KVA Content Experts
KVA Teachers are Content Experts. Education systems require teachers to lead students learning in many ways including learning skills, scheduling, balance, progress, and content. As KVA does not rely on a classroom setting, but does rely on fostering self-directed learning and helping student become more responsible and effective learners, the balance between these teacher characteristics is different at KVA. The emphasis at KVA is on content expertise so that students have a reliable and accurate source of information available to them.
Teachers are also invaluable in fostering self-direction and helping students to develop those skills necessary to be successful in higher education. At KVA we help students to develop these skills throughout the day, as well as during Assembly every morning in a session we call "Learning Tip of the Day."
In order to ensure the most qualified content experts are present for every subject we have many staff members who are contractual workers, present at KVA a few hours or a few days per week. Our contact model is 1 hour of contact time, one-on-one, between every content expert and every student, every week. So if there are 4 students taking courses in a specific content area, that teacher will likely be at KVA between 4 and 6 hours (contact time + preparation time). Whereas if 28 student are taking courses in a specific content area that teacher will likely be at KVA 4 days per week.
Why this Particular Balance between Content Expertise and Pedagogical Expertise?
KVA is a university preparatory school. University applicants have to prove that certain content has been mastered to an acceptable level, We tend to view the content that has been mastered as more important, but at KVA we believe that effective learners can learn anything (understanding expectations, setting and progressing toward goals, and using available resources effectively).
At KVA we believe that developing effective learners is paramount, and effective learners are self-directed learners. They do not need someone else to tell them when to start, when to stop, when to be assessed, and where to work on particular things. By helping students to effectively make these decision we are empowering them to be more responsible for their own learning.
Who are KVA's Content Experts?
Dr. Derek MacDonald, Principal: Learning Skills, Mathematics, Physics, Technology
Ms. Katie Ingram: English Language Arts
Dr. Justin Tom: Chemistry, Science
Mr. Patrick Burgomaster: Art, Music
Mr. David Smith: History, Geography, Social Studies
Dr. Sally Ibrahim: French, Arabic
Ms. Melanie Massey (Ph.D. student): Biology, Science
Mr. Simon Smith: Business, Entrepreneurship, Physical Education
Ms. Mary Bruer: Drama