What is Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum?
Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum is a high standard American educational curriculum developed by Dr. Donald R. Howard and his team since 1970. The curriculum is focused to train every student to master their academic performance, build up their Godly characters, and prepare them to be the leader for the future. At the present, ACE serves over 6,000 schools in more than 145 countries. The curriculum is also recognized in many prestigious colleges and universities around the world.
What make ACE curriculum distinctive?
ACE addressed the concerns of parents and designed a Biblically based educational program geared to meet the learning needs of individual children. This unique program consists of mastery-based curriculum and materials that are individually prescribed, self-instructional, and character building.
Individually prescribed curriculum
Whether the student is a high achiever, a moderately paced learner, or a slow learner, the ACE educational process begins at the exact level determined by the child’s ability. This is individualization, making it possible for each student to master the subject matter before moving on. Such mastery is the foundation upon which all future learning is built.
The key concept of ACE was built on five basic laws of learning:
#1. Students must be at subject levels where they can perform.
#2. Student must set reasonable goals.
#3. Students must be controlled and motivated.
#4. Learning must be measurable.
#5. Learning must be rewarded.
Are your children really mastering basic math, English, social studies, science, and spelling skills? Could there be some unidentified learning gaps? A.C.E. diagnostic testing begins with simple concepts and continues through more advanced abstract thinking. Successful completion of this diagnostic testing indicates readiness for high school level curriculum.
A doctor must diagnose a patient’s physical needs before prescribing proper treatment. In much the same way, a student’s academic needs must be diagnosed before proper curriculum can be prescribed. Proper academic diagnosis and prescription is vital to a student’s achievement.
Each student entering the A.C.E. program is given diagnostic tests to determine skill and concept mastery. The diagnostic tests assist the evaluator in determining the student’s academic needs in each subject. After the student completes the diagnostic testing, he is given curriculum that meets and challenges him at his performance level.
Diagnostic placement testing ensures that students begin at the exact point of their academic needs. Additionally, diagnostic testing determines if there are any “learning gaps.” Students can simply fill in the “learning gaps” without the stigma of “failing” a grade or falling behind.
Academic tests include math, English, spelling, and reading (Bible, Literature and Creative Writing, science, and social studies). These tests cover basic skills normally mastered before high school.
If weak areas are evident from the testing, the appropriate gap PACEs are prescribed to strengthen specific weaknesses. After completing the gap PACEs, the student progresses at his performance level. If he demonstrates mastery at all levels of testing, he has the ability to function at his chronological grade level in the high school curriculum.
Individualization helps produce academic excellence. Students using the ACE program continue to demonstrate above-average achievement. One reason is that they take responsibility for their own learning. ACE’s individualized program introduces children to concrete and abstract reasoning skills at appropriate age levels in conjunction with maturation stages. Writers and editors have carefully developed PACEs which contain a scope and sequence with vocabulary that moves from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract as students progress from kindergarten through graduation. This Christian curriculum is structured to include all three levels of the learning process: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.
Knowledge - Before adolescence, children focus on each new concept from a mastery viewpoint—line upon line, precept upon precept; focus is on the who, what, where, and when of information. Educators refer to this information as the knowledge dimension. However, there is development from this stage of learning to cognitive learning.
Understanding - With adolescence, students concentrate on concepts that expand to the abstract or cognitive level; the focus is on why and how. This is referred to as the understanding dimension of life. Students learn not only facts (knowledge) but also how those facts relate to culture, science, and history (understanding).
Wisdom - Another, and perhaps the chief distinctive of the ACE curriculum, is its focus on wisdom. Most curriculum publishers focus on knowledge (facts and information), and some publishers include understanding (relationship of information). Accelerated Christian Education curriculum is distinctive in its inclusion of wisdom as a deliberate aspect of the learning process.