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.
Skills learned through theme-based instruction transfer to study skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills useful in every part of the curriculum. Selecting and using appropriate approaches to solving problems through inductive and deductive reasoning and mental computation are important complementary skills. Theme-based education also involves students in activities that help them learn to work effectively in the school environment without resorting to violent or inappropriate behavior. According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students in the general school population who can be classified as "disruptive", based on factors such as frequent absences, times in trouble, school suspensions and other disciplinary actions, experience a 34 percent higher rate of disruptive behaviors than students who were engaged in theme-based instruction.