Educational Philosophy (7–12)

AHS Online education is designed for educating the whole person.

  • Character: Developing hearts centered in Christ, influenced by example, and refined through experience.
  • Scholarship: Inspiring minds through transformational teaching and learning in the light of the restored gospel.
  • Liberty: Advancing moral self-government as the foundation of thriving individuals, families, and communities.

AHS Online is based on the scope and sequence of courses at American Heritage School. Courses are developed from the AHS adaptation of curriculum from the Foundation for American Christian Education (FACE) :

  • Foundation: The basis or groundwork of truth through eternal principles.
  • American: The principles of republican self-governance under God.
  • Christian: The doctrines of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Education: The “instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations” (Noah Webster, American Dictionary of the English Language, 1828).

AHS Online also incorporates AHS educational methods: 4R-ing, notebooks, timelines, word studies, experiential learning, memorizations, a providential view of history, and transformational scholarship (“hero journey” projects).

As a school, we adopt an epistemology of knowable, absolute moral truth as revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and described in the scriptures: D&C 93: 36-37, 40, 27-28, 30-32; Moroni 10:4-5; Ninth Article of Faith; D&C 130:18-19; D&C 131:6.

We also practice an eclectic approach—adapting the best practices of the main schools of thought in educational psychology.

  • Behaviorism:
    • Observable student performance is the best way to demonstrate learning and capability. Therefore, we formulate assignments to allow students to overtly perform to fully demonstrate their learning.
    • We also create assignments that demonstrate learning at different levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, with particular attention to the apply, evaluate, and create levels.
    • However, we avoid manipulative behavioral techniques to elicit performance.
  • Cognitivism:
    • We elicit immediate information processing to rehearse and store newly acquired concepts. We administer short formative assessments following the teaching of new concepts.
    • We elicit spaced reviews for long-term information retrieval and storage. We administer comprehensive, summative assessments.
  • Constructivism:
    • We believe learning activities and assessments should be within a student’s zone of proximal development (ZPD).
    • Learning coaches and parents determine any needed accommodations for a student.
    • Learning coaches are empowered to personalize assignments within a student’s ZPD, expecting more or less to help raise the student to the level of their best performance.
    • We reject the epistemology of humanism, relativism, postmodernism, revisionism, and radical feminism. When appropriate, we teach the meaning, danger, and damage of these philosophies.
  • Agentive Psychology:
    • We believe each individual is a child of God created as a moral agent.
    • We foster autonomy and choice by allowing students to choose a variety of ways to demonstrate their learning.
    • We respect the moral agency of each student by following the admonitions of D&C 121:35-46.
    • We strive to give feedback and administer grades in a way that encourages and uplifts the student while holding them accountable.
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