As an American school based in China, CCIS has molded its curriculum around the national and provincial standards of China as well as the educational standards of the United States. The following is an overview of our curriculum and approach. We also offer specific details on the American standards that we use in our program. For more details, follow the links to the specific standards or organizations:
What does an American or North American school curriculum look like?
A standard American curriculum revolves around the four core subjects of Math, Science, Social Science and English/English Language Arts. This core curriculum is then supplemented by additional courses and extracurricular activities that address student learning needs and personal interests. This system builds out a foundation of a well-rounded education that helps mold a well-rounded student who has the skills and knowledge to succeed in a digital, globalized world.
Schools and school districts in America (and Canada) follow the guidelines in their local states (or provinces) yet adapt their curriculum to meet the particular needs and circumstances of the students in their areas. At the same time, they follow sets of standards for each different subject of study as issued by the various national teaching and scholarly associations. These standards lay out a year-by-year progression of learning that should be accomplished in each grade. (While the education terminology used in Canada and America is different, the approach of curriculum management is very similar, with a focus on local control and management that allows for meeting the particular needs of local students).
What is the approach of the Chengdu Concordia International School curriculum?
At CCIS we follow the same approach of adapting the standard American curriculum to meet the needs of our students. Most of our students have experience in the Chinese national curriculum but hope to study overseas in the future. While many international schools will de-emphasize learning in Chinese (thereby producing functionally illiterate students), the CCIS program seeks to build upon students’ skills and knowledge in Chinese so that they can become functional in Chinese in their future careers.
In the English-medium program, CCIS follows the Common Core State Standards that are the foundation of an American education and that are designed to prepare students for future university and career success. The emphasis on university success is an important distinction. Many schools and training centers in China focus only on test preparation and test taking. Unfortunately, many of these schools have produced countless students who have failed to finish their university studies. Rather than follow this well-worn path of failure, CCIS follows a standards-based curriculum that also emphasizes 21st Century Skills, Project-based learning and whole-person education to ensure that students are prepared for modern university classrooms and have the best chances of success in their future education and career endeavors.
What are the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?
The main set of standards in America is called the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The CCSS are followed by most states and schools in America. These standards are meant to prepare students for university education and their future careers.
The CCSS are a set of guidelines for content, skills and processes to be followed in learning English (English Language Arts) and Mathematics. CCSS also details the tasks and skills that students should work on in the reading and writing assignments that they do in Science, Social Studies and other technical subjects.
What other standards are present in an American education?
In addition to the Common Core State Standards, the national organization for of each subject discipline develops the content standards for K-12 education. The support of these scholarly organizations assures that standards are up-to-date and meet the requirements of our globalized world. These standards include the Next Generation Science Standards, National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, and Computer Science Teachers Association Standards that are created and revised regularly by the various scholarly organizations in the respective fields. The standards of all of these subjects are built into our CCIS curriculum to assure a complete and progressive education following the best practices in each field.
What skills and knowledge will students from CCIS graduate with?
CCIS graduates will possess a solid background of knowledge in the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Social Science. They will also have gained self-confidence in themselves and broadened their creative, artistic and performance abilities in Art, Drama and Music. In addition, they will have gained experience as creators and makers of projects, computer games, computer programs, websites and other creative projects from their coursework and activities in Computer Science, Science, Social Science and Coding/Robotics. Finally, CCIS students will possess the digital literacy, collaboration, communication and other 21st Century skills with which to thrive in their future education as self-aware, self-reliant, life-long learners.