Mission & Values
Our school motto is AUT VIAM INVENIAM AUT FACIUM which means “Either I will find a way or make one”, emphasizing society’s need for entrepreneurial and trail-blazing leaders for the 21st century.
Our mission is to educate the whole person using the Dalton Plan to develop individuals who contribute to humanity. Our community of lifelong learners fosters healthy, creative, social, and globally minded individuals who can think independently and critically. Our students strive for academic excellence by taking a challenging, balanced curriculum in core disciplines, the Arts, and technology as embodied by the Seven Cs.
John Dewey is often called the Father of Progressive Education and Father of American Education. Progressive education is a pedagogical movement that began in the late nineteenth century by Dewey which finds its roots in present experience. He emphasized the independent motivations of the learners, the need for schools to be small scale laboratories for experiments in democratic social reform, and the basis of authentic learning in inquiry and experiences.
Progressive education integrates curriculum focused on thematic units as well as entrepreneurship. There is also a strong emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking by collaborative and cooperative projects.
Project Based Assessment
Following the lead of John Dewey, William Heard Kilpatrick believed that children should direct their own learning according to their interests and should be allowed to explore their environment, experiencing their learning through the natural senses. He emphasized that students should be in a project method environment so that they may be allowed to explore and experience their environment through their senses and direct their own learning by their individual interests.
Dalton Plan was developed by Helen Parkhurst. She was the founder of the Dalton School (aka Children University School in New York City and her philosophy of education spread in America, England, Germany, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, India, China, and Japan during 19th and 20th centuries.
Dalton Plan has two principles: Freedom and Cooperation. Principle of freedom is based on the uniqueness of the individual with his or her independence, creativity and interests. Principle of the cooperation is based on positive socialization through collaboration and exchanges with a variety of people.
The three parts of the Dalton Education includes the House, Assignment, and Laboratory. The concept of the house goes beyond the scope of the homeroom for the sake of the attendance. It is where socialization and bonding takes place between students. The assignment is a set of goals based on contracts and projects between students and teachers. Assignment can measure the progress of students not only by the teachers, but by students themselves in self direct ways. The Laboratory is a concept of a “garage” which enabled inventors and entrepreneurs of America to foster their own passion. For example, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started their company called Apple in a garage; Michael Dell started his company called the Dell Computers in a garage; Jeff Bezos started a company called Amazon in a garage, etc. In like manner, laboratory is a center of educational experience that can be either teacher or student led during the school hours as a co-curricular activity.
William Heard Kilpatrick
The House system is widely used in Commonwealth and private schools in North America. It is also a part of the Dalton Plan. At Hsinchu County American School (HCAS), the House system encourages both school and team spirit. Houses are committed to enhancing student relationships while fostering and encouraging team spirit, and a sense of belonging together regardless of age or grade. HCAS has chosen to implement a House system with each student and faculty member assigned to one of four houses named after the “four gods” of Chinese mythology as they represent qualities important to and inherent in the HCAS mission statement. While school and team spirit are promoted, the house system also encourages integration, responsibility and a sense of community among our students. Membership in a house is life-long in theory. Each student should be responsible for the well-being of fellow members and be proud to work for the betterment of the House. Houses will work together and compete in academic, sporting, service projects and events.
Each House is in competition with each other to achieve the highest number of house points at the end of each term and most importantly by the end of the year when there will be prizes. Regular house point totals will be advertised in the Student Council Room, in the Student lounge and other places.
Students can contribute to their house point totals in a number of ways both in and out of the classroom. All students are expected to participate in at least one of the many house events/activities.
Merits Based Points - Students are awarded points for outstanding effort and achievement.
House Activities – House activities are organized by the House Leaders and House Captains.
Clubs - Students can also earn house points for their involvement with clubs inside or outside school. These can be achieved by pupils showing commitment through high attendance, outstanding effort and outstanding achievement.
Achievement - Students can also earn house points for varying achievements such as: Placing in a local or national competition in sports, music, or academic subjects. They can also receive House points where students are nominated by staff for showing a positive attitude to school life and its community.
Extra-curricular Competitions – Students can also earn house points if they regularly enter competitions advertised in school for: representing their school, showing commitment and an active sense of involvement with extra-curricular opportunities.
Attendance – Students who achieve 100% attendance in a term or those showing significant improvement receive a house point.
The culmination of points will allow one of the Houses to receive the House Cup at the end of the academic year.
With the Dalton Plan as the foundation for the curriculum, graduates from HCAS will achieve the following learning outcomes:
HCAS Seven Cs
The 7 Cs are the values HCAS promotes as the most essential traits students should have in order to be successful in the 21st Century. These seven traits are not only meant for students to succeed academically, but also to develop their ability to contribute positively to the world community.
1. Contribution: Students contribute to their immediate community (family, school, etc.) and beyond. Students contribute by giving their talents, voice, time, and ideas in creating value in their learning environment. They are committed to using their knowledge and skills to contribute positively to society.
2. Communication: Students understand that in order to communicate successfully, they need to become familiar with a variety of communication mediums, from speaking to multimedia, and be knowledgeable of other communication standards and traditions.
3. Community: Students see their community in steadily expanding circles--from local, to nation, to the world community. They see themselves as members of the global community, rather than as simply a member belonging to an isolated group.
4. Compassion: Students display compassion and empathy for others, no matter how different they may seem to be. They fundamentally understand that we are all connected, and from their compassion take action to help others.
5. Critical Thinking: Students apply critical thinking to all areas, including themselves. They are careful when evaluating new information, and are able to navigate a variety information mediums in order to come to their own conclusion.
6. Collaboration: Students understand that while there is a time and place for independent work, ultimately their actions will affect others. They therefore see the importance of collaboration as a way to ensure everyone’s views are fairly represented.
7. Creativity: Students utilize creativity to go beyond what they know and understand to imagine what is possible, what could be changed, and what could be made better. They do not view challenges as obstacles, but as another opportunity to exercise their creativity.