Spence strives to let ideas flow freely and openly. Our curriculum connects a range of worldviews and multiple sources to form a narrative representative of the big picture. Our students are encouraged to research well beyond textbooks and use the resources available to more fully understand the world around them.
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Guided by the question “How does our curriculum reflect different perspectives?” our students engage in inquiry-based learning. Examples include: Grade 1: Students read The Color of Us and create self-portraits Grade 3: Students investigate immigration issues in the US
In Middle School, students look at four aspects of identity: gender, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Each grade addresses an overarching question for the year:
Grade 5: What shapes a person’s identity? Grade 6: How do our identities shape our interactions with individuals? Grade 7: How do communities treat individuals based on their identities? Grade 8: How does my identity shape my actions in my communities?
Work in Assembly and Advisory groups deepens students’ engagement with the diversity curriculum while also fostering conversations among them. Many students join SMAC (Spence Multicultural Awareness Coalition) and take those conversations to the next level.
Courses include offerings in African, Latin American, Indian and Chinese history as well as global literature courses, Topics in Black American History: Emancipation to the Present and a course in literature dealing with Sexual Identities.
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We aim to provide an environment for learning and teaching that is both equitable and inclusive, one where students and their teachers share and learn from one another and where different perspectives are elevated for the benefit of all our students.