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Standards Based Learning

        At New Frontiers we believe that all children are innately curious and motivated to learn. We understand that it is our responsibility to create an environment wherein that curiosity and motivation, along with individuality are celebrated and utilized to achieve success in education. With this as the foundation of our educational philosophy, New Frontiers embraces Standards Based Learning rather than a rigid curriculum to create the best educational experiences for all children. 

What does Standards Based Learning
look like at New Frontiers?  

        We invite you to learn more about what the

New Frontiers Standards are and what they mean for

our children here.  We will gladly send you a copy of

the full standards document upon request. 

Standards vs. Curriculum? What is the difference and what is best for my child?

        In recent times, there has been a great deal of dialogue surrounding “standards” and “curriculum” and the                                                                  two terms often get confused. A helpful way to make the distinction is to                                                                  consider that standards are goals that educators must help all children to                                                                    achieve.  Consider a basic example that it is commonly accepted that “a                                                                    child should understand that 1+1=2”.  This goal - the understanding of the                                                                  fact - is a standard.  Standards are most often far more general than the                                                                    above example and are derived from

                                                                 research that shows what development

                                                                 is typical for particular age groups and

                                                                 things that are commonly believed to

                                                                 be important general knowledge and


                                                                 A curriculum, on the other hand, is a

                                                                means of teaching.  Educational

establishments are generally free to choose if they want to come up with

their own curriculum or employ a scripted curriculum, which curriculum

to create or choose, and how to choose it (e.g. administrative decision,

committee of teachers, etc.).  A curriculum should be “standards based”,

meaning that it will work toward teaching the academic goals, but

different curricula may go about reaching the standards in different ways. 


          For example, returning to the 1+1=2 example, one scripted curriculum may say to write 1+1=2 on a chalkboard while another instructs teachers to have all children draw one circle and then draw a second circle. While different curricula may indeed offer some creative or innovative ways of teaching standards, the decision for an educational establishment to adopt one specific, scripted curriculum can often leave lessons rigid and repetitive and lock teachers into ways of teaching that may not be accessible to or helpful for all children in their classes. For this reason, New Frontiers proudly breaks free from scripted curricula and allows teachers and students to achieve academic standards through a vast variety of child-led and standards based learning experiences, many of which are either outdoors or involve natural materials.

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