The YHOP curriculum emphasizes that anyone, including (and especially!) the young students who participate in the program, can take civic action to make positive changes. It provides students with the critical information, skills, and environment needed to be Heroes of Liberty – at home, at school, in their neighborhoods, and beyond.
Contributions to Student Learning
Blending Character and Civics Education
The YHOP curriculum highlights the following six character traits: courage, empathy, integrity, perseverance, respect, and responsibility, throughout the nine lessons. These character traits are understood by the program to be inherent qualities possessed by the students we work with. The program also highlights the students’ First Amendment Rights as essential means of enacting change in the United States. These two elements are presented as tools that the Young Heroes can consciously strengthen, develop, and apply through the opportunities provided in the curriculum to take action and contribute to liberty and justice for all people.
The Training Phase integrates a variety of learning strategies in order to capture students’ attention, and provide opportunities for all types of learners to participate. Through a combination of direct instruction, collaborative small group work, multimedia presentations, educational games, writing prompts, and reflection, students are introduced to methods of critical engagement, creative thinking, and empowering educational discoveries. The Action Phase includes inquiry and project-based learning strategies, that orient the learning process around student interest, connections, and experiences. Teachers are encouraged to modify where and how these learning strategies are applied as needed to differentiate instruction and meet student needs.
Activating student voice is a critical component of achieving the educational goals of YHOP because everyone’s voice is needed to establish and protect liberty for all. YHOP provides a space in the classroom for students to express and explore their values, beliefs, and strengths. Even though students do not yet enjoy the full civic rights of adult citizens in our society, we believe that their experiences and ideas are to be valued and respected. Student voice is an essential part of the Action Phase. As members of the Young Heroes Program, students apply what they have learned from the curriculum to identify, research, and take action on a social issue of their choosing. Faculty Advisors and Outreach Educators work as facilitators to provide guidance to students during this process, assisting them with planning and project execution, as needed.
Curriculum Scope and Sequence: Click here to download.