Learning

Colegio Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the American School of Lima, is an independent, international school, providing a college preparatory program in English for students from age 3 through grade 12.

From EC-3 through grade 12, FDR programs and standards-based curriculum keep several key ideas in mind:

  1. We are preparing children for a future much less predictable than our own
  2. It’s no longer enough to ask children what they want to be; it’s equally important to ask WHO they want to be
  3. Not all children learn the same way at the same time
  4. Real-world applications, interdisciplinary connections, problem-solving skills and a balance of academic, extra-curricular and service opportunities will help students succeed and flourish.

The Roosevelt Elementary School curriculum, for students ages 3-11, is an integral part of a child-centred program that values discovery, creativity, growth and purpose. Our experienced, caring and passionate teachers believe in forming strong partnerships with parents in order to guide children to become lifelong learners, as well as confident, successful, and joyful members of our proud learning community.

The Roosevelt Middle School curriculum embodies best practices and research into the unique physical, emotional and academic characteristics of children in grades 6-8. Engaging and relevant classroom learning is complemented by community service, mindfulness and personalized opportunities to engage with real-life problems.

High school students in grades 9 and 10 follow the Roosevelt pre-IB curriculum, which continues to emphasize conceptual frameworks and inquiry-based learning, and to provide a strong academic foundation and positive learning behaviors which will foster success in the rigor of grades 11 and 12. Students in grades 11 and 12 may then register for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program (DP), IB Certificate courses, the Innovation Academy (IA) and/or the Official Peruvian Program (OPP). Each program offers a challenging curriculum to prepare students for university and beyond.

For further insight into our philosophy of learning at FDR, please see our Learning Principles.

Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, FDR moved beyond the IB PYP and MYP frameworks. The school still offers the IB Diploma Program for students in Grades 11 and 12. (See FAQ below)

Q: Why did FDR move away from the PYP and MYP frameworks?

A: Over the past few years, we have been working diligently toward a defined curriculum that articulates and clarifies the knowledge, the skills and the dispositions our students will gain during their years here at Roosevelt. This significant work is key to defining our “road map” for learning at each grade level and in each discipline.

One of the outcomes that has come from our work on the curriculum has been that the broad curricular frameworks of PYP and MYP, even though faithfully implemented, were limiting us. This past year, when the IB programs were externally reviewed, this became even more obvious. Some of our newest, research-based curricular approaches were not a “fit” for the PYP and MYP programs. We also researched top independent schools in the United States, nearly all of whom implement their own curriculum frameworks in connection with their unique core values and mission.

Q: Why does the school think this approach is better?

A: The Roosevelt Curriculum Framework is designed to better align with our mission statement, the needs of our learners and our growing understanding of how children learn as well as what they need to learn to be successful in life beyond FDR. After ten years of implementing the PYP and MYP program, FDR's instructional program has grown and developed beyond these programs. This is in large part due to our development and commitment to our mission statement. We want students to develop personal learning passions and the IB program requirements often limit the course selections that we offer our students.

Additionally, a growing body of research in the field of neuroscience has provided us with more information about how children learn. The PYP was developed in 1997 and the MYP was first developed in 1994. There have been minor updates to the program, but not to the extent that they fully reflect current research-based best practices.

The new Roosevelt Curriculum Framework will be well articulated from grade to grade. This clear articulation will provide smoother transitions for students as they move up through the school. What is more, the curriculum can be analyzed internally through our program review process and altered as research continues to make progress on how children learn best. After all, the world that our students belong to is dynamic and continuously changing. To be successfully prepared for the realities of the 21st century, our students should have the opportunity to learn within a framework that is adaptable and continuously improving.

Q: How are we are organizing the curriculum: Project based? Content based? What are some examples of what students will do?

A: Project based and content based are not mutually exclusive. Project-based learning and inquiry learning will continue to engage FDR students and teachers in the learning processes. Decades of solid research regarding best practices informs us that kids thrive in these environments. But while problem/project-based approaches are getting much (deserved) attention these days, there is a place for content too; for instance, take NY Times writer David Brooks' ideas often advocated for in the Core Knowledge blog. The FDR curriculum will therefore be organized with a multi-layered approach.

It will further use the best of what we have learned from the PYP and MYP, without the limiting restrictions of the content, design and timelines. After all, the PYP/MYP program has many solid features and approaches to learning which have served FDR well in the past. As such, the best features of these programs and approaches will be preserved even as we move forward with choice, enhanced rigor, teacher creativity in the lesson-design process and ultimately a more enriching experience for FDR students.

Students will engage in learning tasks where they apply learning outcomes (standards and benchmarks) to authentic learning tasks. These learning tasks will be clearly organized and articulated in the preK-12 curriculum. The adoption of standards and benchmarks for the whole learning community will ensure no duplication of learning outcomes across grade levels or repeated learning activities. Instead, learning will 'spiral', meaning concepts may be revisited but in increasingly challenging ways.

Q: What keeps the curriculum consistent?

A: Each subject area has a mission statement, and has adopted internationally recognized standards and benchmarks to guide the FDR curriculum used in top schools around the world; standards are "concise, written descriptions of what students are expected to know and be able to do at a specific stage of their education" and "each standard builds on the previous one, increasing in complexity as students advance from one level to the next" (The Glossary of Education Reform).

Q: What if my child transfers to a new school which offers the PYP and/or MYP / what if a new student comes in from a PYP or MYP school?

A: The Roosevelt curriculum will prepare students for the next stage in their education, regardless of location. Historically, we have had many families transfer into our school from non-IB learning environments with great success; we fully expect our students to be able to do the same should they need to leave FDR. What is more, our use of standards like the Common Core for English Language Arts and Math, or the Next Generation Science Standards for Science, which are recognized around the world (at both IB and non-IB schools), will ensure recognition of both rigor and content when students transition.

Q: Do universities look favorably on schools that offer the PYP and MYP?

A: While the IB Diploma program for students in grades 11 and 12 is well-recognized as an program ensuring pre-university readiness, universities do not look at transcripts for ES or MS. Regarding grades 9 and 10, while marks may appear on a transcript, universities simply want an assurance of rigor which our use of standards and benchmarks provide.