Course Descriptions for Jr./Sr. High
Transforming St. Joseph School into a “School of the Future”
In the 2008-09 school year, a group of teachers and students began the process of transforming the school into a place where students and teachers want to be because both the curriculum and the teaching methodology are exciting and purposeful while using the tools that are relevant to the 21st century. This new philosophy is called the “School of the Future” initiative and is being championed in Hawaii by the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. St. Joseph School is the first independent (private) school in East Hawaii to embrace the School of the Future model.
School of the Future uses the methodology known as constructivist pedagogy which is “the creation of classroom environments, activities, and methods … with goals that focus on individual students developing deep understandings in the subject matter of interest and habits of mind that aid in future learning.”
To become a School of the Future, St. Joseph needs to implement project-based learning and adapt the use of technology in the learning experience. The characteristics of project-based learning are that (1) learning is driven by challenging, open-ended problems, (2) students work in small collaborative groups, and (3) in addition to their traditional responsibilities teachers will take on the role of facilitators of learning. Students will be given the opportunity to use a rich mix of technology – such as laptops, iPods, and cell phones – as both resources and means of increasing their learning.