roles and behaviors of leaders and followers may also change. In defining leadership, scholars learn that respected leaders act ethically and model responsible behavior. Scholars work to understand that active leadership may involve personal and public risks and opportunities. While leadership demands no specific age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation, scholars learn that these elements may influence an individual’s leadership style.
3. Developing Leadership Skills and Practices. Effective leaders use personal skills that can be acquired by all scholars. These essential skills include developing a vision, motivating others, taking initiative, communicating effectively, setting goals, making decisions, managing resources, and facilitating the development of additional leaders. When practiced within the context of scholars’ primary social groups, these skills will build competence and confidence that prepare scholars to assume a variety of leadership roles.
4. Practicing Leadership through Service. Leadership through service creates the opportunity for scholars to practice and continue to develop leadership skills. It allows them to define community and to assess community needs. Service leadership enables scholars to understand the concept of stewardship and ownership of their environment. It provides the opportunity to experience citizenship and identify the responsibilities and roles of responsible citizens. Leadership through service also encourages scholars to become altruistic leaders by providing opportunities for volunteerism.