Our Scandi-Harvard curriculum strives for the perfect balance between Swedish and Harvard educational principles.
Swedish educational principles means that we focus on each individual student. We know that education is not one-size-fits-all, and that each student has their own strengths that we can build on, and weaknesses that we need to focus individual attention on. With our small class sizes and large classroom size, our students do not have to sit still for long periods of time, they are constantly up and moving around, participating in activities and having fun! We create a warm and friendly environment where students are excited about discussing ideas in class and being creative and original.
Harvard educational principles means that students will get the kind of classical early education that puts them on the path to Harvard, or other prestigious schools. We offer classes for students of all levels of English ability, from beginners through fluent speakers, so our style and lesson plans vary between classes. But creative thinking, problem solving, and an incredible amount of public speaking and communication are at the heart of our curriculum. Our Harvard-style methods develop independent learning skills on the foundation of language, logic, and tangible fact. Our students draw original, creative, and accurate conclusions from facts and then formulate those conclusions into logical and persuasive arguments.
Our primary goal is to improve our students’ English capabilities, with a special focus on public speaking and creative writing. Our classes utilize American textbooks provided by GEA in subjects like Literature and Writing, Grammar, Debate, and Science. Our lessons include activities like role-playing and improv, free conversation and discussion, experiments, and active, physical games. Students will be acquiring advanced English skills, but the biggest improvement will come in their ability to actually use English. They become confident in their abilities and comfortable using their English in our friendly, fun classroom setting.
Sample Videos From Our Classes
These are just a few examples of the activities and presentations that we do in class. We have tried to select from a range of ages and levels to give you a more complete picture of our students and our school.
Mock Trial – Chloe questions the witness, Rachel, in The Case of the Missing Puppy.
Debate - a class of G1 students debate whether animals should be kept in zoos
This negotiation exercise with some of our First and Second Graders is a great demonstration of what GEA is all about! The students were divided into three teams and given a paragraph that they had to read and understand in order to separate out their ‘haves,’ ‘wants,’ and ‘needs.’ Each team had a different list, so their next task was a quasi-competition to negotiate with each other and make trades in order to fulfill their ‘wants’ and ‘needs’ using what they had to trade.
Yuni wrote a wonderful speech about being kind to each other.
Mock Trial – Isabel gives her closing arguments in the case of The State vs. Romeo
Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
We know that IQ is important, but we also focus on EQ: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. Many parents would agree that mastering these elements could have a bigger impact on their child’s careers and personal lives than anything else they learn in school. And yet most schools all but ignore this aspect of development, or just leave it for children to figure out for themselves on the playground. This is because Emotional Intelligence is easy to define but difficult to teach.
At GEA, we believe the first step is identifying these elements and calling attention to them, just as we would call attention to a difficult English language concept that we were trying to focus on. Our students know that EQ is a point of emphasis, so they make the most of their interactions with others. Perhaps the best way to improve EQ, though, is to be exposed to high-EQ people. We know that A-teachers produce A-students. But at GEA, being an A-teacher isn’t just being high-IQ, they must be extremely high-EQ as well.
Appreciation of Travel, Culture, and Art
As a key player in an increasingly global community, Korea needs leaders who understand other people and cultures and view themselves as global citizens. Appreciating world culture is essential, and, when presented in the right way, can be a lot of fun. At GEA, our students fully engage with activities like virtual traveling, where we explore and compare countries and cultures in an active way, and an activity called ‘Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?’ which involves chasing a fictional criminal all over the world and throughout time, using clues left behind to pick up the trail, and learning as we go. We regularly weave music, art, fashion, and sports from around the world into our lessons so that world culture becomes part of the fabric of our students’ education.
We emphasize speaking loudly and clearly in class every day, but we also focus specifically on the art of public speaking as a part of our curriculum. We show students how to give an effective illustrated talk and a Powerpoint presentation, by letting them choose a topic they enjoy and feel excited about presenting to an audience. Our students also compose and recite poetry, perform a play, engage in improv, and even learn parliamentary procedure in order to conduct a model meeting. For many people, public speaking is a source of anxiety at best, or paralyzing fear at worst. By focusing on it at a young age, and providing the coaching that kids need to feel confident about their abilities, we turn this common fear into a source of great strength for our students.
Concern for Community