This year, the Creative Learning Class (CLC) began using a new curriculum based off of books written by PEPY staff members Michael A. Jones, Rith Sarakk, and Lida Loem. The books that are still in production include lessons for science, social studies, XO computer programs, and English. The goal of each book is to use the subject matter as a tool for teaching critical thinking and creative problem solving skills, as well as raising awareness about the world and the impact individuals can have on it.
At the heart of each science lesson is a simple idea: ask students a question, don’t tell them the answer. In this way, the lessons allow teachers to facilitate students in discovering the answers for themselves. The structure of the information being taught is based off of the American science curriculum, first teaching physical science, then earth and space science, and finally life science.
Social studies is designed to broaden students’ understanding of the world around them and the impact they can have on it. It follows a curriculum similar to the Singaporean model, starting small and expanding outward. Students learn about their families, school, and village in grade 7, Cambodia in grade 8, and the world at large in grade 9. English and XO lessons are used throughout all three years to broaden and support each lesson.
The goal of CLC is to ensure that students are constantly utilizing skills that can be generalized and applied to any situation. The value of any one piece of information is easily disputed; the skills learned through CLC—problem solving, critical thinking, and a sense of empowerment is invaluable in any situation.