Du Bois schools use theme-based, interdisciplinary, integrated curricula to facilitate instruction and learning. A combination of tightly-controlled behavioral studies and groundbreaking neurological research supports theme-based education as a means to improve the opportunities for success for all learners. A review of research reveals that the principles of self-determination, self-reliance, self-respect, and individual initiative inherent in theme-based education strengthen connections to academic competencies. It makes strong contributions to students' language abilities and reasoning skills through developing decoding and interpreting skills in symbol systems other than conventional linguistic ones. Pedagogy draws clear connections that students' prior knowledge, with contexts outside of the classroom, and cultural perspective make learning more significant.
EDUCATION PLAN/DESIGN OF SCHOOLS
The education plan of Du Bois schools incorporates standards, objectives and performance indicators that align with State requirements and Common Core standards. In accordance with state regulations, the curriculum includes appropriate curricula for language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, lifetime wellness and fine arts at each grade level. Theme-based education is implemented to keep students engaged and motivated. Anderman and Midgley, in their 1998 study of the benefits of theme-based learning, found that this type of learning encourages students to be more engaged because they move away from rote learning and memorization. It provides more challenging, complex work that has an interdisciplinary focus and encourages cooperative learning. While schools may be using projects as part of the curriculum, theme-based instruction is different because it is a holistic instructional strategy rather than an add-on.